A Short Trip in Tokyo - Musashi Koyama
Shoutengai, Togoshi Ginza
This short trip was organised for the interns to visit two of Tokyo’s
famous shopping streets.
Upon exiting Musashi Koyama Station and after a 5-minute walk we
came to arrive at Tokyo Toritsu Koyamadai Koutou Gakkou (Koyamadai)
– a Japanese public high school. Unfortunately due to some construction
on the school grounds at the time, it was difficult to have a clear
view of the high school’s buildings and sporting area. However,
glimpses of the school’s white buildings and wide empty sports ground
made me remember my own high school and how it would be nice to
become a student once again. Though maybe for only just one day!
After our quick visit to Koyamadai high school, we walked to the
shopping arcade called Musashi Koyama Shoutengai. Whilst walking
towards the shopping arcade, I was quite surprised by the lack of
people around in the area. Since becoming used to the mass of people
in Tokyo, being able to walk at a leisurely pace without having
to push through a crowd was a real pleasure.
Approaching Musashi Koyama Shoutengai, the smell of delicious food
wafted towards us through the air. Upon arriving at the entrance
many little eateries with store workers cooking various foods such
as yakitori, gyouza etc could be seen.
From the entrance, Musashi Koyama Shoutengai was split into two
arcade tunnels, each covered by a high glass ceiling. A fair amount
of people was shopping within the arcade but not enough to make
it seem overly crowded. Whilst first exploring the right hand sided
tunnel, there was an abundance of various stores such as 100 yen
stores, pharmacies, fruit and vegetable stores, flower shops, Japanese
novelty items stores, game centers, restaurants, cafes, specialty
food stores etc.
The left tunnel of the arcade, which was explored much more extensively
than the right, was seen to also have a similar array of shops as
well. The prices of the items for sale were also a little surprising.
Everything from everyday goods, various different foods, electrical
appliances, flowers, fruits and vegetables, pharmacy items etc.
was cheaper than what I had previously seen in Tokyo supermarkets,
which made it quite tempting to want to buy a fair few things to
The extensive range of stores available with reasonably priced
goods made it obvious that the arcade would be a very convenient
and economical place to shop. Especially for the locals.
From Musashi Koyama Shoutengai, we made our way to the famous outdoor
shopping street called Togoshi Ginza. Musashi Koyoma Shoutengai
had a nice atmosphere to it, but Togoshi Ginza somehow felt much
A nondescript silver sign located along a street marked Togoshi
Ginza’s start. There was nothing significant about the sign that
indicated there would be a more than 1 kilometre long outdoor shopping
During our walk at the beginning of Togoshi Ginza, it was fairly
quiet for not many people were seen to be shopping. However, as
we moved towards the centre of the street the atmosphere became
much livelier. It was an enjoyable experience to walk along Togoshi
Ginza at an unhurried pace and to be able to view the myriad of
different things it had to offer. As with Musashi Koyama Shoutengai,
there were numerous stores selling fruit and vegetables, traditional
Japanese sweets and rice crackers, flowers, meats, fresh fish and
so forth. There were also many pharmacies, small boutique like clothes
stores, barbers, beauty salons and restaurants as well.
Nearer to the end of the street we came across a quaint store selling
nothing but milk. The lady store owner was standing outside her
shop, selling small glass bottles of plain and flavoured milk that
were being chilled in a crates filled with ice. I was a little surprised
to find a store specialising in selling milk only. Milk to me was
always chilled in a fridge and is usually always sold at a supermarket
or various food vending places.
Also located along the sides of the Togoshi Ginza were green metal
street lamps that looked somewhat dated, which only added to the
street’s genuine feel. The many outdoor audio speakers also continuously
played an array of classical music for the enjoyment of the shoppers
Furthermore, the sight of the old Togoshi Ginza station and railway
line that ran through one part of the shopping street enhanced the
overall aged atmosphere of the area. All of these elements coupled
together made one forget that this place was actually in the city
Having the opportunity in visiting both shopping streets provided
an insight into one of the many different shopping experiences available
in Tokyo. In comparison to the usual hustle and bustle when shopping
at a supermarket or department store, the arcade and outdoor street
shopping experience is seemingly done at a more leisurely pace,
is much more interesting and also lots of fun.
A diverse selection of reasonably priced goods located in an area
that is less crowded than the usual everyday shopping centre, makes
the shopping arcade Musashi Koyama Shoutengai and outdoor shopping
street Togoshi Ginza worthwhile places to visit.