Kichijōji (吉祥寺) is a neighborhood in the city of Musashino in Tokyo, Japan. It is centered on a compact but very popular commercial area to the north of its train station and to the south a little. It has artistic and fashionable shops and restaurants, bars, and coffee houses, from discount to high end. Kichijōji Station is served by the Chūō Line which runs to Tokyo central station in just in 30 minutes, Sobu Line, Tozai Line and is also a terminus of the Keiō Inokashira Line, which takes passengers as far as Shibuya, another fashionable shopping center in Tokyo. The area is one of the most popular areas for younger people to spend their weekends, because it features one of Tokyo's most varied and complete shopping areas, as well as the almost constantly crowded Inokashira Park and its zoo. Evidence of its popularity is that it's been voted the number 1 place that people in Japan wish they would live, every year since the 1990s according to polls by the magazine CNN GO. 
This town was named after the Kichijō-ji Temple which was located in Bunkyō City, Tokyo, before being destroyed by fire in the year 1657. This temple, in turn, derived its name from the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, corresponding to Kisshōten in Japan.
During the Great fire of Meireki, the town in front of Suwazan Kichijō-ji Temple gate, Edo's Hongo Motomachi (now: Hongō 1-chome, Bunkyō, near Suidōbashi Station) was destroyed by fire. Afterwards, based on town planning, the shogunate rebuilt the area for daimyō residences. Since the residents who used to live in front of Kichijo-ji gate had suffered great loss of residence and farm land, the shogunate's official reed lands named "Reno" and "Mureno" were provided as substitute land for them. Those hoping to apply were given a rice stipend and house construction loans with a 5 year limit. Kichijo-ji samurai, Sato Sadaemon and Miyazaki Jinemon, in cooperation with local farmer Matsui Jurozaemon, opened up the eastern district of present day Musashino and relocated the residents there.
Soon after, with the opening of the Tamagawa Aqueduct, the previously poorly watered uninhabited Musashino Plateau was cultivated, turning it into a vast farmland. In the process, the neatly partitioned thin rectangular shaped plots of land along Itsukaichi Kaidō (ja) (currently Tokyo Metropolitan Route 7, Suginami Akiruno Line) were formed. Some migrants were granted great lengths of land of more than 1000 meters long in the land area extending from Itsukaichi Kaidō to the Tamagawa Aqueduct, up to where the Senkawa Aqueduct (ja) divides. But the soil was not particularly fertile, so all of the farmland became dry soil fields, with no wet rice fields. Because of the residents who still had attachment to the former Kichijo-ji, the new fields were named Kichijōji Village.
The neighborhood is dominated by a shopping district centered on a covered street, Sun Road, which extends north from Kichijōji Station. This well organized and clean area includes amenities, shops, entertainment and restaurants.
Halfway up this shopping street is the Buddhist temple Gessō-ji (月窓寺), with graveyard, and at the northern end of it are Shinto shrines, the latter holding the occasional festival, with amusements such as fishing for gold fish, sweet food stalls, and typical dishes.
On the north, east, and south sides of the station is a large nightlife area with many restaurants, bars, izakaya, and "live" houses. On the north-east side of the station lies a red-light district on the Chūō Line between Tachikawa and Shinjuku, containing numerous cabarets, bars, and pink salons.
Inokashira Park, the source of the Kanda River (神田川 Kanda-gawa), is located south of Kichijōji Station, and is a favorite spot for springtime hanami, or cherry-blossom viewing. Public-opinion surveys[who?] consistently designate Kichijōji one of Tokyo's most desirable residential neighborhoods. It features a large center lake, petting zoo, small cafes, food vendors, and street performers around the perimeter of the park. Nearby is the Ghibli Museum, which is part of the neighboring city Mitaka.
Seikei University (成蹊大学) is a private university in the northwestern area of the district. It is part of a wider educational institute—an escalator school—which teaches from elementary school right through to university level, and is situated amongst rows of large trees in that area of Kichijōji.
Kichijōji in popular cultureEdit
Kichijōji is often portrayed in a variety of television shows, motion pictures, literature, and other media.
- Shin Megami Tensei: The protagonist lives in Kichijōji along with his mom and his dog.
- First Kiss Story: The town in which the game takes place is modeled after Kichijōji.
- Persona 5: Inokashira Park is one of the hangout spots in the game. In the Royal edition, Kichijōji is added as a fully explorable area allowing players to visit popular spots such as Sun Road, Harmonica Yokocho (alley) and Daiyagai mall.
- NG: Visual novel game for PS Vita and PS4 taking place in Kissōji, a fictional town based on Kichijōji.
- Kujibiki Unbalance
- Ocean Waves: The first and last scene of the film take place at Kichijōji station.
- Ultimate Girls (1st episode)
- Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu: "Uncontrollable Bluebird"
- Yawara! (14th episode)
- Maria-sama ga Miteru
- Aura Battler Dunbine: The main protagonist lives in Kichijōji.
- Genma Wars
- Megazone 23
- To Love-Ru
- DD Fist of the North Star
- Tesagure! Bukatsu-mono
- Happy Jozy: A comedic family of Americans experience life in Japan taking place in Kichijōji.
- Brothers Conflict (Noticeable in episode 1)
- Kichijōji Catwalk
- Tokyo Tribes (Santa Inoue)
- Fourteen (Kazuo Umezu)
- Nantoka Narudesho! (Hisashi Eguchi)
- Cher Gou Gou ... Mon Petit Chat, Mon Petit Ami (Yumiko Ōshima)
- I"s (Masakazu Katsura)
- Video Girl Ai (Masakazu Katsura)
- Ellie My Love (Mako Takami)
- Itazura na Kiss (Kaoru Tada)
- Kodoku no Gourmet
- Restore Garage 251 (Ryuji Tsugihara)
- Kichijōji Gang (Sachiko Nagahama)
- Café Kichijōji de
- Great Teacher Onizuka (Toru Fujisawa)
- Cat's Aï
- Chūō-sen Drops (Natsuo Motomachi)
- Rokudenashi Blues (Masanori Morita)
- Sgt. Frog (Mine Yoshizaki)
- Is Kichijōji the Only Place to Live? (Hirochi Maki)
- Hinako Note (Mitsuki)
- Sebastian (Sōkichi Miyata)
- Amacchoroi Love Song (Sōkichi Miyata)
- The Mirage Flowers (Tadaaki Horai)
- Sayonara Kēki to Fushigina Ranpu (Jun'ichi Kanai)
- Kichijōji no Asahina-kun (Shōichi Katō)
- Rinjō (Hajime Hashimoto)
- Parks (Natsuki Seta)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- The best place to live in Tokyo is...], Robert Michael Poole, CNN GO, 22 February 2011
- "This Town In Japan Is Named After Goddess Lakshmi". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
- "事業概要." "【住所】 [出版コンテンツ事業部（編集部）・キャラクター事業部・総務部] 〒180-0004 東京都武蔵野市吉祥寺本町 2-4-14 メディ・コープビル8 3F TEL/0422-29-0414（代表） FAX/0422-29-0413"
- "The Animerica Interview: Takahata and Nosaka: Two Grave Voices in Animation." Animerica. Volume 2, No. 11. Page 11. Translated by Animerica from: Takahata, Isao. Eiga o Tsukurinagara, Kangaeta Koto ("Things I Thought While Making Movies") Tokuma Shoten, 1991. Originally published in Animage, June 1987. This is a translation of a 1987 conversation between Takahata and Akiyuki Nosaka. "Kichijoji is the Tokyo area where "Studio Ghibli," frequent Takahata collaborator Hayao Miyazaki's studio, is located.[...]—Ed."
- "And the most desirable area in Tokyo is…". JAPAN PROPERTY CENTRAL. 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
- "Spring School Program 2011 Application Form" (Archive). Little Angels International School. Retrieved on March 9, 2015. "Little Angels International School 4-9-15, Honcho, Kichijoji, Musashino-shi, Tokyo 180-0004 (〒180-0004 東京都武蔵野市吉祥寺本町4-9-15)"