Harmonica Yokocho

Harmonica Yokocho kichijoji tokyo

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Harmonica Yokocho―the Good Old Japanese Stores

Shopping arcades are becoming obsolete in Japan. Because of big shopping malls like Wallmart, many stores in “retro” shopping arcades are forced to close as they lose traction by customers. However, there are certain shopping arcades that are still popular and even gaining traction by their customers.

One of that kind of arcades is Harmonica Yokocho in Kichijoji. It is built just after the war, so this arcade has a history of 60 years or so. There were many stores crammed in the arcade, so this arcade was named “harmonica” because this reminded people blowing holes of harmonica.

Even now, there are a lot of stores in Harmonica Yokocho. It is said that as many as 98 stores are open for business. If you visit this arcade, you’ll be able to see this “harmonica” there. Unlike many shopping arcades in Japan, Harmonica Yokocho is known as its popularity. Some stores even have a procession which is now so rare in arcades.

You can do almost everything in Harmonica Yokocho. You can have lunch or dinner, and you can get some souvenirs (in Japanese, “omiyage”) in many stores. People are so friendly there, so you can enjoy chatting with them or you can try to practice Japanese. Harmonica Yokocho has lots of good stores that keeps the atmosphere of good-old-day Japan.

Basic info

Address: 1-1-8, Motomachi, Kichijoji, Musashino-shi, Tokyo
Access: 1 minute walk from Kichijoji Station, North Gate

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