Oakhouse Kugahara Ekimae [Oak Explorers]

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OAKHOUSE KUGAHARA EKIMAE

Oak Explorers

Oak Explorers: Kugahara

Oak Explorers: Kugahara

Oakhouse Kugahara Ekimae opened in November 2017. The word "ekimae" means literally "in front of the station", so of course it is only a 1-minute walk away from Kugahara station. Most people think of chic towns when they think of stations along to Tokyu line... but what about Kugahara?
The Oak Explorers set off to find out!

Relaxing and livable
We start this Oak Exploration from Kugahara station. Immediately you can feel an at-home atmosphere. We actually felt it as soon as we got on the Ikegami line. There are only 3 train cars per train, and the train moves slowly between the close-together stations. Right when you exit the station gates, there is a shopping area, supermarket, drugstore, and many stores selling convenient everyday goods. It's a far cry from the overstimulating bustle of downtown. Many of us have lived in many places around the Tokyo metropolis, but this may be one of the most livable. We loved it immediately!

Many stores right outside the station

Convenient shopping area

Many charms right outside the station
We were stopped just a few steps from the station by a wonderful smell coming from Niku no Yamamoto. This is the neighborhood butcher. They selly fresh meat and many other dishes. We discovered the source of the fantastic aroma: yakitori! We also found pork cutlets, croquettes, yakisoba, and beef bowls, all at cheap prices!

Wonderful smells from the many shops

Closest to Kugahara station on the Tokyu Ikegami line

Stretching our legs

Ikegami Honmonji
Next we headed to Ikegami Honmonji temple. This is a very popular spot for people to make their first temple trip of the new year. For a little trivia, this temple is one of the most important temples of the Buddhist Nichiren sect. It started over 700 years ago, in 1282. Many people come to pay respects to the founder of Nichiren, up to 300,000 in a day! There are many historic and beautiful parts of the temple to see.

Passing through the gates

Incense

DATA 〒146-8576 Tokyo, Ota-ku, Ikegami 1-1-1
WEB http://honmonji.jp/

Honmonji Park
We were really impressed by the sheer scale of Honmonji. We headed to the Park next, right next to the temple. It is very large and there are plenty of nice places to relax or otherwise enjoy. There are also lots of trees and other greenery so it's a great place to walk around. You can also play soccer or baseball on the grounds, or fish from the pond. We spent a lot of time taking pictures of the scenery. It would be a great place to come to forget about a busy day.

Sharing pictures

Sakura in spring, autumn leaves in the fall

DATA 〒146-0082 Tokyo, Ota-ku, Ikegami 1-11-1
WEB http://www.city.ota.tokyo.jp/shisetsu/park/honmonnji.html

Popular local spot

Ethnic restaurant Hanuman
After cutting through the park, we found ourselves hungry. We doubled back toward Kugahara station and found an interesting restaurant, Hanuman. They have many Asian-style dishes, from Thai to Vietnamese to Indian. Many immigrants from Asia live and work around here. The place was already full when we got there, everyone no doubt taking advantage of the big plates at cheap prices!

Asian restaurant with Japanese lanterns

Great flavors

DATA Tokyo, Ota-ku, Kugahara 3-40-4
WEB http://www.hanumanjapan.jp/

Sweets with over 50 years of history

Flammarion
By now, we were pretty stuffed, but we couldn't help but stop at a pretty window, at a placed called Flammarion. It was started in 1959, and they sell cakes, sweets, and oven-baked donuts. So many things to choose from!

Pretty designs

Colorful cookies

Pepper robot!

DATA 〒146-0085 Tokyo, Ota-ku, Kugahara 3-37-7
WEB https://www.flammarion.co.jp/

Time warp

Cafe Tataiwa
Heading back to the station, we decided to finish with tea time. Walking along the Ikegami line we found this cafe, Tataiwa. Intrigued by the signboard, we headed inside and found an interesting place. Decorated with antiques for a retro style, it was as if we'd warped back in time. Apparently the place was originally a tatami shop. The owner injured his back, so he switched gears and opened a cafe. Everything in the place was decorated according to the master's tastes. Plus, there is a central garden with a pond where we could watch the koi swim about while enjoying our tea and coffee.

Simple entrance

Tasty coffee

Visually pleasing too

The master explained everything so nicely

DATA Tokyo, Ota-ku, Higashi-Minemachi 34-9
WEB https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1317/A131714/13122556/

Editor's notes

Kugahara house, just opened

Leisurely time in Kugahara
The Oak Explorer's impression of Kugahara is that is is a great place to slow down and relax. On the other hand, it's also just 15 minutes from Gotanda or 7 to Kamata if you need to head into the city. If you prefer a slower, quieter, more relaxed lifestyle, Kugahara could be the place for you!