ExperienceSuginami_Asagaya-Smile-Pearl-Walk_Map-5

SMILE-PEARL WALK (Asagaya)

Elvira is an exchange student from Indonesia who has been living in Tokyo for a year and a half. She enjoys Karaoke and cute things. Loving to shop in Asagaya’s Pearl Center “Shotengai” covered shopping street, here she will introduce a walking guide from Asagaya’s Smile Hotel (or Asagaya Station) which you could do in 1-2 hours depending on your pace (you could even make it 3+ hours if you enjoy singing karaoke!)

This is a great walk idea even in Japan’s rainy season (June, when Elvira guided us). This walk features recommended shops to visit for a unique Tokyo experience and also gives you guidance where to find the best souvenirs and delicacies without having to go to the city center. Remember to grab an Asagaya English Menu map so you won’t get lost. Let’s check out how Elvira spends her time in Asagaya!

start_SmileHotel1

SMILE HOTEL

For those staying at the Smile Hotel in Asagaya, this is the perfect walk for an afternoon or an evening. You could spend an hour or two, or more if you want. If you're not staying at the Smile Hotel, just start at Asagaya Station. The hotel is only one minute from the station entrance. If you're looking for a good place to stay, Smile Hotel Asagaya Tokyo is only 7 minutes from Shinjuku (downtown Tokyo) on the Chuo Line, and there is a lot to do around the hotel, as I will show you in this walk!

Price:
varies per reservation website
Address:
3 Chome-37-11 Asagayaminami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Distance from Station:
1 minute from JR Asagaya Station
Phone:
03-3220-8755 (English OK)
Open:
Check-in: 3pm, Check-out: 10am
Website:
http://travel.rakuten.com/hotel/info/108651/
Communication:
Staff can speak English.
1_PandaCafe1

PANDA COFFEE

For my first stop, I went to this cute panda-themed coffee shop. Once you enter, the whole room is filled with cute panda figures and decorations. I ordered their cafe latte which has a cute panda shape on it. I was being careful so that I didn’t ruin the shape until the last sip. The cozy atmosphere relaxed my mind and fueled my energy for the next stop.

Price:
set shown is ¥800
Address:
3 Chome-31-14 Asagayaminami, Suginami, Tokyo
Distance from Station:
3 minutes from JR Asagaya Station (South Exit)
Phone:
03-3393-5077 (Japanese only)
Open:
11:00am - 9:00pm/ closes at 7pm on weekends and holidays, closed on Wednesdays
Website:
http://pandacoffeeten.com/index.html
Communication:
Japanese only, English Menu available
2_TomoeAn1

TAIYAKI TOMOE-AN

Entering Pearl Center shopping street from Naka-Sugi Road, you'll notice that this shopping street has a roof, so you don't need to worry about your clothes getting wet while shopping on a rainy day. Here, I tried this famous Taiyaki (fish-shape bun filled with sweet red bean paste). Compared to other Taiyaki, this place is unique because each one is made separately, rather than in a large mold that makes several at a time-- this way they can cook the one to perfection. It's really fun to watch the how they make it too! It's very cheap for the generous amount of the red beans, so both my tummy and my wallet were happy.

Price:
from ¥150
Address:
1 Chome-35-20 Asagayaminami, Suginami, Tokyo
Distance from Station:
5 minutes from JR Asagaya Station (South Exit)
Phone:
03-3361-6387 (Japanese only)
Open:
11:30am - 8:00pm; Closed Wednesdays; Store closed when bean jam runs out. If Wednesday is "Tomoe An Day", closed next day
Website:
http://www.tomoean.net/
Communication:
Japanese only, English Menu available
  • no-smoking
3_Nejime1

NEJIME JAPANESE FOLK CRAFTS & GIFTS

The interior of this shop just catches my attention. I found lots of beautiful colorful handcrafts and cute traditional toys. This is one of the best shops I have seen for Japanese souvenirs! Not sure what to buy? I recommend a wind chime in the summer so that every time the wind blows it reminds you of your time in Japan. Or, a "sensu" folding fan makes a great gift or room decoration. The prices also reasonable for the quality. I heard this shop was established by a famous Japanese writer/poet, so it feels that this place is really authentic for Japanese souvenirs. Next time I go back to Indonesia I will buy a lot from here!

Address:
1 Chome-35-19 Asagayaminami, Suginami, Tokyo
Distance from Station:
5 minutes from JR Asagaya Station (South Exit)
Phone:
03-3312-9408 (Japanese only)
Open:
11:00am - 8:00pm
Website:
http://www12.plala.or.jp/nejime/
Communication:
Japanese only
  • no-smoking
4_Hachinoki1

HACHINOKI JAPANESE SWEETS

Towards the end of my walk at Pearl Center walk heading back to the hotel/station, I was offered a taste testing at this Japanese traditional sweets shop. If you have a hard time choosing what to buy, I highly recommend to ask for a sample as taste never lies-- it will also help you if you aren't familiar with Japanese sweets. There are so many varieties! I bought their famous Dorayaki filled with red bean paste and Asagaya Namiki which is only sold here in Asagaya! If you are lucky you can also get their seasonal sweets. I was not because it was already sold out-- you have to go early!

Address:
2 Chome-15-4 Asagayaminami, Suginami, Tokyo
Distance from Station:
2 minutes from JR Asagaya Station (South Exit)
Phone:
03-3311-6917 (Japanese only)
Open:
9:00am - 8:00pm
Website:
http://www.hachinoki.com/
Communication:
Japanese only
  • no-smoking
5_Kakikko1

KAKIKKO SHOTEN OYSTER BAR

After walking through the Pearl Center shopping street I developed an appetite. As I headed back to Smile Hotel, I passed through Asagaya Station out the north exit which will take you to Star Road on the left-- this is the place to eat and drink at night in Asagaya! I had a fresh seafood dinner at this oyster bar, located just on the other side of the tracks from Smile Hotel, right on the corner on Star Road. Kakikko Shoten has an English menu which is really helpful if you can't speak the language. I had their specialty, giant raw oysters served on ice, a real luxury indeed! I also had fried oysters, too. Their oysters are from Hiroshima, the best place for oysters in Japan! Moreover, the all glass interior gives you the best night view ever. This place really gives you the high class menu and service at a really affordable price. The owner and staff were so friendly!

Price:
Moderate
Address:
2 Chome-2-5 Asagayakita, Suginami, Tokyo
Distance from Station:
2 minutes from JR Asagaya Station (North Exit)
Phone:
03-5327-8779 (Japanese only)
Open:
5:00pm - 2:00am
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/kakikko/
Communication:
Japanese only, English Menu available
6_SoundInn

SOUND INN KARAOKE

Having my energy full again, I decided to burn my dinner's calories at Karaoke which is in the basement level just under the Smile Hotel. This is a great final stop if you still have energy. Japanese Karaoke is a blast so give it a try! The fee is 100 yen for 10 minutes (or 20 minutes during daytime), which a pretty good deal, especially if you just want to try it. You can get the all-you-can-drink option (for an additional 300 yen) which allows you to drink everything at the drink bar, and to my surprise they also have soft-serve ice cream too! Don't worry if you cannot sing Japanese songs as they have a lot of updated English songs. I sang my favorite Disney song, "Let It Go" and also gave the Japanese Pokemon theme song a try. After singing my heart out, it is just right to take a rest. If you're staying at the Smile Hotel, just head up stairs! Otherwise the station is a minute away to take you to your accommodation. Even though the weather was bad, I could still enjoy my time shopping and eating without barging into crowds and waiting in long lines.

Price:
¥100 per 20 minutes 7am - 7pm, 100 yen per 10 minutes 7pm - 7am
Address:
3 Chome-37-11 Asagayaminami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo (Basement of Smile Hotel)
Distance from Station:
1 minute from JR Asagaya Station
Phone:
03-3393-1122 (Japanese only)
Open:
24 hours
Website:
http://soundinn.net/
Communication:
Japanese only, English Menu available