Japan’s tallest Skyscraper planned in the Mori Toranomon-Azabudai Proj

Mori Construction is planning a new tower in Toranomon which will become Japan’s tallest.

https://www.rethinktokyo.com/news/2019/08/27/japans-tallest-skyscraper-revealed-mori-toranomon-azabudai-project/1566862334

Q plaza Ikebukuro

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

By Staff

Name: Q Plaza

Kind: Shopping

Location 35°43’52.29″ N 139°43’01.10″ E

Just 3 blocks from JR Ikebukuro Station‘s east exit is a new and popular shopping mall called Q Plaza.

This is the new trendy spot in Ikebukuro.

To get here, exit the station’s east exit, cross the street, and at the end of the crosswalk, take the street entrance on the left straight ahead.

Walk about 3 blocks, and Q Plaza will be on your left on a corner.

There’s an entire CAPCOM-themed floor here, as well as lots of cafés, restaurants, stores, and other stuff to see.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Side street next to Q Plaza.

There’s also an IMAX theater, a Tully’s Coffee with charge outlets, and a 7-11. There’s another café called Lamb + Peace (hey, it’s Japan), shown above.

Definitely worth a look.

As a footnote, Tokyu Hands Depato is just 1 block to the south, and the Sunshine City complex is just a few blocks to the southwest across the street.

Enjoy.

LINKS

https://www.q-plaza.jp/ikebukuro/

https://www.tokyu-hands.com.sg/

VIDS

Return to Itabashi – An 18-year journey – PART 3

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By Staff

Be patient – the photos may take a while to load.

Name: Itabashi

Kind: Town

Location: 35°44’45.85″ N 139°43’03.77″ E

Also see Part 1, Part 2.

The West Side, Foot Paths, and Don Quijote

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The west side of Itabashi is a long 2-lane highway running north to east. Head south from here and you’ll end up in Ikebukuro.

If you head out to the west side of Itabashi you can get a nice neighborhood walk through residential backstreets, and along a nice brick footpath which will lead you out to a major 2-lane highway which leads south to Ikebukuro.

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Backstreets, Itabashi.

To get here from the west side square, follow the way we describe in Part 2 to the Yorkmart grocery, head south, cross the train tracks, and make an immediate right down the first street on your right:

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On the right side of this street is a long footpath which winds for several blocks, and then turns left:

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As you come to the end of this first part, be on the lookout for a turn to the left in the path shown here:

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You’ll pass this apartment complex, and the now-abandoned Ruhe Coffee Shop:

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On the way, you’ll also cross many side streets such as this:

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And more small houses such as this:

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As you pass this chomé sign, you’ll know you’re getting close:

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As you come to this part of the path, with lots of trees, you’re getting near the end. At the end of the path, there will be a big red Eneos gas station sign on the right. At this point, turn left.

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Along the way you’ll see many stop signs, which in Japan are red triangles:

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As you turn left, Don Quijote discount store will be on your left. There is also a nice bicycle shop and golf shop right next to it:

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Don Quijote discount store in Itabashi – look for the crazed penguin.

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The madness that is Don Quijote.

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In Don Quijote, you can even get a Press Sand Maker for a mere $15 USD.

Past Don Quijote, if you follow this highway and head south, you will arrive in Ikebukuro. But be careful – it’s very easy to get lost on backstreets and wind up on the other side of town in no time.

Well, that’s it for this 3-part guide to Itabashi. We hope you’ve found this guide useful – and we hope you will enjoy your trip to Itabashi.

Return to Itabashi – An 18-year journey – PART 2

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

By Staff

Be patient – the photos may take a while to load.

Name: Itabashi

Kind: Town

Location: 35°44’45.85″ N 139°43’03.77″ E

Also see Part 1, Part 3.

In Part 1, I discussed my return to the small Japanese town of Itabashi after 18 years. For links and videos, see that post.

In Part 2 I’ll cover the town itself – things to do and see, and how to get around.

The Train Stations

There are 3 major train stations in Itabashi – and several exits: JR Itabashi Station, Shin-itabashi Station, Shimo-Itabashi Station, and Naka-Itabashi Station.

JR Itabashi Station is covered in Part 1. Shin-Itabashi Station is just a few blocks northwest of JR Itabashi Station. We’ll discuss it below.

First the JR Line. The main Itabashi station is on the JR Saikyo Line, and is between Jujo to the north, and Ikebukuro to the south. This is very advantageous – Ikebukuro is one of the biggest and most important interchange hubs on the JR lines, and can be used to route you to other parts of the city quickly – such as Eastern Tokyo (via Chuo Line), and south to Shinjuku. You can also get the Maronuchi Metro Line at Ikebukuro, which shoots you right into the heart of the Maronuchi district, or south to Shibuya. Itabashi is just far enough away to be inexpensive to stay at, but close enough to get to the major interchange stations in just a few minutes. In addition there is a lot to do in Ikebukuro itself, and if you stay in Itabashi you can sight-see in Ikebukuro without paying more for a hotel.

One stop to the north past Jujo Station is the small town of Akabane – also well worth a look. Jujo also has a small shopping arcade worth a look. You can hit both Jujo + Akabane in one day and see it all.

Shin-Itabashi Station is on the Toei Subway Line, and is just a few blocks from the main JR Itabashi Station. To get here, exit the main Itabashi Square area and head to the west side of JR Itabashi Station. There are several ways to do this – 1) Go through JR Itabashi Station, climb the stairs at the far end, exit at the top, head west, and into the square, 2) go through the small pedestrian tunnel at the south exit of the station, turn right on the first side street, and north into the square, or 3) walk north from the main Itabashi Square, then head west, then southwest down side streets to get to the square. The west/north side square is located at 35°44’47.04″ N 139°43’10.81″ E the main square is located at 35°44’43.10″ N 139°43’12.82″ E. The main station sits between them.

Once in the west square, head north out of it, turn left at the first street, then right at the next major intersection, then left 2 blocks past that, then 2 blocks up a curved road. It’s just a few blocks. Shin-Itabashi Station is on the left at the corner of the Nakasendo Hwy. Interestingly, if you head south on this highway, towards the town of Sugamo to the south, on the left and right sides, you’ll find entrances to the Toei Nishi-Sugamo Station around 35°44’37.88″ N 139°43’42.67″ E (the I-16 stop on the Toei Mita Line).

Shin-Itabashi Station.

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Nishi-Sugamo Station on the Toei Mita Line to the southeast. Sugamo is one town south of Itabashi on the Nakasendo Hwy. In fact you can walk there from Itabashi in just a few miles.

Shimo-Itabashi Station

Shimo-Itabashi Station is in the opposite direction – west of the APA Hotel, and on the Tobu Tojo Line. To get there, get to the west square outside the main JR Itabashi Station, head down the street to the south, turn right at the next street, follow it up to the YorkMart supermarket, then turn left. It’s one block to the left and you can’t miss it. Shimo-Itabashi Station is at 35°44’43.91″ N 139°42’53.47″ E.

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Shimo-Itabashi Station on the Toei Mita Line to the west. To get here, head south, then west from the west main square, up the street, then left at the YorkMart supermarket:

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To get to the YorkMart, and station, head left (west) past this bldg. just west of the west square, which is to the right in this photo.

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To get to the YorkMart, and station, head left (west) up this white-picketed street. The station is just up on the left 1 block. In early fall in Tokyo, the weather is usually still quite nice and summer-like. Just to the left of this is a large Maruetsu grocery store as well.

We won’t cover the Naka-Itabashi Station because it’s several miles to the west, but it’s interesting nonetheless. It’s also on the Tobu Tojo Line. There is also a nice shopping street and cafés around the station. There’s also a vast long walkway along a small tributary river which you can walk all the way back into central Itabashi. In fact, this waterway runs all the way back east to the Arakawa River, which empties to the south into Tokyo Bay.

South to Ikebukuro

Before we get to Itabashi’s main attractions, as a footnote, note that Ikebukuro is just to the south. Itabashi is so close to Ikebukuro, you can walk there. It’s less than 1.5 miles. Or of course, you can take the JR Saikyo Line 1 stop south. To walk, get to the east square outside JR Itabashi Station, head south past the koban, past the APA Hotel, and follow the street all the way east to Rt. 305. Once on 305, head south (right), and walk to Ikebukuro. Very short and easy walk.

Local Attractions

Itabashi is small Japanese town, and there aren’t any big, spectacular attractions. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do, and nothing to see. In fact, the town is quite charming with shopping streets, and a main walk all the way to Sugamo to the south along the Nakasendo Hwy, as mentioned above. There are 6 main areas: 1) the area to the east of the station where the main square is, with shops and cafés, 2) the area on the west side of the station, also with side streets + shops/restaurants/cafés. 3) the large shopping street to the north of the Nakasendo Hwy – well worth a look. Lots of charming cafés along this walk. There is also a huge Life Supermarket along this street, 4) the Nakasendo Hwy itself – which you can walk all the way to the south to Sugamo, and beyond that, Tokyo Dome City, 5) Happy Road Oyama Shopping Street, 6) old Shopping Street Sugamo.

Let’s take these one-by-one:

East Square and Shops

Outside the JR Station east exit is a small park with new benches, a fountain, and lots of shops and cafés around the area. On the street to the south are several cafes, and there are restaurants to the north including a big Italian place. There is also a nice Lawson conbini at the square where you can get some food to take back to the hotel or square, although eating in public is frowned on by the Japanese in general. There is a also a new small public toilet box in the square.

If you head right outside the east square, there are lots of side streets and things to explore. 2 blocks to the north is an east-west street which leads to the west square on the other side of the station. To the right is a small 7-11 and supermarket, along with a lot of other shops. To the south, a nice large Family Mart conbini.

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Looking north just outside the east square. Lots of restaurants and shops. If you head left at the 2nd light above, you’ll come to the west square. There is also a 7-11 and small supermarket just a few blocks to the right. The Lawson is just to the left before the 1st light.

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East-west road from west square outside Itabashi Station. Turn right here, then right again to get to the south/east side of the station. The CO-OP grocery on the corner is quite good and inexpensive. Just above that is a Gusto Café.

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More nice local restaurants and shops on the east side.

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Explore the area to the east of the station – side streets and interesting things around every corner. If you go far enough east, you’ll come to Rt. 305, which leads to Ikebukuro to the south.

Also on the east side – further east beyond the shops – is the Toden Arakawa Line – better known to locals as the Sakura Tram – and is one of the last small-scale functioning trams in Japan. You can buy a ticket at the station, and ride a loop line around Tokyo and back. The tram has huge windows – giving a vast and clear view of the surrounding area.

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West Square and Streets

To the west of the station is another central square, with side streets with lots of shops, restaurants, and cafés. If you walk far enough west down the side streets from here, you’ll find the YorkMart grocery store. There is another large grocery (CO-OP) on the corner on the north side of the block the square is in too. To get here, exit JR Itabashi Station at the west exist, and head straight ahead.

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A pano of the west square – west exit from the JR Itabashi Station on the left, square in the center, around to the bike locker on the right. Turning right beyond the bike locker takes you down a road to the east side of the station. The large organic grocery (CO-OP) is the orange building shown on the right to the north of the bike locker. The bike locker here is paid, but fairly cheap – around 400¥ for 16 hours. If you leave a bike here, you’ll need to feed the parking machine once a day.

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View from the west side square. Side streets are in the center. There is also a nice café on the corner. A Welcia drug store is also down this street. To get to the YorkMart grocery store, head down the street to the left, turn right at the next intersection, then west up the street.

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The west square at night. The Maruju Café on the corner is quite good.

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Another restaurant on the backstreets on the west side.

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Just to the east of the CO-OP grocery, across the railroad tracks is a large TSUTAYA record shop. If you continue right from here for a block, then right again, you will come to the east square.

Shopping Street to the Northwest of Nakasendo Hwy

At 35°45’00.43″ N 139°42’48.55” E along the Nakasendo Hwy, a long shopping street splits off to the west. It’s well worth a look and goes on for miles. To enter, look for the 1950’s-style Gusto Café on the right, and the Percona Bank on the left. This is where the entrance is. To get to this entrance from the city square, head north on side streets from the station, cross the Nakasendo Hwy, and get onto the sidewalk on the north side. Head west. Keep walking several blocks, until you find the entrance. There is also a nice Family Mart along this area. This street has all kinds of shops and nice cafés like something you’d find in Europe. There is also a huge Japan Post Office here.

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Shopping street entrance. Nakasendo Hwy is just on the left. This is facing northwest.

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Nakasendo Hwy facing west. There are also sidewalks for peds and bikes.

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Nakasendo Hwy facing southeast towards Sugamo. We’ll get to this next.

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Along Nakasendo Hwy. there are a lot of nice cafes and shops you can check out too.

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The Bridge Café.

There are plenty of nice cafés along the street you can visit.

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There are all sorts of old interesting things to see along the shopping street. In this case, an old Japan Post residential mailbox.

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An old abandoned bike along the shopping street – with a warning telling the owner to remove it. This has been sitting here at least 10 years, maybe 20. Probably once a young girl’s bike – now since long moved on. The ghosts of the past.

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A small historical monument.

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There is also a Can*Do 100¥ shop on the street too.

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Chrome-plated fire hydrants along the street – the Japanese don’t mess around.

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The main shopping street, looking west.

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Further up the street you will come to this bridge, which is a good photo spot.

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Lots of small food shops such as Tiktea line the street.

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The Smash Hair Salon. Typical Japanese trendiness.

Happy Road Oyama Shopping Street

Far to the west of the central part of Itabashi is shopping street called Happy Road Oyama Shotengai. It’s located at 35°44’52.85″ N 139°42’07.87″ E and runs east to west. Definitely worth a stroll.

Nakasendo Hwy SE->Sugamo->Tokyo Dome City

Starting at approx. 35°44’54.94″ N 139°43’17.21″ E – just north of the town center in Itabashi, you can go all the way southeast on the Nakasendo Hwy – stop in Sugamo, then beyond down to Tokyo Dome City (TDC). It’s only a few miles and walkable in a few hours. On bike, only about 25 mins. Very easy. A nearly straight shot.

There are a few gotchas – such as the road split about 1/2 way to TDC which you must be aware of – we covered that in another post about biking from Itabashi to TDC. Don’t forget the Japanese drive on the left so it’s a good idea to stay on the left sidewalk side of the road.

The city has installed a new bike lane on part of the road near the universities area north of Tokyo Dome, so that part is easy and safe – although sometimes delivery trucks will park in the new bike lane – so be careful as you ride.

From Itabash Station, walk north til you hit Nakasendo Hwy – you can’t miss it since it’s a huge 2-lane street. You may want to cross to the north side of the street once on the sidewalk, then head right (south).

Footnote: Nakasendo Hwy later changes names down near TDC – and is called Hakusan-Dori or Rt. 403. The two are synonymous.

There are 3 main areas on the way: central shops and sidewalk to Sugamo, Sugamo area and station itself (there’s another nice APA Hotel in Sugamo), road split + university area after Sugamo, and Tokyo Dome City/Bunkyo Civic Center at the end. Along the way there are all kinds of restaurants and shops – including a MOS Burger, and Freshness Burger. There is also a very nice chocolatier shop near the Freshness Burger – just south of it on the same side of the street, in fact.

So…. here’s how to go:

First you’ll go south on the sidewalk/street for a long way. There’s not much to mention here – lots of ordinary high-rise apartments, and some shops. This part looks like this:

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This part goes on for quite a way – just keep going.

After a while you’ll come into an area with more shops, gas stations, food, and other retail:

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Keep going – head past this + just keep heading south.

After a while you’ll come to a similar area with a MOS Burner on the left, then critical split in the road, which you must take. If you don’t, you’ll end up way to the east on Old Hakusan-Dori which will lead you away from TDC. We show both below:

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Continue on the left here ’til you hit the MOS Burger:

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As a footnote – if you turn left on the next street immediately after the MOS Burger, you end up in Komagome – another small Japanese town.

Now the critical split: just on the right, you’ll see the area shown below with a weird split in the street – there’s a light on the right, with a bike lane about 5 ft. long, then another street, then another sidewalk across the street. This photo is facing southwest:

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Wait for the crosswalk signal, then proceed across.

Old Hakusan-Dori goes off to the left. You don’t want that – you want to cross to the other side where you see the people standing, then immediately follow the sidewalk south again (left, or south). This puts you back on Hakusan-Dori south heading towards TDC. Don’t miss this crossing, or you’ll be lost!

On the other side, you’ll see the Freshness Burger:

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Don’t cross all the way to the Freshness Burger – you want the left at the first sidewalk before that.

As you continue south again, you’ll be in the university area. There are several universities here, as well as the new city bike lanes on both sides paved with blue pavement:

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As this photo shows, trucks can block the bike lanes, so be careful.

This section is all downhill, so if you’re on a bike, you can actually get a good cruising speed going.

Past this area, you’ll come into Sugamo. There is an APA hotel here, then the Sugamo subway station, with a covered shopping street, a Beck’s Coffee, and other shops and food:

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APA Hotel just before Sugamo Station, facing south.

Cruise past the APA hotel, through the covered shopping street, and past Sugamo Station:

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Looking back north in the covered shopping area.

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Sugamo Station.

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If you want to take a break, there is also an atré shopping area just behind Sugamo Station.

Keep heading south past the station.

After just a few more miles, you’ll start to see TDC come into view. The first sign will be the Ferris wheel and roller coaster tracks in the distance:

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Cruising into Tokyo Dome City, on the right. Biking in makes it a quick trip.

If you’re on bike, you’ll want to turn right at the corner shown above because the bike parking lot is 1 block to the right, across from Bunkyo Civic Center. If you’re on foot, you’ll want to continue south for 1 block, then cross at the light and head right into TDC area.

Footnote: if you head left at the intersection shown above, in just a few miles you’ll be in Ueno. If you head left at the next block south shown above, you’ll end up in Akihabara. Both are less than 1 hour’s walk.

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Bunkyo Civic Center. The bike parking lot is just behind it to the right. Also behind BCC is Korakuen Station – one of the most critical stations on the Maronuchi Metro subway line. The round top area of the bldg. is a free observation deck with some of the best views in Tokyo.

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Bike parking, right, Korakuen Station (M22), left. Tokyo Dome City is just to the left. Korakuen Station is the 4th stop on the Maronuchi Line – which makes it an ideal jumping off point to Ikebukuro to the west, and Tokyo Station to the east. You can also get the Namboku Line here, which will shoot you south to Iidabashi Station where you can interchange to the Hanzomon Line for Oshiagé-SKYTREE Station. Hanzomon Line can also shoot you to Shibuya to the south. Ikebukuro is the western terminus.

Marunouchi Line map. The current station is shown in red. The small colored circles on the line map indicate interchange stations to other lines. Text is both English and Japanese. Some stations, such as Akasaka-Mitsuke are critical interchanges to major lines such as Ginza and Namboku. The arrows indicate the name + number of the next + previous stations on the line.

There are all kinds of shops along both sides of the streets. Restaurants, and a British “The Hub” pub on the corner at the light. Just to the south of that is Meets Port – another shopping area that is part of TDC.

If you head just up the street to the west behind Tokyo Dome Stadium, you can visit Korakuen Gardens, which is spectacular – it’s less than a block.

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Hakusan-Dori looking back north. Meets Port is just ahead. Turning right on Sotobori-Dori/Rt. 405 will take you back to the east side of Tokyo.

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Don’t miss the New Yorker’s Café right across the street.

Well, you made it. Now enjoy Tokyo Dome City – there are all kinds of things to do here – rides, restaurants, a grocery store, shopping mall, coffee, and a baseball museum. Nana’s Green Tea matcha parlour is not to be missed in the LaQua mall area. There is also a nice Don Quijote discount store right across the street. There is a luxury hotel as well as a First Cabin capsule hotel right in TDC.

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Tokyo Dome Hotel and ride @ Tokyo Dome City.

As a footnote if you head just another block south, you’ll come to Suidobashi Station. See our other article on things to explore around the Suidobashi Station area. That article also covers how to make the trip entirely on bike.

Enjoy your time in Itabashi. We hope this guide makes your visit easier and enjoyable.

LINKS

Toshima City

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimo-Itabashi_Station

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naka-Itabashi_Station

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1066446-d9569977-Reviews-Happy_Road_Oyama_Shotengai-Itabashi_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

https://www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/meetsport/

https://tokyocheapo.com/locations/north-tokyo/komagome/

VIDS

This vid shows both the east and west city sqaures.

Tokyo Drew has a nice vid inside the Tokyo Dome City area

Edo-Tokyo Museum

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The Edo-Tokyo museum is a huge historical museum located just outside the JR Ryogoku Station. This museum is a must-see in Tokyo. It’s scale is staggering. This massive museum contains an entire Edo-period village, exhibits, and even real personal effects of the late Emperor Meiji from the 1860’s. It’s easy to get to by JR train – get off at the Ryogoku Station and head north. It’s just a block or two.

Entrance fee is $6, but well worth it. If you’re on bike, there is also a nice, free bike parking lot towards the back:

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Head up the stairs near the read of the bldg, and left to the ticket counter.

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After you buy a ticket in the massive concrete courtyard, head up the massive escalator on the right.

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Inside the museum, there is a full-scale bridge, and an entire Edo-period village.

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This isn’t a model – this is full scale and those are real people.

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There are also dioramas……

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A 15th century samurai armor.

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19th Century Typewriter

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Emperor Meiji’s personal ship artifacts.

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Meiji Era paintings, created around the time of his death.

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There’s also an old auto museum.

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1960’s Japanese apartment.

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Early Toshiba applicances, which are considered national treasures.

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There is also a World War 2 museum – including the original Instrument of Surrender.

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This museum is well worth its $6 admission fee, and is a must-see. Be sure not to miss it.

On your way out, be sure to check out Garden + Pizza on the backstreets behind the museum:

LINKS

https://www.edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp/en/

Also see:

Shiodome

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Name: Shiodome

Kind: Town

Location: 35°39’33.98″ N 139°45’29.15″ E

The page may take a while to load due to photos.

Just south of Shimbashi Station is an area known as Shiodome (pronounced ‘shee-o-dome-eh’). The main Shiodome area is just to the south of Shimbashi Station as shown in the photo above. There’s lots to do around this area. We’ll cover each area below.

As a footnote, Tokyo Tower is not too far to the northwest several blocks.

To get here, take the JR Yamanote Line or the Ginza Metro Line to Shimbashi Station. Go under the tracks and southeast a few blocks. The main complex consists of the tall green Panasonic bldg., Shiodome City Center, Caretta Shiodome, and Nippon TV Tower. Further to the east of this area is the world-famous Hamarikyu Gardens and Takeshiba Pier, on the Tokyo Bay Waterfront.

Shiodome City Center

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Looking east into Shiodome.

Just behind the station to the southeast is Shiodome City Center. This complex contains various office bldgs, the Nippon TV Tower, Panasonic Tower, and a variety of underground and open-air malls.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

What would Japan be without giant rubber ducks?

Nippon TV Tower/Media Tower

Nippon TV Tower is the largest of these buildings. It contains mostly offices, but also a large underground and open-air shopping mall. Definitely worth a look.

Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli Clock

Outside on the east side of the tower is a giant working steampunk clock designed by famed anime designer Hayao Miyazaki whose 2003 film Spirited Away won many awards and accolades. To get to it, walk up the pedestrian walkway stairs, and head towards the east side of the building. It’s right outside on the east face. The clock alarms every hour on the hour and is worth a look to watch. There are also some street-level shops + cafes on the level below the clock.

The clock is shown in the photo on the left above, and in a larger photo below.

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If you continue across the street on the walkway to the east, and go back down to street-level in the photo shown on the right above, you’ll come to the Don Quijote Ginza store – one of the biggest Don Quijotes in Japan. Don Quijote is billed as an “Amusement Discount Shop” and has just about everything from food to household items, to luggage, to clothes. Oddly, for some reason this Don Quijote has a quite a good selection of cheap bikes for sale right out front on the sidewalk. The GM Hummer bike shown on the right is a mere $250 USD.

There is also the Park Hotel Tokyo here:

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As a footnote, if you head just north of the Don Quijote, you’ll come into Ginza. On the right is one of the biggest and most upscale Family Marts in Japan. There is also the Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza here, which at $150/night is quite excellent. Might be worth a night or two’s stay just to experience the hotel.

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Nakagin Capsule Tower

Just to the south of the Don Quijote is the world-famous Nakagin Capsule Tower – Japan’s first capsule hotel. The bldg. is now being turned into a condo development. It’s worth the short walk to check out the architecture.

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Panasonic Living Showroom

At the base of the Panasonic bldg., there is the Panasonic Living Showroom – which displays all kinds of products made by Panasonic for house construction, as well as entire house models and lots of brochures and info on their products. Worth a walk through. Admission is free.

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Caretta Shiodome

Right across the street to the south of City Center is Caretta Shiodome – a massive mixed use shopping mall and entertainment complex. There are various floors with restaurants, shops, food stores, and theaters. One of the more interesting spots here is a lighting display outside in the courtyard right in front of the entrance. Seasonal lighting is usually displayed with great effect, especially at Christmas. There is also a nice observatory here. Definitely worth a stroll. See some of the videos at the end of this page.

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Someone has even appropriated legendary Hong Kong actor Sammo Hung’s name for this restaurant in Shiodome.

Former Shimbashi Station Building

Just to the east of the large building in Shiodome is the Former Shimbashi Station Building. This was the original train station in Shimbashi which dates back to 1899. No photos are allowed inside the bldg, but you can walk around the outside and still see the original track coverings from the original line, shown on the right in the photo below. In 1938 the current Shimbashi Station was built after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 which damaged the original line. The original building has been preserved in excellent shape and is worth a look. Just to the northeast of this a few blocks is the current Shimbashi Station.

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There is an amazing old photo of the 1899 station over on the Wikipedia page about Shiodome. The Japanese back then never could have imagined the city which would grow up around the station today.

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Shimbashi Station, looking back south towards Shiodome.

Yurikamome

In between the main Shiodome area and Caretta Shiodome is the Yurikamome train line. There’s a station in between the two elevated right in the middle of the street. Yurikamome is a fully automated train system in a loop that runs across south Tokyo and all of the man-made Odaiba islands out in Tokyo Bay. There are many stops on the line including Shiodome, Odaiba where Diver City, Tokyo Big Sight, and Joyopolis are located. The train also has huge open front and rear windows so you can enjoy the view. The train crosses Tokyo Rainbow Bridge so you can get a beautiful view of the bay on your way out. Definitely worth a ride.

To get to Yurikamome, enter the elevated station from one of the stairways on the street between City Center and Caretta Shiodome, and head up to Shiodome Station. Your Suica card or other prepaid IC card will work fine at the turnstyles.

Note that Shiodome Station is only the 2nd stop on the Yurikamome Line – the first is Shimbashi to the north – the line’s northern terminus.

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The elevated Shiodome Station – 2nd stop on the Yurikamome Line.

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The elevated Shiodome Station – as seen from street view across the street. Note that there are no street-level crosswalks in Shiodome – everything is elevated for all pedestrians.

Hamarikyu Gardens

Just to south of Shiodome is Hamarikyu Gardens – probably the most famous gardens in Japan. The entrance fee is $6 but it’s worth it. The gardens and pond inside are spectacular with great views of Shiodome. To get here, cross the pedestrian overpass to the east, walk down to street level, then head south a few blocks. As the road winds right, cross at the intersection for the entrance to the gardens. You can’t miss it.

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Quitting time at an office bldg. across from the entrance to Hamarikyu Gardens. The entrance is just across the street at the light. There is also a nice long jogging path on the north side of the gardens.

Takeshiba Pier

The real gem of Shiodome is the area to the east on the Tokyo Waterfront: Takeshiba Pier. This place is definitely worth a look. Lots of shops and things to do, or just sit at the waterfront and enjoy the view of the bay. To get here, walk the jogger’s path south on the west side of the Hamarikyu Gardens, loop around and cross to the left (east) into the pier area. Very nice.

Tokyo Drew has a nice little walkthrough:

Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu Gardens

Just to the northwest of Takeshiba Pier is Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Gardens. This is a smaller garden but it has some great views of Shiodome and is well worth a walk through. It’s just a block away, so hit it on the way out.

Walking

You can also wander around the backstreets of Shidome – although there’s not as much to do at street level – not as many shops and attractions as other parts of Tokyo. For a more interesting street-level view, you might want to try Shimbashi just to the north, or Ginza, just to the northeast. Shidome does have a bit of an odd quasi-futuristic sanitary feel to it, but it’s still interesting nonetheless.

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Scooters are still quite popular in the area.

LINKS

https://www.gotokyo.org/en/destinations/central-tokyo/shiodome-and-shimbashi/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiodome

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3030.html

https://www.caretta.jp/foreign/index

https://www.yurikamome.co.jp/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yurikamome

https://www.tokyogaijins.com/maps/takeshiba.php

https://sumai.panasonic.jp/sr/tokyo/

https://www.the-royalpark.jp/the/tokyoshiodome/en/access/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1066451-d14008829-Reviews-Hayao_Miyazaki_s_Nippon_Television_Giant_Clock-Minato_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Ka.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1066443-d1604472-Reviews-Mitsubishi_Ichigokan_Museum-Chiyoda_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1066451-d11621549-Reviews-Takeshiba_Pier-Minato_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

https://www.tokyogaijins.com/maps/takeshiba.php

https://tokyocheapo.com/entertainment/panasonic-shiodome-museum-of-art/

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Takeshiba+Pier&t=ffab&ia=web

http://www.bigsight.jp/english/

https://www.apahotel.com/en/hotel/shutoken/shinbashi-onarimon/

https://www.gotokyo.org/en/spot/740/index.html

https://www.gotokyo.org/en/spot/1618/index.html

https://officee.jp/en/catalog/New+Pier+Takeshiba+South+Tower/35343/

VIDS