Secret Cobblestones of Hide-and-Seek Alley – Tokyo, Japan - Atlas Obscura

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Secret Cobblestones of Hide-and-Seek Alley

A few hidden stones are said to bring fortune and love.  


Kakurenbo Yokochō, usually translated as Hide-and-Seek Alley, is a quiet little alley lined with traditional Japanese restaurants and izakaya, a lesser-known gem in the upscale Kagurazaka district of Shinjuku City.

The alley is known for its quaint cobblestone pavement, consisting of roughly 28,000 pieces of granite known as pincoro stone. When its drainage underwent repairs in 2016, the cobblestones were also replaced by new ones, along with a few secret additions. The stones in question, one heart-shaped and two with engravings: a pentagram and a diamond.

As the rumors about them slowly spread, they came to be known to have magical properties, which may grant a certain sort of luck to those who manage to find the stone.

The heart-shaped stone, for example, is said to make the finder more likely to find love, while the pentagram is associated with work-related success and the diamond with monetary luck. The only catch is that you have to find them on your own. 

Know Before You Go

The alley is easily accessible from either Kagurazaka, Ushigome-Kagurazaka, or Iidabashi station. While the heart and the star are hidden in plain sight, the diamond is extremely hard to find as it’s very worn and faded, though still visible if you know where to look.

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August 9, 2022

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