Trendy shopping district Kagurazaka combines tradition with modern flair. The cobbled streets and original Edo and Meiji-era structures elicit nostalgic for the past, while fashionable vendors and modernized storefronts root the neighborhood firmly in the present. Kagurazaka is known as Tokyo’s French Quarter for the its concentrated French presence due to its proximity to two French schools. French cafes line the cobblestoned street.
In the Edo Period, Kagurazaka began at the outer edge of Edo Castle’s moat. This prime location ensured an upscale clientele in the entertainment district. The neighborhood was known primarily for its numerous geisha houses, some of which still exist today. Kagurazaka in modern times retains much of its old charm. Today, most of Kagurazaka’s business is in dining and shopping. It hosts the annual Kagurazaka Awa Odori Festival in July, which is famous for traditional dance and music.
Kagurazaka begins a short walk from Iidabashi Station off of the JR Chuo Line. It extends up to to Ushigome-Kagurazaka Station on the Oedo Subway Line. Driving to this district is not recommended, as cars are prohibited on the main road to Kagurazaka every day from 12 to 3pm and from 12 to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. If you are visiting the area, be sure to make time for a stop at Akagi Jinja, a unique, modern shrine made of wood and glass.