[Tokyo] A place to replenish your mind and body Ideas for spending a day off in Kagurazaka
[Tokyo] Kagurazaka, a place you'll be glad you came!
On your days off, you might want to relax your mind, not just your body.
If so, let's head to Kagurazaka and look for some good places to enjoy.
We'll stroll up the sloped street filled with atmoshphere and stop by some shrines and temples.
We can see a movie, do some shopping, and just go with the flow of our mood.
Then when you finish with something good to eat, you should be feeling as good as new again.
[Tokyo] A place to replenish your mind and body
Ideas for spending a day off in Kagurazaka
You are in the city here, but there are still some old streets and some shrines and temples with long traditions. Japanese culture is still very much alive in this neighborhood that looks like an old Shitamachi town with its many family-owned shops and now also some trendy places to eat. The whole area is fairly compact, which makes it perfect for people who don't have the energy to do a lot of walking and exploring. Just walking on the stone-paved roads may help you forget the bustle of daily life.
Kagurazaka also seems to be a relaxing place for foreigners. Many of them are sightseers, but many of those who live here are from France. A school that was once for children of French parents is here, and the "Institut français du Japon – Tokyo" is also here, but those are not the only reasons. Some say that Kagurazaka is like Paris, so for French people who tend to value their private life, this area might represent an oasis of tranquility. Let's then start our stroll through Kagurazaka at the beautiful "Institut français du Japon – Tokyo" and its large, spacious inner garden.
A relaxing walk in Kagurazaka starts here
Institut français du Japon – Tokyo
The "Institut français du Japon – Tokyo" (originally the Institut franco-japonais de Tokyo, or Tokyo Nichi-futsu Gakuin) has been transmitting French culture to Japan ever since its opening in 1952. It not only offers around 150 courses in French for various levels and objectives, the school also holds various film showings, lectures, and other events where people can experience France as it is today. You will also find a Mediateque (library) that is open for anyone to come and browse, a café, and a bookstore. The school grounds are open to the public, so we encourage you to come and enjoy the French atmosphere here.
The building was designed by Junzo Itakura, an architect who studied under Le Corbusier. The double spiral staircase that was modeled after the Château de Chambord in France is unusual in Japan.
The cinema with 108 seats is a venue for French movies that are seldom shown anywhere else, as well for lectures and talk shows.
At the entrance is a cute-looking bookstore called Rive Gauche, which is a branch of Omeisha, a bookstore in Iidabashi that specializes in French books.
The walls of the classrooms feature completely different paintings. On the occasion of the school's 60th anniversary, artists were apparently invited from France to paint them.
Institut français du Japon – Tokyo
15 Ichigaya Funagawara-machi, Shinjuku-ku
A French restaurant inside the Institut français du Japon – Tokyo, where you can casually enjoy everyday French cooking. The various dishes are rich with color, providing a feast of beauty for your eyes as well as the soul. On warm sunny days, eating at a table in the terrace outside is definitely recommended. Just having lunch here is enough to make you feel refreshed. Seminars on wine and other facets of French cuisine are also held here regularly, making it a wonderful place to experience the rich variety of France's culinary culture.
1. The lunch menu (Menu Parisien) where you can choose an appetizer and a main dish, or a main dish and a dessert, from today's specials (¥1900). Our selection today was golden threadfin bream (itoyori) with poiret balsamic sauce and blancmange.
Mr. Ayhan Ilbeyi, manager
The atmosphere inside with many tables is also relaxing.
Inside the Institut français du Japon – Tokyo
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 11:45-14:30, 18:00-21:00
Closed: Mondays and public holidays