By Elena Lisina
Higashi-Koganei is one of two stations on the JR Chuo Line in Koganei city. It’s a lovely area with lots of students and families biking and walking about which makes it a safe area all around. This area also has a lot of guesthouses and dormitories where you can rent rooms for a reasonable price, like Oakhouse Guesthouse, which is less than 20-minute walk from Higashi-Koganei station.
In Higashi-Koganei station is Nonowa, a small and easy to navigate shopping complex built within the station for the convenience of train commuters. Its design is made to resemble European streets with its cobbled pathways lined with Parisian street lamps and comfortable storefront designs. The warm yellow light creates an atmosphere that’s relaxing to the eyes of a tired commuter exposed to the fluorescent white light of the train and perhaps even from work.
It is easy for tourists and travellers too as Nonowa has cafes and restaurants that sell non-Japanese food like Lotteria with burgers and pasta on their menu. Another restaurant of note is Beer Hall Danke, serving Japanese and foreign food with beer. On the other side of the station are more shops that mostly sell pastries, sweets and coffee, which is great when you travel in the morning. Across this is the Higako Marche, a grocery store where consumers can buy produce when they want to cook a meal at home. Another grocery (although much smaller) is The Garden where they have select foods as well as foreign brands and wine. They also have ready-made food that gets cheaper in the evening as groceries tend to discount their goods before closing time.
Scattered amongst the restaurants are clothing boutiques for fashion savvy shoppers or even commuters when they suddenly need to buy something more weather appropriate to wear like rain boots and coats. At the very end of Nonowa is Kokumin, a health solutions shop where people can buy health and beauty products for an inexpensive price. All the restaurants and store signs are displayed in the English alphabet, which makes it even more convenient for non-Japanese speakers. JR Higashi-Koganei Station is just 20 minutes west of Shinjuku Station and makes for a pleasant trip to the suburbs.
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