What to do around sharehouse Chilli Pepper and Cream in Iidabashi

Iidabashi is a convenient point, where 4 underground lines and 2 JR train lines pass by. It is reachable from any direction of Tokyo. What is around this station?
Iidabashi is well known of the mix between Japanese traditional vibe and European modern vibe. Especially French community is quite big in this area. Not in many places in Tokyo, you will find geishas, but in Iidabashi you might see one, since headquarter of geishas is close to the station. During the Edo period, Kagurazaka dori was an entertainment street connected to the Edo castle (which is now the Tokyo Imperial Palace). Probably that is also the reason, there are many Japanese restaurants serving Japanese lunch/dinner set and shops selling kimonos, ceramic dishes and Japanese gifts.

Iidabashi station is located in the center of Tokyo. To Shinjuku by train, it takes 12 minutes. To Tokyo station it takes 11 minutes, to Ikebukuro it takes 10 minutes and to Roppongi it is about 22 minutes. The trains and the undergrounds coming to Iidabashi station:

  • Oedo line
  • Yurakucho line
  • Namboku line
  • Tozai line
  • JR Chuo line
  • JR Sobu line

Some historical facts about Iidabashi:

  • In the beginning of the 17th century, Kagurazaka started to develop. But when the Meiji period started, Samurai warriors left Kagurazaka and Kagurazaka got a new character as a shopping and entertainment neighborhood.
  • The French community started in 1975. The French junior highschool in Kagurazaka made families of French background living in this area.

Interesting points about Iidabashi

  • European influence, especially French vibe
  • Left over of Geisha houses and a geisha school in Tokyo
  • An old sento bathhouse where geishas used to come to take a bath. The sento bathhouse is still open.
  • In the beginning of April, quite a lot of people come to Iidabashi to see cherry blossoms and to picnic along the Kanda River.

For knowing the area a bit better, a map with images:

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Sakura Season 2020

It is not the brightest and the most romantic moment right now in 2020, the corona virus is still spreading and it hasn’t been decreased. You might probably know a lot of entertainment facilities are closed and a lot of events are canceled. End of March is almost coming, which means the cherry blossoms will full bloom soon. The governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike warns people, hanami (picnic under the cherry blossoms) is still a risky activity in this situation. She asks people to refrain doing picnic and having parties in parks. Although, she doesn’t want to stop people enjoying cherry blossoms, she said on March 12th: “We discussed what to do with hanami. It is open-air, therefore we still want people to admire flowers.”

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Even though, hanami is very fun and it is a tradition in Japan, it is better to listen to the governor of Japan. But how and where can we enjoy sakura (cherry blossom) this year? It is better to go to small local parks in the residential areas instead of the popular big public parks, where a lot of people (locals and tourists) come. Before going to the list of suggestions. Here is the list of sakura festivals which are canceled:

Ueno Sakura festival 2020
Chiyoda Sakura festival 2020
Nakameguro Sakura festival 2020 (along the river)
Shibuya Sakuragaoka Sakura festival 2020
Bunkyo Sakura festival 2020
Jiyugaoka Sakura festival 2020
Sa*kaso Sakura festival 2020 in Asukayama park
Koganei Sakura festival 2020
Sumida Koen Sakura festival 2020

In other small places, there are no festivals hold, but they are still nice to walk around or sit there. According to the cherry blossom forecast, the blossoms have started blooming in Tokyo on March 14th. The best moment is around March 27th. Probably in the weekend of March 28th and 29th you can enjoy the beautiful scenario.

For Happy House Mint and Witt-Style Clover
Two big parks in Nerima ward with a lot of cherry blossoms. Hikarigaoka Park and Toshimaen Park in Nerima ward.

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For Happy House Koenji and Happy House Kamikitazawa
A popular spot for locals and less for tourists, it is the Wadabori park in Suginami ward. Big cherry blossom trees along the Zenpukuji river.

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For Happy House Orange, Vitamin Color and Asian
Nakano has a lot of Cherry Blossoms and not specifically in parks. Nakano dori is full of cherry blossoms.

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For Witt-Style Nakameguro and Witt-Style Mishuku
One of the most popular spot to see sakura is in Nakameguro, along the Nakameguro river. It might be less busy compare to the previous years, but probably it is better to skip to go there for this year. In Setagaya ward, there is a park called Kinuta Park, which has about 930 cherry blossoms blooming.

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For Happy House Kagurazaka & Chilli Pepper and Cream
PersonallyI went to Iidabashi area for hanami last year, it was not super crowded along the Kanda river, so probably there won’t be many people walking this year. It is beautiful though.


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Tulip Staff Introduction II

Hi, this is Yuka and I have worked at Tulip for more than half a year, but I hadn’t introduced myself yet. This blog is about me, my home country the Netherlands and my experience in Tokyo.

I was born and raised in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. My parents decided to live in the Netherlands a long time ago, because they really fell in love for this country when they were in their twenties. Even though they like to live there, I decided to move to Japan. In 2010 I had the opportunity to do an exchange program in Tokyo and since then I have liked Japan a lot. I haven’t always lived in the Netherlands since I had started my bachelor study, I was going somewhere else to get more experience in architecture. Because of my nomadic lifestyle, I have started to see how great the Netherlands is. I didn’t understand why people like to visit the Netherlands, but now I do understand!

Windmills and tulips in the country side of the Netherlands (Photo Credit)

The Netherlands is a very small country in Europe, close to Germany and Belgium. The size is about the size of the island Kyushu in Japan. Probably, people know this country as the country of tulips, and windmills. We indeed have windmills and tulips, but generally speaking you won’t see them in the main cities of the Netherlands. So, what is the Netherlands beside of the suburban iconic elements? You might know, it is the country of the tallest people on earth, the LGBT rights are the most progressive in the world, a flat landscape which is 70% below the sea level and the country of legalized soft drug law.

Amsterdam canals, Amsterdam houses and house boats (Photo Credit)

The Netherlands is well known of the brick Canal houses along the canals. Normally, they are about six-stories high, have quite big windows and steep stairs, and lean a bit to the front. The relationship between the buildings and the canals are potential urban elements what I miss a lot. A lot of Dutch cities have chill public spots between the buildings, for example big plazas with terraces around (good places to have a cold orange juice or beer in the sun) and canals to sit on the side and stare to the boats. There are even cafes and restaurants along the canals; Beautiful, cozy and enjoyable. The country of water!

Terraces along the canals (Photo Credit)

Since a big part of the country is below sea level, water is the weakest and the strongest element in this country. Since ages ago, Dutch people have fought against water; high dunes, dikes and other water systems were created. Even the wind mills are water systems, you will notice that the most of wind wills are next to the water. They also appreciate water by creating a lot of canals, lakes and water leisure parks. Also, the Dutch team during Olympic Games is strong at water related sports, for example Swimming, Ice skating, Beach volleyball and Sailing. But probably the Dutch people are mostly proud of their high-skilled water technology and innovative water ideas. Dutch companies are often been asked by other countries for tsunami disasters, rising water level and drink water.

There are so many other Dutch characteristics, cheese, cows and milk, the direct and open communication, an orange colored festival, famous painters etc.

Beside of explaining about the Netherlands, I would like to tell a bit about my experience in Tokyo. In Tokyo, I like Aoyama, Yanaka and Kagurazaka. Since, we have two houses around Kagurazaka, which are Happy House Kagurazaka and Chilli Pepper & Cream, I will tell a bit more about Kagurazaka.

Kanda river in Kagurazaka during cherry blossom period (Photo Credit)

When I am planning to visit this area, it is mostly because I am going to meet someone to eat in one of its restaurants or cafes, to visit the Akagi shrine or to visit my friend’s contemporary art gallery when there is a new exhibition. The restaurants are very nice, I enjoy eating Japanese food and French food in this area. I recommend Rito Kitchen, a beach house restaurant where they serve meals cooked with products of the small islands of Japan. For French, I really enjoyed the food in the very popular restaurant Maison de la Bourgogne. If you go to the canal side, there is Canal café, maybe because I come from a canal country、I like to sit there with a cup of tea staring to the big canal. During spring sakura time, along the canal it is a popular spot to enjoy Hanami (picnic under the cherry blossom trees). Along the canal you have big cherry blossom trees.

 

 

 

 

Rito Kitchen in Kaguraka (Photo Credit)

I like architecture and Akagi Shrine in Kagurazaka is renovated by a current famous Japanese architect, therefore I like to go there for my prayers. The same architect also renovated an old book warehouse in Kagurazaka. It called La Kagu and it is currently an event space with shops and a restaurant.

La Kagu, an old book warehouse to an event space with shops, exhibitions and restaurant (Photo Credit)

Still many things to explore in this area and other places in Tokyo. Even though I have come to Tokyo so many times and have lived here for 2 years now. For more information about our two houses in Kagurazaka area, check our website.

Happy House Kagurazaka: https://tulip-e.com/en/estateinfo/27/

Chilli Pepper & Cream: https://tulip-e.com/en/estateinfo/30/

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