by AJS Member – Taeko Matsunaga
Dear AJS-Q Members. My name is Taeko Matsunaga and I’ve been a member of the society for quite a while.
I’d like to introduce you to my hometown, Kunitachi in Tokyo.
Kunitachi is a cute little town, in the Western suburbs of Tokyo. About half an hours train ride out from Shinjuku on JR Chuo Line.
Kunitachi is famous for its cherry blossams in Spring. So many people visit Kunitachi to enjoy its beautiful cherry blossoms and the cherry blossom festivals, the Sakura Festival is at the beginning of April each year. I was born and raised in Kunitachi and have many memories of enjoying this festival.
Kunitachi is also famous for its many schools and universities, and is designated as a Special District for Education. The most famous university is Hitotsubashi University which is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. Kunitachi also has many boutique shops, restaurants and cafes to explore and enjoy.
Some of the places I recommend to visit are:
Daigaku Dori (University Street)
Daigaku Dori is the main street of Kunitachi. There is an interesting rumour that it used to be used as a runway for aeroplanes. This, however,has never been confirmed but it’s an interesting idea and possibly explains such a large straight street for a small town. The street is lined by about 200 cherry blossom trees and in the winter they are decorated by Christmas lights which makes the street quite magical and beautiful.
Kunitachi Station Building
This famous and very cute building is very popular amongst people who visit and love Kunitachi. It was deconstructed and taken away due to refurbishment of the JR railway line in 2006. However, the station was completely refurbished and returned to its original location in 2020. Interesting, the last time I visited Kunitachi, I discovered a manhole cover with the station building’s picture and took this photo! It was quite exciting!
Sawanobori Kiwi Fruit Farm
Just across from my parent’s home is the first ever kiwi fruit farm in Japan! I didn’t even know this fact existed until recently myself. It’s in the middle of a quiet residential area and you would never think there is a farm with such history. And it is very popular for families to take their children to as I did with my little boy – he loved it.
Yabo Tenmangu (Yabo Temple)
Many locals visit Yabo Tenmangu for the New Year and the Shichi-go-san Festival being, the festival for children when they reach the age of three, five and seven years.
Yagawa Ryokuchi (Yagawa Wetlands)
In the Yagawa area, there are numerous wetlands with springwater flows. You could easily think you have left Tokyo and are somewhere deep in the Japanese country side.
Finally, If you would like to know more about Kunitachi, please visit the official visitor’s guide website. As I haven’t lived there for some time, I always check this webiste before I go home to plan great places to visit.
(Sadly the website is in Japanese only): www.kunimachi.jp
I really love and miss my hometown very much and it would be wonderful if you could visit. I am sure you will find the town very interesting and one day perhaps we may even bump into one another!