Best Things to Do in Setagaya: Top Activities and Attractions to Try During Your Trip to Setagaya, Tokyo

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Setagaya is a Tokyo neighborhood that has a lot to offer. From delicious local food to historical sites and cultural experiences, it has something for everyone.

No matter if you love food, history, or nature, you can find plenty of activities and attractions to keep yourself entertained.

In this article, we list the best things to do when visiting Setagaya, Tokyo. Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of Tokyo’s captivating Setagaya neighborhood.

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Photo by Sebastian Hages on Unsplash

Key Takeaways

  • Setagaya is a desirable residential area in Tokyo, known for its mix of urban convenience and suburban tranquility.
  • Shimokitazawa is a trendy area with vintage shops, indie movie theaters, and a vibrant nightlife.
  • Komazawa Olympic Park offers sports facilities, cultural events, and culinary experiences.
  • Sangenjaya is a neighborhood with a relaxed atmosphere and traditional charm, known for its izakayas and teahouses.
  • Todoroki Valley is a serene green space with bamboo trees and a beautiful temple, Todoroki Fudo.
  • Setagaya Park is a sprawling park with cherry blossoms in spring and golden Ginkgo trees in fall.
  • Gotokuji Temple is famous for its beckoning cat figurines and offers cultural experiences like tea ceremonies and calligraphy.
  • Hanegi Park offers panoramic views, cultural events, and a tranquil shrine experience.

Introducing Setagaya, Tokyo

Setagaya-ku (世田谷区) is a neighborhood located in Tokyo, Japan. It is known for being one of the most desirable residential areas in the city, offering a perfect blend of urban convenience and suburban tranquility.

Setagaya is geographically large and diverse, with a population exceeding 900,000 people. It is home to famous museums, galleries, playgrounds, and shrines, catering to a wide range of locals and tourists.

The ward is famous for its picturesque scenery, green spaces, tree-lined streets, shops, and restaurants, making it a highly sought-after location for families and professionals.

Setagaya is a vibrant neighborhood in southwest Tokyo that offers a mix of trendy areas, green spaces, and stunning views of Mount Fuji. Setagaya-ku is a captivating district with plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy.


Shimokitazawa, in Tokyo’s Setagaya neighborhood, is one of the best places to visit for both locals and visitors. This trendy area is a short train ride away from the bustling Shibuya district, making it easily accessible for those looking to explore its unique charm.

If you are looking for a walking tour, you should definitely look for a tour that includes Shimokitazawa.

Places to Visit

  • An abundance of stylish shops that specialize in vintage clothing and hip interior goods, perfect for those who appreciate fashion and design with a touch of nostalgia.
  • Shimokitazawa Tollywood is a popular spot for indie movie lovers, showcasing a selection of independent films in a cozy and intimate setting. This provides a great opportunity to discover hidden cinematic gems and immerse oneself in the local film scene.
  • The neighborhood is a popular destination for both Japanese and foreign young people who are drawn to its eclectic mix of shops, cafes, and bars.
  • The craft shops and pubs frequently host live performances and workshops, providing a platform for local artists to showcase their talents and connect with the community.

Culinary Experiences

  • Tamaiya Honten, a renowned establishment, offers delicious traditional rice crackers that are sure to please the palate. These addictive snacks provide a taste of Japanese culinary heritage and are a must-try for visitors.
  • The coffee culture in Shimokitazawa is vibrant, with numerous hipster coffee shops dotting the streets. Bear Pond Espresso and Ballon d’Essai are just a couple of the many options available for caffeine enthusiasts. 

Komazawa Olympic Park

Komazawa Olympic Park is a sports complex located in Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan. It was originally built for the 1964 Summer Olympics and served as the venue for cycling, field hockey, and the modern pentathlon. 

Komazawa Olympic Park in Setagaya offers not only a wide range of sports facilities but also a rich cultural and culinary experience.

Set amidst a sprawling green park, this location provides a tranquil atmosphere for both locals and tourists to enjoy.

Places to Visit

  • Komazawa Olympic Park Museum showcases the history and legacy of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics through various exhibits, including photographs, memorabilia, and interactive displays. Visitors can learn about the significance of the Olympic Games in Japan and appreciate the accomplishments of past athletes.
  • Cultural events and performances, including traditional Japanese music and dance shows, are held in the park.
  • Art exhibitions provide an opportunity to explore the local art scene.

Culinary Experiences

  • Mr. Farmer is a trendy cafe known for its healthy and organic menu. Guests can indulge in delicious dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, offering a unique taste of fresh Japanese cuisine.
  • Komazawa Park Cafe offers a variety of light meals, snacks, and desserts, making it an ideal place to unwind and recharge after exploring the park.
  • Food stalls and vendors offer a wide range of mouthwatering street food, such as takoyaki (octopus balls), yakisoba (stir-fried noodles), and yakitori (grilled skewered chicken).
  • Flea markets and food festivals bring together local vendors, artisans, and food trucks for a diverse culinary experience.


Sangenjaya, also known as Sancha, is a neighborhood in Tokyo known for its relaxed atmosphere and traditional charm. This area, named after the three teahouses that were once located here, offers a unique blend of hipster culture and historical significance.

During the Edo Period, Sangenjaya was renowned for its vibrant food and drink scene, a reputation that stands strong today. 

Places to Visit

  • One of the highlights of Sangenjaya is the Setagaya Line, a charming streetcar that allows visitors to take a break from walking and enjoy a fun ride around the area. The streets are also home to a unique surprise — a giant King Kong towering over the Family Mart.
  • Exploring the area around the station is highly recommended, as it is home to an array of izakaya (Japanese pubs) in an area known as Sankaku Chitai. This district offers a similar atmosphere to Shinjuku’s Golden Gai, but with a more local and laidback vibe.
  • Visit the three teahouses (Shigaraki, Kadoya, and Tanakaya) that inspired the neighborhood’s name and learn about their historical significance.

Culinary Experiences

  • Try the mouthwatering gyoza at the Gyoza Shack, a local favorite.
  • Indulge in delicious local dishes at Garyu, a hidden gem in the neighborhood.
  • Explore the izakaya scene in Sankaku Chitai, where you can immerse yourself in the local drinking and dining culture.

Todoroki Valley and Todoroki Fudo

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Photo by Sebastian Hages on Unsplash

Todoroki Valley, located in Setagaya, Tokyo, is a serene and picturesque green space that transports visitors to a different world.Spanning a length of 1.2 km, it offers a refreshing escape, particularly during the hot and humid summer days.

At the opposite end of the valley, you will find Todoroki Fudo, an atmospheric temple that adds to the allure of this incredible location.

For those seeking a moment of relaxation, there is a charming café named Setsugekka that serves delectable sweets and refreshing green tea.

Places to Visit

  • As you explore Todoroki Valley, you will be surrounded by towering bamboo trees and be accompanied by the soothing sound of the flowing Yazawa River.
  • Discover the hidden beautiful shrines nestled within Todoroki Valley, each with its own unique history and significance.
  • Visit Todoroki Fudo and witness traditional rituals or performances that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
  • Time your visit according to the cherry blossom season in spring to witness the breathtaking beauty of sakura.
  • Todoroki Valley also offers different experiences throughout the year, such as autumn foliage or winter scenery.

Culinary Experiences

  • Indulge in the delightful sweets offered at Setsugekka café, where you can relish traditional Japanese confections.
  • Accompany your sweets with a cup of authentic green tea, renowned for its health benefits and distinct flavors.
  • Setagaya boasts a diverse culinary scene, offering a variety of traditional Japanese dishes and international cuisines.

Setagaya Park

Setagaya Park is a sprawling park spanning 78,000 square meters, offering a breathtaking and serene environment throughout the year for visitors who want to escape the hustle and bustle of cities.

It is a beloved spot among locals who visit the park to indulge in various activities, such as leisurely walks, picnics, and engaging in sports amidst the lush green surroundings.

In the beautiful spring, people can enjoy the mesmerizing sight of cherry blossoms in full bloom, which makes for a stunning show.

When fall comes, the park turns into a beautiful sea of golden Ginkgo trees that charm everyone who comes to see it.

Places to Visit

  • A mini steam train in Setagaya Park takes passengers on a delightful 3-minute loop and operates on several days each week. Children, in particular, find joy in this experience, as they can take a ride on the mini train for a nominal fee of ¥50.
  • The Traffic Park specifically caters to children, allowing them to learn about traffic rules and safety while enjoying an interactive experience of “driving” a car. This educational and engaging activity provides children with valuable knowledge about road safety.

Culinary Experience

  • Visitors can find Granny Smith Pie, a delightful culinary experience. This eatery specializes in delicious apple pies that are perfect for a picnic in the park.

Gotokuji Temple

Gōtokuji Temple is a serene Buddhist temple famous for its connection to the iconic Maneki-neko, or ‘beckoning cat’ figurine.

As legend has it, in the early 17th century, Ii Naotaka, a feudal lord during the Edo Period, sought refuge from a heavy thunderstorm and was saved by a cat. Grateful for the cat’s actions, Naotaka decided to enshrine the maneki-neko at Gotokuji Temple as a symbol of luck and gratitude.

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Photo by Susann Schuster on Unsplash

Places to Visit

  • Observing the intricate architecture and craftsmanship of the temple buildings and statues provides a glimpse into the country’s cultural heritage.
  • The temple is filled with a vast collection of beckoning cat statues of all sizes, continuously growing as visitors contribute new maneki-neko figures daily. This makes a visit to Gotokuji Temple a must for cat enthusiasts, as well as those seeking good fortune and blessings.

Cultural Experiences

  • Visitors to Gotokuji Temple can take part in prayer rituals and witness the serene atmosphere of the temple grounds.
  • Visitors may also have the opportunity to participate in traditional tea ceremonies or learn the art of calligraphy.

Hanegi Park

Hanegi Park is a picturesque green oasis nestled in the heart of Setagaya. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic.

This hidden gem attracts locals and visitors alike with its natural beauty, lively atmosphere, and unique cultural and culinary experiences.

Cultural Experiences

  • Located within the park, Hanegi Observatory provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the magnificent skyline of Tokyo. Visitors can soak in the peaceful ambiance of the park while enjoying the impressive cityscape.
  • Hanegi Playhouse Theater hosts various cultural events, including traditional performances, music concerts, and theatrical productions. 
  • Hanegi Shrine is a serene and sacred spot where visitors can experience a traditional Japanese Shinto shrine. The tranquil atmosphere is perfect for a moment of reflection and spiritual exploration.

From Parks to Shrines: Exploring Top Attractions in Setagaya

Setagaya, a charming ward located in central Tokyo, offers a plethora of attractions and experiences that will make a trip to this area truly memorable. 

One of the best things about Setagaya is the abundance of beautiful parks and green spaces, perfect for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful place to relax.

On top of that, Setagaya offers a wealth of historical and cultural attractions that are sure to captivate your senses.

With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and trendy neighborhoods, Setagaya provides a refreshing and authentic experience of Tokyo. 

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