Koenji  (高円寺/こうえんじ), like Shimo Kitazawa, is a trendy town with many cheap shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Koenji is known as a counter-culture area and features some great second-hand book and music shops.  Come here in the evening for live music.

Budget travel tips

  • The best way to experience Koenji is to walk around the station.  You can spend hours just taking in the sites.  Check out the map below for a recommended route.

  • Koenji has many cheap shops, so get your souvenirs, clothes and so on here.

  • Unbelievably cheap, but real pizzas can be found at Sempre Pizza (from 350 yen).

How to get there

From Shinjuku station, take the Chuo line (orange JR line) or Sobu line (yellow JR line) to Koenji station (6 mins, 150 yen).

From Tokyo station, take the Chuo line (orange JR line) to Koenji station (20 mins, 200 yen).  You need to change at Shinjuku station on weekends.


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Published by Matthew Baxter

Matthew Baxter is a British travel author who has lived in and visited Japan for over a decade. Having traveled across the country, without much money, he has built up an extensive knowledge of budget travel here, and has also worked for many leading tourism companies. He also writes professionally for several websites and publications, such as the GaijinPot, All About and the Japan National Tourist Association.