Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Tokyo in Black and White - Ogikubo

Ogikubo has never been high on my list of priorities, even though I’ve lived near it for quite some years.  I think one main for me never going there often is that it is a little difficult to get to.  In a straight line, it isn’t that far, but a little too far to walk there often.  Going there by train is best.  But that means I need to Kichijoji by the Keio-Inokashira line, then use the Chuo line.  It’s not really optimal.  But that isn’t the only reason why I don’t go there.

Just in front of Ogikubo station, at the bus stop

Unless you are a ramen lover, there isn’t much there.  Unless you need a 24 hour supermarket, you won’t be going there for shopping.  Kichijoji, Shibuya and Shinjuku are far better.  I think even Nakano offers more.  And even as a place to enjoy a night out … I’ve never heard anyone recommend Ogikubo.

Hakusan shrine

I think half the problem is that Ogikubo is just old.  Many of the buildings, I think, date from the 1970s or maybe even the 60s?  It’s like modernity skipped the place, rather like how Shimokitazawa used to be.  But whereas Shimokitazawa found a meaning for itself, by developing into a place where Tokyoites could spend a night out or a place to shop at its many secondhand clothes shops, Ogikubo has never evolved.  What it is good for, is a place to live.

Busy Kanpachi-dori (Kanpachi road) passes nearby

For starters, as it is on the Chuo, Sobu and Tozai lines other places in Tokyo are highly accessible.  Going east or west by train is simple.  Get to Shinjuku, which is ten minutes away, and you have even more train options open.  So, the commute to work will be easy (but that Chuo line will be crowded).  Nothing is too far.  And rents seem to be reasonable, plus it has all the amenities you could need (including a Don Quijote and a Seiyu supermarket that is open 24 hours a day).  It can be a very nice and quiet place with some nice temples, shrines and a couple of little parks.

Ogikubo is a pleasant place to live as it has everything you need. But if you prefer something livelier, you’d best look elsewhere.  If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them!  Please leave them below.