Sunday, February 19, 2012

Toyoko Line Love- Gakugeidaigaku to Toritsudaigaku

I love to walk. A lot. As in, my favorite programme on Japanese TV is 'Chii Sampo', a show targeted to the obaahan (little old ladies) set, where the host does hito-eki sampo (one station walks) all around Tokyo and other large cities...very uncool, I know.

So, on a sunny (if chilly) Sunday, I set out to explore the area between and around Gakugeidaigaku and Toritsudaigaku, on a walking date. It was very quiet, probably due to the cold wind whipping around. Starting near Gakugeidaigaku station, we wandered past a hole-in-the-wall where the owner offers Chinese tea ceremony for 500 yen, and just slight further down a patisserie called, nostalgically, Rue de Passy, which started a conversation about Paris... and the joys of St.Honore's, yum.

A park filled with adorable, perfectly-dressed dogs and a small shrine in the middle of the lake distracted me (admittedly mostly the dogs!), and we then continued on through the twisty streets, eventually ending up at the bottom of a slope, where this awesomeness appeared:

Pancada is a wonderfully overstuffed antiques shop, mainly filled with delicate Georgian and Edwardian furniture. If you think about it, the size of the furniture is perfect for Japan, since many antiques tend to be smaller and more compact than modern designs. There was a stunning little bookshelf calling my name... man, I really am an obaahan.

Toritsudaigaku, despite the name, no longer has a university situated there, so is much less lively than it must have been in the past. However, this does not stop it from having the amazing redeeming quality of being home to Addis. The owner used to be the chef at the American Embassy, and the brunch menu alone is worth the trip. The eggs Benedict (oh, hear my arteries clang shut) were superb, as was the veggie-filled grilled Cheddar sandwich. In addition, if you call a couple days in advance, the owner will make Ethiopian dishes! They may never get rid of me.

A quick detour to Shinmaruko was the final adventure of the day, although this did require cheating (riding the train). I love the Inari-san foxes, and just a couple minutes from the station, we were rewarded with this foxy delight of a shrine:


  1. I love wandering around big cities! The treats you find in a side street in London are amazing. Oh dear, now I also sound like an obachan! But one who needs to schedule a trip to Tokyo!

  2. Oh man, I walked all over London ( mostly because grad students cannot afford the Tube) and had a blast! Sarahf, whereabouts are you currently located?

  3. What a cute shrine! I love the inari-san too (my favorite place to go during my study abroad in the kansai region was fushimi-inari)!!
    Also, OMG those eggs benedict look to-die-for delicious <3

  4. wow i love that little shrine you discovered! so cute~!

  5. Indiー I love Fushimi Inari as well! And yes, eggs Benedict (or in my case sardue) are a gift of the culinary gods.
    SarahM- I know right? It's kinda pop art meets Shinto(^_^)

  6. Replies
    1. Hehehe, sorry Monica, I can't help it ;p
      If it is any consolation, my day to day diet is mainly tofu, soup and veggies ;p

  7. wow the food looks awesome!! :) i always dreamt of doing something spontaneous like that but the obsessive planner in me wins all the time!

    p.s. i love how your response to comments comes out threaded! any tips on how to get that my commenting is so old school!!

    1. Hiya! There can always be a compromise, choose a few cafes/stores/whatever you want to see in an area, and then wander around. Jiyugaoka and Kagurazaka are good places for it :)

      As for the comments, I think it is something the Blogger set up does... I have not seen this for other hosting sites :)

  8. Ah, I love all these beautiful pictures~! ♥
    This looks like such a great place to go! Thanks for sharing~! I definitely hope I can go here someday!

  9. Thanks for telling me about this Inari shrine! I'd love to visit it, but I can't find it on Google or Google Maps or even Google Street View. There seems to be a much bigger Inari shrine here:,139.662055&hl=en&num=1&t=m&z=17

    So ... looking at that map and the big shrine and the station and the post office on the other side of the station, in which direction, roughly, should I go?

    Sorry to be a pest, but I really have a fatal weakness for foxes! ^^

    PS: You expressed interest in a shitamachi blogger get-together. It will probably be on 6 July, probably only 3 women. Still interested? (I took the post down because it contained too many personal email addresses.)

  10. PS: If you can't make it, no worries. If you are interested, leave your email address in a comment on my blog? As you know, I approve all comments on my blog, so I won't publish your address! ^^

  11. Oh no! It looks like the link for Addis is broken! Do you by any chance have a phone number so I can try a new search for the restaurant?

  12. Never mind! Found the new site!