Suginami is where I live in Tokyo

Keio Inokashira line train and hydrangea flowers
A Keio-Inokashira Line train passing hydrangeas near Hamadayama Station.

For those of you living overseas, have you seen “real” Tokyo? I mean places where people actually live. Yes? No? Well, I’m going to show you some photos of where I live. And that is in Suginami Ward. I live near Takaido station, Takaido-Higashi to be precise.

kanpachi road and ozeki supermarket building
Kanpachi Road near Takaido Station.

The part of Takaido-Higashi I live in is san-chome. What does that mean in English?

  • Higashi means “east”;
  • San means “three,” and; 
  • Chome means block or group of them.

And that means I live on the east side of Takaido’s block three. Other places in Tokyo have many chome. Mine only has four. I’m very average!

Suginami ward 2 floor house
My favorite house in 3-Chome.

3-Chome is a big place. Two important roads, Inokashira and Kanpachi-Dori, border its north and west. The Keio-Inokashira Line marks its southern edge. Hamadayama is on its east side.  For me, it is typical west-side residential Tokyo. It is an (almost) endless sea of houses.

Takaido higashi area and incinerator smoke stack
The chimey is for an incinerator that heats a swimming pool.

The west side of Tokyo is a popular place. People want to move there. The area is very trendy. But not everything is new. Don’t be surprised if you see something from the 1960s (or even older) next to one recently built.

Hamadayama tree covered street

To be honest, I complain about 3-Chome a lot. It’s a residential area; not much is there for entertainment. Yes, there is a golf school with a practice range, but I don’t play golf.

And near the station is the resident’s center which has a swimming pool. To keep it heated is an incinerator that has an enormous smoke. Local garbage is the fuel. Unfortunately, swimming isn’t my thing. If you want more sophisticated fun Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Kichijoji are better.

Suginami ward suburban golf practice range
People practicing their golf.

The area is great for a Sunday afternoon walk. Yes, that is lovely. The streets are narrow and have lots of twists and turns. Most of the houses are small, but eclectic. Their architecture can be interesting. Each time I go out, I feel like I’m exploring.

You can discover how Tokyoites use their land. As you probably know, land here is expensive, so most properties are small. And that means they lack gardens and yards, but the owners make up for it in other ways. Many use planters to fill the spaces of their properties. Others place vines and bushes on their walls. They use what they have well!

rundown Japanese apartment building
A typical older apartment building.

The area is attractive for other reasons too. There are supermarkets, schools, hospitals, and everything else needed for modern living. Plus, three train stations are within walking distance, Takaido, Hamadayama, and Ogikubo (not in 3-Chome). The train lines I can use are:

  • JR Chuo and Sobu (Ogikubo)
  • Metro Marunouchi and Tozai (Ogikubo)
  • Keio-Inokashira (Takaido and Hamadayama)

And it is quiet. Well, in summer, you might have the occasional bosozoku gang make a racquet on Kanpachi Road. But that is not common.

temple jizo statues
Jizo statues at a local temple.

I hope you like these photos. Not all were from 3-chome. A couple of Hamadayama and 2-chome are also here. I just wanted to give you an idea of what suburban Tokyo can be like. Other parts of the city are very different.

Suginami ward suburban backstreet
A farily typical backstreet in 3-Chome.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below. And for those who might live in the area, I’d love to hear your thoughts about Takaido-Higashi san-chome!

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