Suitengumae Superguide

Name: Suitengumae

Kind: Town

Location: 35°41’02.66″ N 139°47’04.25″ E

Worth it? For a quick look.

Updated 9/25/2020

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Suitengumae

Suitengumae (or simply “Suitengu“) is a small residential town just to the northeast of Tokyo Station. You can get here by taking the Metro Hanzomon subway line, or by walking or cycling. The walk is not far – about 2-ish miles. To walk or cycle from Tokyo Station, exit on the Yaesu (east) side of the station at the north exit, then head north until you hit Rt. 10 (Eitai Dori), then head east. About a mile down, you’ll come to the Minato Bridge which crosses the Nihonbashi River. The coordinates for this turn are roughly at 35°40’44.68″ N 139°46’59.90″ E. Turn left (north) and cross the bridge. Head north a few blocks and you’ll come to a massive 4-level freeway interchange above you. Turn left here. Keep this interchange in mind as it’s an important landmark for several reasons explained below. Also under this overpass is an entrance to the Metro subway Suitengumae Station which also houses the Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT) which is explained below.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

The huge freeway interchange north of Eitai Dori looking back west along Rt. 50. Suitengumae Station is behind the camera to the left.

Yaesu (east) exit with Tokyo Station on the right. This is facing south. Eitai Dori is to the left (east).

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just outside the Yaesu (east) side of Tokyo Station. Head north here to reach Eitai Dori, then head east (right).

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

West (Marunouchi) side of Tokyo Station at night. Just to the left out of frame is an entrance to the Hanzonmon Line underground. Suitengumae is to the east of Tokyo Station down Eitai Dori (Rt. 10). This photo is facing northeast.

If you turn right at this interchange you’ll come to the Sumida River a few blocks down. But instead turn left and a few blocks back east you’ll pass the Royal Park Hotel on your right, and come to another Suitengumae Station entrance on your left. You’re now in the heart of Suitengumae. In fact, there are several Suitengumae Station entrance/exits scattered all around the area. You’ll have to go inside the station to get familiar with all the exits and where they lead. The station itself is entirely underground and except for the large entrance where T-CAT is, the only evidence of the station you’ll see are the small stairwells on the sidewalks.

An alternate walking route would be to cut down side streets east of Tokyo Station, then re-emerge onto Rt. 10 a few miles down.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Cutting east down side streets in Tokyo on the way to Suitengumae.

Trains

If you want to take a train to Suitengumae you’ll need to find the Hanzonmon Line on the Tokyo Metro. You can get it from Tokyo Station, or from Otemachi Station just to the north, but be warned that the tunnels + routes to Hanzomon Line are underground in Tokyo Station and are miles of labyrinths. You can easily get lost in them, and even if you don’t it takes forever to get to the actual Hanzomon Line platform under Tokyo Station. An easier way is to find a Hanzomon Line entrance on the surface streets north of Tokyo Station and head down. You still may have to walk a bit so be prepared. The entire experience is generally known around Tokyo to expats as Hanzomon Hell (see videos below). Sometimes you have to walk through entire shopping centers + up and down multiple flights of stairs to get to where you want to go. You can literally spend hours walking around in the system under Tokyo Station – so be prepared.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Abandon all hope of your feet not hurting all ye who enter here. Once you descend into Hanzomon Hell in search of a subway entrance, it may be quite some time until you find what you are looking for. Be prepared to walk. It may take hours.

Another corridor in Hanzomon Hell. Be ready to walk (and walk, and walk, and walk).

You can also get on the Hanzomon Line at Otemachi Station (Z08) just to the north, or you can switch at Otemachi Station from the Tozai Line, Chiyoda Line, or Marunouchi Line. If you’re coming from Ginza just to the south, you can take the JR Yamanote Line to Tokyo Station from Yurakucho Station or the Yurakucho Line from Yurakucho Station. You can also change directly to the Hanzomon Line from Nagatacho Station on the Yurakucho Line. If you’re on the far west side of the city, you can get on the Tozai Line at Nakano Station, then change at Yurakucho Station. The Hanzomon Line stops at various other places all the way across the city, terminating at Shibuya.

Jump To Tokyo Sky Tree, Sumiyoshi, Kinshicho, and Shibuya

One other interesting footnote about the Hanzomon Line and Suitengumae is both make access to Tokyo Sky Tree easy. Oshiagé/SKYTREE is the western terminus of the Hanzomon Line. If you stay at lodgings near Suitengumae Station, it’s mere minutes to Sky Tree to the northeast. Suitengumae Station is roughly at the middle 1/3 of the Hanzomon Line (Otemachi) which makes it a good spot for access to both the east + west sides of Tokyo. It’s closer to Sky Tree than to Shibuya in the west, but both are still easily accessible. We’ll discuss lodgings a bit more below.

2 stations to the west is Sumiyoshi, then Kinshicho, and then Oshiagé/SKYTREE.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Station maps of Marunouchi, Chiyoda, and Tozai lines. Colored circles next to each station indicate line interchange stations. The station highlighted in red is the current station.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

One of many surface street entrances to the Hanzomon Line in Otemachi.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Approaching the Ootemori level of Hanzomon Hell under Tokyo Station – only one of many levels you will have to pass through to find the subway platform you want. The station levels themselves are quite nice – it’s the miles of walking that makes it hell.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Ootemori

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Deep inside Hanzomon Hell under Tokyo Station. As you come upon a Metro line sign in Hanzomon Hell, you may think your walk is over, but you’re not even close. You’ll often see signs like these color-coded with the line symbol and color, and a message of how much further (such as “Hanzomon Line 500m”) with an arrow. You get duped into thinking it’s just ahead but in reality you’ll have to pass through many such signs to reach the desired platform. What these signs really mean is “X number of meters until the next corridor junction or stairwell or escalator. So it really ends up being many such paths of 500m + 700m + 300M + 200M…. Before you know it, you’ve been walking for 2 hours and have walked over 5 miles!

Suitengumae Station + Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT)

One of the best-kept secrets in Tokyo is the Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT). It’s inside Suitengumae Station and it has buses that depart to both Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport. The buses are very cheap at around $9 per one-way ride. That’s about 1/2 the cost of taking the NE’X or Keisei Skyliner from say, Ueno. It’s a good idea to go a few days before your departure date and buy a ticket in advance.

Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT) just under the freeway overpass interchange. Suitengumae Station is also inside. There’s also a small shopping mall. The pink bldg. visible ahead on the left side of the photo is the Royal Park Hotel. Just to the right behind the station next to the hotel is a huge paid bike parking lot. There is also a station entrance leading underground inside the hotel.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT).

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Station map inside Suitengumae Station.

Bike Parking + Royal Park Hotel

Just west of the station is the very luxurious Royal Park Hotel. It’s very nice but a bit expensive. Expect to pay $200 or more per night. On the northeast corner of the hotel is a huge outdoor paid bike parking lot where you can lock your bike for the day if you need to. Cost is around 400¥ ($4) for 8 hours.

AEON Supermarket + Doutour

There’s not a lot in the way of food around Sutengumae Station. There’s a Family Mart conbini (convenience store) just across the street as well as a 7-11. Just to the east across the street is a Doutour café which is quite good. A few blocks to the east on the same side as the station is a nice AEON supermarket which has good organic vegetables very cheap. They also sell KAGOME bottled vegetable drinks + bottled coffee. Most of the real food in Suitengumae is back towards the west along Rt. 50 where Suitengu shrine is (see below). There is also a post office along this route.

Looking back east along Rt. 50 towards the expressway interchange. The Royal Park Hotel is on the left.

The AEON Supermarket a few blocks east of the station.

Doutour café also a few blocks east of the station, facing south.

Eitai Bridge + Ookawabata River City

If you walk back to where the IBM HQ bldg. is, you’ll find a small bridge named Toyomi Bridge. You can cross back onto Eitai Dori by crossing this bridge. Once you’re back on Eitai Dori, if you head further east you’ll come to the world-famous Eitai Bridge with its iconic view of Ookawabata River City. You can walk or ride a bike across this bridge and stop mid-way to take photos. If you cross the bridge to the east and keep going, then turn south along Kiyosumi Dori, you’ll find the Tokyo University Centennial Museum of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT), which also has a large wooden sailing ship, the Seimyo-maru outside to check out.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Ookawabata River City as seen from Eitai Bridge.

View of Ookawabata River City + Eitai Bridge from futher up the Sumida River.

Kiyosumi Park + Kiyosumi Teien Japanese Garden

A bit to the northeast of Suitengumae across the Sumida River is Kiyosumi Park and Kiyosumi Teien Japanese Garden/Ryōtei Tea House. The garden is spectacular, especially in the fall and is well worth a stop. You’ll need to cross the river and then head north on side streets for a few blocks, but it’s not too far and is well worth the trip.

Suiten-gū (水天宮) Shrine

Perhaps the biggest historical attraction in the area is Suitengu Shrine, established in 1881. It’s just up Eitai Dori on the north side of the street to the west of Suitengumae Station. The shrine’s wooden architecture is amazing. Worth a look.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Suitengu Shrine, facing north. Suitengumae Station is to the right, out of frame.

Lodging

Aside from the Royal Park Hotel, there are a lot of guest houses and AirBnBs in the area, but the hidden gem to stay at is First Cabin Suitengumae. First Cabin provides luxury capsule lodgings for a reasonable price. Expect to pay $42/night or so. Hidden down a little side street just to the east of the interchange overpass, First Cabin Suitenguemae is worth a stay. The building has been fully remodeled and the facilities are spotless. There’s also a small Lawson conbini a few blocks to the north. The staff is very helpful and there’s a large lobby with tables + chairs to sit at where you can eat your brought-in food. The hotel also sells small breakfasts in the form of croissants, bagels, and pastries. There’s also a coffee machine. Overall, very nice. To get to FCS, head back east on Rt. 50 through the overpass, past a small Koban (police box), past the AEON supermarket, then make the next left (north) down the next side street. Continue north past the bagel shop, then a few blocks up turn right. The building is a tall narrow white/gray bldg. with a First Cabin sign on the front.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Head left (north) past Ozo Bagel.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Look for First Cabin down a side street to the right.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Looking south from the entrance to First Cabin. The overpass is straight ahead over Rt. 50. Turning right onto Rt. 50 here will lead you to Suitengumae Station a few blocks up.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside First Cabin standard room. There is also a small lock box on the left for your belongings.

Lobby lounge inside First Cabin Suitengumae.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Restroom inside First Cabin Suitengumae.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Another First Cabin – this one over in Toranomon.

https://first-cabin.jp/en/hotels/32

Additional Notes

From Asakusa you can take a world-famous boat cruise up the Sumida River past Suitengumae.

Just to the south of Suitenguemae on the banks of the Sumida River is the Japanese HQ for IBM Corporation. There’s a walkway all along the Sumida River which runs for miles.

Additional Photos

The massive 4-level Metropolitain Expressway interchange north of Eitai Dori. The T-CAT/Suitengumae Station are underneath this overpass on the north side. If you head far enough east on this road and turn left (north) you can hike to Sky Tree in about 9 miles.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Hanzomon Line entrance in Tokyo Station. The line map is overhead with each station. Red indicates the current station.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Line entrances @ Otemachi Station. Each line has a colored circle, and a letter. The current station number for this station on each line is inside each circle at the bottom. Some, but not all stations are interchanges for other lines.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Another street entrance @ Otemachi Station. There’s also an area map. The green symbol to the right is the Toei subway system symbol – an alternate system from the Metro but which uses many of the same stations.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside the lower level of Suitengumae Station. Note the bank of coin lockers on the right.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Street entrance to Suitengumae Station on Eitai Dori. Just to the right in the upper corner is the Royal Park Hotel. Just down the side street to the right is an outdoor paid bike locker. This is facing west towards Tokyo Station.

Hanzomon Line platform.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Hanzomon Line platform. The yellow rubber tracks are for sign-impaired people. The rubber tracks allow them to use their canes to find their way. Sort of like braille for walking.

The Marunouchi Line whizzes by under Tokyo Station. “Marunouchi” literally means “Home Circle” in Japanese ( “Maru” (circle) “no” (of) “uchi” (home) ).

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Entrance to Hanzomon and Chiyoda Lines in Tokyo Station. The numbers indicate which platform side, the colors indicate which line. Some recent renovations in some stations in Tokyo also include lighted color stripes on the walls to indicate which path to take.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

More levels inside Hanzomon Hell.

LINKS

Metro Suitengumae Station

https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/otemachi/index.html

https://tokyo-tokyo.com/Suitengumae.htm

https://tokyocheapo.com/locations/central-tokyo/suitengumae/

http://www.suitengu.or.jp/

https://tokyosharehouse.com/eng/

http://www.ootemori.jp/index.php

https://www.pokemoncenter-online.com/cafe/

https://first-cabin.jp/en/hotels/32

VIDS

Tokyo Pancake Superguide

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

A pancake craze has hit Tokyo.

There are awesome pancake shops all over the city. Many of them are quite good – must visits. Some of these places are pretty crazy – offering stacks of 8-12 pancakes with scoops of ice cream, chocolate, honey, fruit, eggs, and whipped cream.

In the battle for king of the Tokyo pancake houses, there are two top contenders: Flipper’s and A Happy Pancake. Both are out of this world. Flipper’s seems to be the obvious winner – with a huge place in Harajuku (shown below), and one in Shibuya as well. There are others. A Happy Pancake also has one in Harajuku, as well as a slightly smaller one in Ikebukuro. (There are 5 A Happy Pancake‘s total – Omotosando, Shibuya, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Kichijoji).

See our post on A Happy Pancake Ikebukuro for a full review.

There is also a Flipper’s in S. Korea + a new one in New York City now. Flipper’s also has a small stand shop at Newoman @ Shinjuku Station.

After those 2 reigning kings, next on the list are j.s. Pancake Café (several all over Tokyo), and Rainbow Pancake in Ikebukuro.

Other’s include Bank’s Cafe Shibuya, bill’s Omotosando, and gram Harajuku (see below). All are excellent.

Flipper’s Harajuku/Omotosando. There is also one in Ebisu/Daikanyama. Expect a line most times. It’s that good.

Gomaya Kuki Harajuku

Another popular pancake shop in Harajuku is Gomaya Kuki. This shop is world-famous for its pancakes served with ice-cream and sesame + matcha parfait. Along with Flipper’s a must try if you are in Harajuku. If you plan to hit both shops at the same time, you may want to walk 15 miles or so first sightseeing so you’ll be really hungry.

gram Harajuku

gram Harajuku is a smaller out-of-the-way pancake shop in Harajuku. A very nice shop with seating for about 30, they serve fluffy pancakes with fruit and syrup. Very nice. There are, in fact, several of them all over Tokyo and Japan as well as overseas. See their website for a complete list.

NOA Coffee Harajuku

NOA Coffee in Harajuku has a nice selection of waffles which are well worth a try. The cafe is just inside Takeshita St. on the right as you enter the street. Take the JR Yamanote Line or Chiyoda Line on Fukutoshin Line on the Tokyo Metro to the Meiji-jingumae <Harajuku> Station and exit to the north to find the entrance to Takeshita St.

Cafe Plant’s Odakyu @ Shinjuku Station

In the Odakyu department store (i.e. depato) next to Shinjuku Station there’s a cafe called Cafe Plant’s which serves great pancakes. Worth a look. To get here, get off at JR Shinjuku Station and head up to Odakyu on the northwest side.

Clover Ebisu

Also in Ebisu is Clover’s – a definite must-see. Northwest of Ebisu Station, Clover’s has a wide menu with lots of luxurious choices. You can’t go wrong here – but come ready to eat. And we mean eat.

R.L. Waffle Café @ Tokyo Station

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

At the east side of Tokyo Station is the R.L. Waffle Café – well worth a visit. The blackberry ice cream variant shown above is out of this world. Head out the Yaesu Central Exit, head south along the sidewalk, and it’s the last shop on the right. There is also one in Akihabara. They even have matcha waffles.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Head south along the Yaesu (east) side of Tokyo Station. Both R.L. Waffle Café and Volputas are down on the right.

Volputas @ Tokyo Station

Also at Tokyo Station – on the outdoor east floor just above R.L. Waffe Café is Volputas Pancake Dessert Café. Serving mostly stacks of pancakes with heaping piles of fruit, it’s well worth a stop. Prices are fairly reaonable. Expect to pay 1200¥ ($12-17). They also have smaller plain stacks for around $8.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Sarabeth’s @ Tokyo Station

At the opposite end of Tokyo Station on the east side is Sarabeth’s. It’s just to the north of the massive Daimaru department store and south of the $400/night Shangri-La Hotel. The menu is excellent, but be prepared to spend a bit more – up to $30/person. Well worth it, however, once in a while.

The massive Daimaru food palace at the northeast end of Tokyo Station. Sarabeth’s is just out of frame to the right. Daimaru also has an awesome depachika (food basement).

KYOBASHI SEMBIKIYA fruit parlor @ Daimaru

On the 3rd floor of the Daimaru food palace next to Tokyo Station is the KYOBASHI SEMBIKIYA fruit parlor. While mostly fruits and sundaes, they also have waffles. Worth a look.

CAFE EIKOKUYA @ Daimaru

Also @ Daimaru on the 7th floor is the CAFE EIKOKUYA.

Rainbow Pancake Ikebukuro

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Rainbow Pancake in a mall in Ikebukuro. Well worth a stop. There is also one in Shibuya. To get to Rainbow Pancake, get to Ikebukuro Station, enter the SEIBU department store from inside the station, or the street, and head up to the top floor. There is also one in Omotosando.

Leis’ Hawaiian Pancake + Coffee Ueno

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just across from Ueno Station to the west is Leis’ Hawaiian Pancake + Coffee – a must-see. It’s on the 2nd floor of the Marui Bldg. (OIOI). As a footnote, there is also a Seria 100¥ store and a Ueno Tourist Info office in this bldg. also.

Kirby Cafe @ Tokyo Sky Tree

Courtesy Tokyo Drew

In the small town of Oshiagé is Tokyo Sky Tree and on the upper deck in the “East Yard” of the Solamachi complex is the Kirby Café. This shop sells delightful themed pancakes and is well worth a stop.

j.s. Pancake Café Nakano

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Over in Nakano west of Shinjuku is the j.s. Pancake Café – a bit out of the way, but huge + well worth it. There are 12 of these all over Japan.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

MOKUOLA Dexee Diner, Ikebukuro LUMINE

On the top floor of the LUMINE department store in Ikebukuro is a great pancake place called Mokuola Dexee Diner. They also have great hamburgers. You can get a variety of pancake plates for around $8-$10. The chcolate ones are fabulous. Other options include fruit, whipped cream, and matcha.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

LUMINE Ikebukuro just south of the station on the West Gate Park side. Head to the top floor.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Head up to the Specialty Dining Floor.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

MOKUOLA Dexee Diner Get ready for some unbelievable pancake plates.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

They also have souffle + ice cream desserts.

Milky Way Café Ikebukuro

On the other (east) side of Ikebukuro Station to the southwest is the Milky Way Café. It’s on the 1st floor in the bldg. shown below just across from a major intersection. While Milky Way is mostly an ice cream parlour, they also have pancakes.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Milky Way, Ikebukuro.

Shibuya

In Shibuya are Micasadeco & Cafe and Burn Side Café. Both are excellent. Micasadeco are known for their big stack of Ricotta chese pancakes served with whipped cream. Burn Side Cafe has a wide menu with chocolate pancakes, fruit, and pancakes served with ice cream. Come hungry.

Benitsuru (formerly “Flamingo Café”)

In Shibuya is a great new cafe called Benitsuru (Pink Crane). Formerly known as Flamingo Café, the place has been remodeled + updated. Reservations are required. You need to go to the shop, make a reservation + deposit 2000¥ ($20) for a reservation. Seating is limited. They serve a huge stack of fluffy pancakes with egss and bacon. Not to be missed. Paolo From Tokyo has a video about the place (see below). There is also a Benitsuru in Ueno.

Also in Shibuya is the Jimmy Monkey Café. Serving pancakes + light French Toast, they also serve ice cream, burgers, and coffee. Worth looking in.

IVY PLACE

Also in Shibuya is Ivy Place, with a nice upscale atmosphere, and plenty of seating. You can see their menu here.

Milk

Milk “Craft Cream” is a small shop specializing in fluffy pancakes and pastries in Shibuya. Worth a look.

Cafe Asan, Ueno

In Ueno, in Tokyo’s northeast is Cafe Asan. It’s in a little art space called 2K540 hidden under the freeway north of Akihabara Station. Well worth a trip on foot – it’s only a mile or so. They are closed Tuesdays. Cafe Asan has unusal hammock-style seating which makes it more interesting, if not a little unusual for a restaurant. Still worth a look. They have giant fluffy pancakes and souffles with heaping servings of fruit + a mountain of whipped cream. 2k540 is roughly located at 35°42’10.66″ N 139°46’25.45″ E.

Ginza

A small shop on a side street in Ginza, Yukinoshita is well worth a stop. Featuring smaller, refined plates of fluffy pancakes + french toast, it’s worth a look.

bill’s Ginza

Also in Ginza is the great bill’s – a must-see. They have a nice modern environment, and a wide menu with lots to chose from. They also serve a variety of wine + coffee. There’s a review of bill’s @ the Pancake Club Blog.

eggs n’ things Ginza

eggs n. things “Breakfast from Hawaii” in Ginza is also worth a look – with a Hawaiian theme it’s an enjoyable experience. They serve big plates of pancakes with heaping piles of whipped cream + fruit. They also serve burgers and a variety of drinks. Worth a stop. There’s also a review over @ the Pancake Club Blog in Japanese only.

French Toast Factory, Akihabara

In Yodobashii Akihabara, on the food floor, you’ll find the French Toast Factory. Well worth a visit for the light yet thick French Toast served here. To get there, take a train to JR Akihabara Station, and exit northeast.

Flying Scotsman, Akihabara (フライング・スコッツマン 秋葉原)

Just to the northwest of the Akihabara UDX Bldg. down a little side street is Flying Scotsman pancake shop. It’s a small shop with limited seating but is well worth the trip. To get there exit the JR Akihabara Station Electric Town (North) Exit and head northwest up the next side street north to the west of the UDX Bldg. It’s down a side street on the left roughly around 35°41’59.81″ N 139°46’19.92″ E.

Café Hudson @ Shinjuku Mylord

In the Shinjuku Mylord bldg. next to Shinjuku Station is Café Hudson – a nice indoor pancake and coffee shop. There is lots of seating and a vast menu of variety to chose from. And it’s really easy to get to – take a JR or subway line to Shinjuku Station, and exit the new remodeled north entrance and head west. The Mylord bldg. is just at the west end of the station. You can also get to it from the Southern Terrace. The cafe is smoke-free, but note they don’t have free WiFi. Still worth a look however – a very nice place to eat. It’s on the 9th floor.

French Toast LONCAFE Meguro

French Toast LONCAFE in Meguro is a small shop that serves great French Toast and champaign. There is a shop in Meguro and one in Shinjuku as well. Both worth a look.

Pinnochio Itabashi

Just north of Ikebukuro in the small town of Itabashi is the Pinnochio Coffee Shop. This shop is well-known in the area for its great pancakes. To get there, walk northwest of Ikebukuro on the Central Circular Route, on the west side of the street, and hang a left around 35°44’41.50″ N 139°42’28.77″ E down a side street. To get to Central Circular Route from Ikebukuro Station, you’ll have to wander northwest on side streets for .65 miles. The east way is to get onto Rt. 315 west + head northwest, then turn right. The entire walk from the station is only a few miles and isn’t that hard.

Rt. 315 NW out of Ikebukuro heading towards Pinnochio. Take a right at the next major intersection to get to the Central Circular Route.

The massive Central Circular Route in Itabashi. Hang a left here.

Pinnochio Coffee Shop, Itabashi.

Roppongi

Incredibly, the Snoopy Museum of Tokyo also has a Snoopy Pancake Breakfast – if you’re in Roppongi, be sure to check it out.

egg Café Kokubunji

About 14 miles to the west of central Tokyo is egg Café Kokubunji. While their menu selection is a bit limited, their pancake meals are out of sight + are well worth a trip if you have time. It’s located on a little side street at 35°42’08.60″ N 139°28’51.85″ E.

Chaka @ Kita-Sensju Station

In the far north part of Tokyo, near Kita-Sensju Station is Chaka, a small pancake shop which serves fluffy pancakes + fruit as well as bacon + eggs pancakes. To get here take the Hibiya or Chiyoda Metro Subway line to Kita-Sensju Station. Chaka is near the station on Kyu Nikko Kaido St. Chaka requires a reservation from their site.

3 Stars Pancake Kawasaki

To the southwest of Tokyo in Kawasaki is 3 Stars Pancake. A bit of a hike just for a pancake shop but if you’re in the area, worth a stop.

Denny’s

Oddly, unlike their counterparts in the US, most Denny’s in Japan are lacking in the breakfast area. Most Japan Denny’s are more lunch-oriented. They do have breakfast, but they are much less impressive + generally smaller than in the US – for pancakes in Japan, really not worth it.

Walk It Off

Don’t worry about gaining weight when you pig out on pancakes in Tokyo. You’ll most likely walk 10-15 miles a day as a tourist when there so you won’t gain weight. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see tiny Japanese women in pancake palaces in Tokyo wolfing down huge plates of pancakes with ice cream. The daily walking routine in Tokyo means most of the calories are burned off in less than a day. Which means you can enjoy eating even more.

Conclusion

Well, that’s it for now. We’ve only scratched the surface here. There are many more pancake shops in Tokyo worth checking out. We’ll keep this page updated if we come across any new cool pancake houses in Tokyo.

Finally, for the most insane comprehensive OTT catalog of pancake places in Tokyo check out the TCS Pancake Club website. This unbelievable site has a review of literally 1000’s of Tokyo pancake shops. It’s so comprehensive it’s hard to imagine how the 2 ladies who run it found the time to compile the list (with photos and descriptions in Japanese only, unfortunately – they’ve been at it for 10 years). Quite an impressive list.

Enjoy!

LINKS

http://blog.livedoor.com/10th/history/tcspancake

Happy Pancake Ikebukuro

https://www.rl-waffle.co.jp/en/

Rainbow Pancake Shinjuku

http://cafeasan.jp/

Café Asan Ueno

https://www.gotokyo.org/en/spot/240/index.html

gram café Harajuku

NOA Coffee Harajuku

https://www.gram-inc.com/

https://billsjapan.com/jp

Burn Side St Cafe Shibuya

Ivy Place Shibuya

https://kirbycafe.jp/

http://tacchans.blog.jp/archives/83433992.html

Flying Scottsman Akihabara/Okachimachi

https://www.bankscafe.jp/menu

https://www.odakyu-sc.com/shinjuku-mylord/shop/list/?id=960

Pinokio, Itabashi

https://www.eggg.jp/cafe_kbj_about.html

http://www.french-toast-factory.jp/

https://monkeycafe.jp/main/cafe/index.html

http://japanshopping.org/archives/shop/34

Best fluffy pancakes in Tokyo

https://snoopymuseum.tokyo/s/smt/page/english?ima=0000

Best Places To Try The Famous Japanese Fluffy Pancakes In Tokyo!

Steamed bun pancakes are this year’s must-try sweet

Tokyo’s Best Fluffy Pancakes

5 Cafes with the Fluffiest Japanese Pancakes in Tokyo

https://www.tsunagujapan.com/12-best-pancakes-in-tokyo/

Where to Eat Fluffy Japanese Pancakes in Tokyo

Japanese Chain Flipper’s Pillowy Pancakes Delight

Why Is Tokyo Crazy About Pancakes?!

https://www.insider.com/fluffy-japanese-pancakes-new-york-worth-wait-2019-10

https://www.japan-experience.com/to-know/chopsticks-at-the-ready/japanese-pancakes

https://cafegeekjpn.blogspot.com/2016/12/jingumae-rainbow-pancake.html

https://japantoday.com/category/features/food/pancake-cafe-from-fukuoka-comes-to-tokyo

https://gurunavi.com/en/g135126/rst/?ngt=TT11010bb51005ac1e4ae6a0EnpUUWcEUMgS_9L054xGTD

https://favy-jp.com/topics/2525

https://bit.ly/3lSeZeJ

https://bit.ly/3jSpXPw

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/restaurants/pinocchio

https://sharing-kyoto.com/Blog/b_pancakes-in-kyoto

my Cafe & Foodie Journey in Japan

5 Best Pancakes in Akihabara

Encyclopedia of Pancakes: Tokyo Edition

http://tacchans.blog.jp/ (Japanese Only)

https://www.seria-group.com/shop/detail.html?code=000002195

VIDS

Iidabashi Superguide

Name: Iidabashi

Kind: Town

Location: 35°42’01.65″ N 139°44’57.25″ E

Station: Iidabashi Station

Free WiFi: Yes

Worth it? For a quick look.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Last updated 8/22/2020

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Iidabashi is a small town in central Tokyo just west of Tokyo Dome City and just east of Kagurazaka. Just to the south is the Imperial Palace and Maruonuchi areas.

To get here take the Tozai Line, Namboku Line, or Yurakucho Line and get off at IIdabashi Station. The Yurakucho Line can also shoot you into the Ginza area @ Yurakucho Station by going east across Tokyo. The Tozai Line has some other notable nearby stops such as Nakano, Waseda, and Kagurazaka. It’s also less crowded. The Namboku Line stops @ Korakuen Station at Tokyo Dome where you can change to other critical lines such as the Maronuchi Line (which can also shoot you to Ginza, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Tokyo stations).

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Maronuchi Line map @ Korakuen Station.

History

The area was originally called Iidamachi (literally ‘Iida’s Town‘), named after a local samurai in the late 1500’s – Iida Kihei. Later a bridge (bashi) was built in the area. The town informally came to be known as Iidabashi (‘Iida’s Bridge’) during the Meiji Restoration of the mid 1800’s. But the town wasn’t officially renamed to Iidabashi unti 1966 when the first post office was opened there.

Area Layout

Central Iidabashi – the main intersection with its huge elevated walkways is in the middle. The station is in the center left below the walkways. The Ramla complex is in the tall bldg. on the left. Mejiro Dori is the street running to the south towards the Imperial Palace. If you head east (right in this photo) at the small 2-story white bldg. in the center, you will come to Tokyo Dome. Shinjuku is to the west (left).

IIdabashi is a rather small town by Japanese standards but is just central enough to be important for easy access to different parts of the city. The town is mostly organized around one central intersection on Rt. 8 (Mejiro Dori), and includes 4 major streets – 2 running north, one running east-west, and one running south (Mejiro Dori).

The central area around the major intersection has everything you want to see as well as IIdabashi Station on the southwest corner. The station is the small tan bldg. on the right shown in the photo at the top of this page.

Just to the right of the station is a Becker’s (Bekazu’s to locals) which has all kinds of food and great burgers. Just to the right (west) of that around the corner is a shopping complex called Ramla.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Ramla complex, left. The station is just around the corner to the left. If you head up this street (west) for about 1/4 mile, then turn right, you’ll come to Kagurazaka. There is also a Metro subway entrance for Iidabashi Station there. A few blocks down on the left is the Canal Café.

A reverse view of the station – looking back north. The station and Ramla are on the left.

There is a massive long walkway system with stairs on each corner of the intersection. You’ll have to climb the stairs and then walk along the walkway to get to the other side.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

The massive pedestrian elevated walkway.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Get ready to climb some stairs.

On the walkway, facing east. Tokyo Dome Hotel is just barely visible in the upper left side of the photo.

If you cross to the northwest corner of the walkway, then down to the street, you’ll be on a street running northwest (the next street to the north of the street Ramala is on), you’ll find some good restaurants and shops. There’s a nice Tully’s Coffee right on the corner, ramen and soba noodle shops, pizza, and a nice Italian place across the street called Spiga. A few more blocks up the street on the left is a Doutour café which has some good cheap food like lettuce hot dogs for a few bucks. There is also a Denny’s in the area.

Facing west. Station is to the southwest.

Spiga restaurant.

Plenty of local places to eat.

Hotels

There is the aforementioned Tokyo Dome Hotel to the east in the area, a nice FLEXStay Inn to the northwest a bit (up Shin-Mejiro Dori), and a nice APA Hotel to the south on Mejiro Dori. All are worth it. Tokyo Dome Hotel tends to run roughly around $100/night, the other two around $65-80, depending on season + demand. There are various other hotels in the area.

Walk to Imperial Palace + Marunouchi

Once you’ve had your fun in Iidabashi, you can stroll for a few miles south on Mejiro Dori and after crossing Rt. 302, it will turn into Sotobori Dori. Continue south here for about 1/2 mile until you hit Hakusan Dori and then turn right, then 1 block and turn left. Continue south a bit more, and you’ll come to the Imperial Palace (south on Rt. 301).

Head south on Sotobori Dori for 1 block, turn right onto Hakusan Dori shown here, cross over the river, then make the next left for the Imperial Palace.

The entire walk is only a couple of miles. Just to the east of Imperial Palace is the Otemachi/Marunouchi financial district which is well worth a look. But be prepared because the Marunouchi area is vast + takes several days to explore fully. The Otemachi/Tokyo Station underground area is a city unto itself.

As a footnote, if you turn around north on Hakusan Dori it will take you all the way back north to Tokyo Dome City.

That’s about it for Iidabashi. It’s a nice little town for a quick evening or weekend look.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

Another view of the station from the walkway stairs.

The small Doutour Café on the right. Station is down the street straight ahead, then right.

The huge walkway coming down the street from the Doutour. Tully’s is on the right, out of frame.

LINKS

https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/iidabashi/index.html

https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/line_tozai/index.html

https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/line_namboku/index.html

https://www.ramla.jp/

https://chikatoku.enjoytokyo.jp/en/spot/ramla.html

https://tokyocheapo.com/locations/central-tokyo/idabashi/

https://www.canalcafe.jp/

http://tenmintokyo.com/2020/07/12/walk-in-waseda/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1066457-d1095031-Reviews-FLEXSTAY_INN_Iidabashi-Shinjuku_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

https://www.doutor.co.jp/en/

VIDS

Toranomon Superguide Part 1

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Toranomon

Kind: Town

Where: 1-chome, 23-1~4, Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Location: 35°39’55.04″ N 139°44’46.09″ E

Station: Toranomon Sta. on the Metro Ginza Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Yep.

Last updated 8/7/2020

Page may take some time to load due to photos.

Be sure to see Part 2 of this guide.

Toranomon means ‘Tiger Gate‘ – in medevil times the area was the southernmost security point for the Imperial Palace.

Area Layout

Facing North – Toranomon Hills is the tall dark bldg. at the top, the main road (Rt. 405) runs north/south, and Shiodome area is at the bottom. APA Hotel Toranomon is in the center right of the frame, and First Cabin Atagoyama is on the center left. Tamiya Playmodel Factory is in the center, and Tokyo Tower is to the upper left, just out of frame. Further to the north is the Akasaka area and the central gov’t. Shimbashi Station if off to the lower right out of frame.

The Toranomon Incident

From Wikipedia:

“The Toranomon Incident (虎ノ門事件 Toranomon Jiken?) was an assassination attempt on the Prince Regent Hirohito of Japan on 27 December 1923 by communist agitator Daisuke Namba”.

Toranomon Hills

Toranomon Hills is the tallest building in Tokyo. That title is expected to be surpassed in 2022 when a new, taller complex in Toranomon is built. The complex is spectacular + includes an office tower, shops, and lots of restaurants. Behind the tower is a medical facility + an open space green park.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Toranomon Hills, facing west. The tip of Tokyo Tower is just visible in the distance.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

There is a nice pastry shop on this side of the complex. At Halloween, the Japanese don’t play games.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Entrance to Toranomon Hills.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

The park behind Toranomon Hills.

Looking east from Toranomon. Toranomon Hills is on the left.

Tamiya Playmodel Factory

Tamiya Playmodel Factory (pronounced ‘Tom-eee-ya‘, not ‘Ta-my-ya‘ is a nice small shop by Japanese plastic model maker Tamiya. There are lots of high quality models + supplies here, and some built dioramas of WW2 military scenes using the models. It’s right on the corner of the main street running north-south through Toranomon – Rt. 405.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Tamiya Playmodel Factory in Toranomon @ 35°39’52.90″ N 139°45’17.96″ E. Usually open until around 9PM (21:00 in Japanese lingo).

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Racks of historical Tamiya military models.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Slight Diversion – North/South: Akasaka + Shimbashi

If you head just south on 405 from Toranomon you will come into Shimbashi and just beyond that, Shiodome. Toranomon is within walking distance of both.

If you go the other direction – north – and make a few winding turns to the northwest you will come to one of Tokyo’s premiere areas – Akasaka. Akasaka is the area just to the west of Japan’s central government. In fact, you can see the Prime Minister’s office from there. The nearest Metro subway station to Akasaka is Akasaka-Mitsuke Sta. on the Ginza or Marunouchi Lines. There are several station exits – on Rt. 405 itself across from Bic Camera, one in the basement of Bic Camera in the .BelleVie shopping complex, and one just behind the government buildings. It’s a bit of a hike to Akasaka from Toranomon, but doable. There is also a newer Toranomon Hills Station (H06) as well – on the Hibiya Line. You can also change lines @ Toranomon Hills Sta. for the Ginza Line to Ginza, Ueno, and many other stops.

There is another station called Tameike-Sanno on the street behind the main street where the Akasaka-Mitsuke Station is. Either one works fine – if you get off at Tamieke-Sanno Station you’ll just have to walk a couple more blocks. Tameike-sanno Station is so-named because it also has an exit in the basement of the huge Sanno Park Tower – on whose top floor NTT DoCoMo has their headquarters. In the Sanno Park Tower basement there are also all kinds of restaurants, shops, and cafés. Sanno Park Tower is located on the corner of 405 and the side street where Tameike-Sanno Station is located.

As a footnote just across from Tameike-Sanno Station are two excellent hotels: APA Pride and The Capitol Hotel Tokyu. APA Pride is incredibly grand + it’s reasonable – off season around $70/night. But beware since it’s just behind the gov’t buildings, the gov’t will often take over the entire hotel for visiting international groups and cancel all guest reservations with only short notice. Still, it is an excellent place to stay. The Capitol Hotel Tokyu is right next to APA Pride but it is orders of magnitude more upscale. It will cost you around $400/night but it’s incredibly deluxe. Both hotels make access to the main part of Akasaka easy.

Akasaka-Mitsuke Sta. on Rt. 405 in Akasaka.

Tameike-Sanno Station shown on Google Earth. The Ginza Line here can shoot you to the east side of Tokyo in minutes. The huge building in the distance is Akasaka Intercity Air. Just out of frame to the right across the street are APA Pride and The Capitol Hotel Tokyu. You can shoot down to Toranomon Station just one stop to the south from here on the Ginza Line. This photo faces south. The corner of the Prime Minister’s office bldg. is visible just under the street light.

The Akasaka view from the far end of the street shown in the previous photo looks like this – facing back north. Sanno Park Tower is just on the corner on the left. The small round circular area is an elevator entrance to subterranean shops + another station exit. The small brown bldg. just up the side street in the center is APA Pride hotel and The Capitol Hotel Tokyu just to the left of it. There is another station entrance across the street to the left out of frame in this photo. Bic Camera is out of frame up the main street to the left, also out of frame. A really interesting area in Akasaka is a small street behind the Bic Camera – it’s full of all sorts of restaurants, shops, and hotels. If you are on bike, you can ride all the way south from here, into Toranomon, and further south into Shimbashi/Shiodome.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Prime Minister’s Office. APA Pride hotel + The Capitol Hotel Tokyu are just up the side street to the left.

Looking back south from Akasaka. Toranomon Hills is the tall tower in the distance.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

A spectaular sunset in fall cruising down Rt. 405 south on bike from Akasaka heading towards Toranomon. To the west (ahead) is Tokyo Tower just out of frame to the right. Japan is far enough north that in late fall the sun goes down around 3:30 PM.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside the very swank Capitol Hotel Tokyu. A top 5-star hotel, but it will cost you. Oddly, there is even an upscale 7-11 in this hotel’s basement.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Lobby.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Tameike-Sanno Station entrance to the Maruonuchi Line in Capitol Hotel Tokyu‘s basement. The 7-11 is just to the right out of frame. This hotel is so deluxe even the subway entrance looks like a king’s palace.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Bic Camera Akasaka. Just to the right in the .BelleVie complex is the Tokyo Metro subway entrance for the Ginza and Maruonuchi Lines:

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just pop in + hang a right down the stairs to the basement – Metro signs are overhead on the right where the small colored circles are for each line. If instead you go straight ahead you’ll pop out on a charming little backstreet lined with all kinds of restaurants, shops, cafés, pastry shops, wine bars, noodle shops, izakaya, chocolatiers – you name it. Further down the street to the left is Akasaka SACAS + Tokyo Broadcasting System‘s HQ. The entrance to this street is roughly at 35°40’37.47″ N 139°44’11.90″ E.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

The charming little side street behind (west) of Bic Camera. Also shown below:

A spectacular day in Akasaka – the Akasaka SACAS/TBS complex is straight ahead. Toranomon is to the left (south).

Akasaka overall map – Sanno Park Tower, center, APA Pride Hotel/Prime Minister’s Office on the right, center, Bic Camera just out of view at the upper left corner. As a fun footnote the elevators up to the top-floor NTT DoCoMo HQ have to be seen to be believed – mostly glass, they shoot you up through the tower at incredible speed as the ground + building appear to drop out from under you. You can’t go in the offices, but you can go in their lobby + look around. Toranomon is to the right down the main street (southeast).

Sky view map: Tokyo Tower (left), Shinjuku center (far in the distance), Atago Green Hills Mori Tower, center right (see part 2), and Toranomon Hills tower, far right. This photo is facing northwest. Central Tokyo + the Imperial Palace are just a few more miles to the right (east), out of frame.

But now, back to Toranomon.

Looking south on Rt. 405 in Toranomon towards Shimbashi. Shiodome is the tall bldg. in the distance.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower is visible from Toranomon, and is well within walking distance just to the northwest.

UCC Coffee Academy Tokyo

Just down the street to the southwest is UCC Coffee Academy Tokyo where you can take coffee classes (in Japanese only, however). Also right next door is giant Family Mart conbini where you can grab a quick cheap breakfast.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

“In April 2007, UCC opened its UCC Coffee Academy, Japan’s only comprehensive educational institution specializing in coffee. The academy, which enables its students to learn about all aspects of coffee systematically and at their own level, is the repository of the coffee-related information, expertise, knowledge and skills accumulated over the years since UCC was first founded. It offers a variety of programs catering to all sorts of students, from those who simply have an interest in coffee to those who want to open their own coffee shops”.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Also on this street is the HQ for Iwatani Corporation – makers of small tabletop gas stoves + other appliances.

Oki Printers HQ

Just to the west a few blocks is the world headquarters of Japanese printer maker Oki. Oki makes office printers, but in the 1980’s they were famous for a full-color ribbon-ink printer for Atari and Commodore personal computers called the Okimate 10 (which you can still find today on eBay in working condition).

Okimate 10 color printer from the 1980’s

Okimate 10 color print.

Atari 400 (1979) | Oldcomputr.com

Early Atari 400 Personal Computer circa 1980’s.

First Cabin Atagoyama

If you’re looking for a capsule hotel in Toranomon, look no further than First Cabin Atagoyama – a top-notch capsule hotel just to the southwest of Toranomon Hills. Prices in off-season run around $45-$55 and it’s quite nice. The hotel is located just to the west of the Tamiya Playmodel Factory a few blocks – on a side street.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

First Cabin Atagoyama. Oddly there is no lobby on the ground floor – go to the 5th floor instead.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside First Cabin

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just a block to the east of the First Cabin is this little Vietnamese noodle shop.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

It’s easy to eat breakfast cheap in Tokyo – in this case a tomagoyaki (fried egg) + a small BOSS Coffee from a conbini. Total: just over $2 USD.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Don’t be afraid to explore the local side streets on foot.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

There is also a very nice Japan Post Office in the area.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Well, that’s it for Part 1. Be sure to see Part 2 of this guide.

LINKS

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

Toranomon Station

Toranomon Hills Station

Toranomon Hills – Wikipedia

Toranomon Hills Mori Tower

Okura Museum of Art

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills

Aman Tokyo – Luxury Urban Hotel (A mere $1,000-$2,000 USD per night)

Oki Data C531dn Digital Color Printer

Tamiya 1/35 Military Miniature Series

BOSS Coffee

Capitol Hotel Tokyu Akasaka

https://whenin.tokyo/The-Tavern-Grill-Lounge-Toranomon-Hills

VIDS

Tokyo’s Toranomon Neighborhood View | General MacArthur Road

Harajuku + Omotesando Superguide

Name: Harajuku + Omotesando

Kind: Town

Location: 35°40’11.89″ N 139°42’32.43″ E

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Free WiFi? Yes.

Worth it? Do not miss it.

Updated 9/25/2020

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Page takes time to load due to photos.

Harajuku + Omotesando are 2 famous co-joined areas in west central Tokyo. Both spots are popular among young people + tourists.

Just to the east is Aoyama.

Harajuku is most famous for its shopping street – Takeshita Street. Omotesando Blvd. is runs parallel just to the south and is much bigger with more upscale shops + eateries.

Just to the north is Yoyogi and just to the south is Shibuya. Harajuku Station is on the JR Yamanote Line on the west side of Tokyo. A brand new larger JR station was completed in late 2019 to replace the historic aging older wooden station, which is now much too small for the tourist load. The new station is just south of the old one in the same block.

Just to the west of the station is Yoyogi National Gymnasium and Yoyogi Park – one of the most popular parks in Tokyo – and well worth a stop in spring, summer, and fall.

To get here, take any JR line that changes with the JR Yamanote Line, and get off at Harajuku Station. As a footnote, there is 1 other Metro station – Omoto-sando Station, all the way on the east side of Omotesando. You can traverse Omotesando Blvd. in a flash by shuttling between these 2 stations if you take the Chiyoda Line.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Old Harajuku JR Station in late autumn. The new station is on the left. Turn left from this vantage point at the next corner to enter Omotesando Blvd. Takeshita Street is to the right in this photo, out of frame.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Old Harajuku JR Station exit. The new station is to the right. Takeshita Street is straight ahead. This exit is shown in the photo above under the clock. Far too small for today’s tourist traffic load, the brand new station just to the southwest replaces it.

Harajuku Station 200321a2.jpg
©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Newly completed Harajuku Station on the JR Line. The old station is just to the right, out of frame and is scheduled to be torn down soon.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

East side Omoto-sando Station exit @ east end of Omotesando Blvd. You can take the Chiyoda, Ginza, or Hanzomon Lines. The JR Station is straight ahead a few miles. An interesting footnote is you can get from one side of Omotesando Blvd to the other fast by taking the Chiyoda Line between this station and Meiji-jingumae <Harajuku> Station.

After you exit Harajuku Station, you can either turn left, and be at the entrance to Takeshita Street, or you can head right (south) and end up at a large intersection. If you head east from the intersection, you’ll be heading down Omotesando Blvd – which is the main shopping and restaurant street in the area.

Takeshita Street is shorter and takes less time, but is also much more crowded since it is smaller and more popular. Takeshita Street is mainly known for its several Crepé shops – including the famous Marion Crepés which was founded in 1976. There is also another Marion Crepés in the backstreets of Akihabara. There are also lots of clothing stores, restaurants, other food places, oddity shops, a DAISO 100¥ shop, and a small Bic Camera annex.

There are also a few hidden gems if you’re willing to venture down a few side streets for an off-the-beaten-path adventure. We’ll cover a few of those later.

Takeshita Street

The entrance to Takeshita Street is located at 35°40’17.76″ N 139°42’10.93″ E right across from the entrance of the old Harajuku Station. Head east down the street.

It’s usually pretty packed – especially on nights + weekends. You’ll have to jostle with lots of other people. Just after the entrance on the right is a small alley with lots of T-shirt shops (see Totally Drew‘s video below). Just past that not too far down on the right is the very good NOA Coffee – well worth a stop. Marion Crepés is about 1/2 way down on the left. Oddly, NOA Coffee is run by the NOAH Company which also runs sound + dance studios and boxing gyms all over Tokyo.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Old harajuku Station exit just across from the entrance to Takeshita Street.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Entrance to Takeshita Street. There is an excellent Hoshino’s Coffee just to the left under the sign over the entrance. There is also a Family Mart.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Giant crepé menu on Takeshita Street. Around $5-$7 each.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Angel Crepés shop.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Angel Crepés. You can eat yourself silly at these places. But after walking 10-15 miles a day, you’ll want to.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

World-famous Marion Crepés.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Bic Camera Select annex on Takeshita Street. Just to the right is a Daiso 100¥ store.

About 1/2 way down Takeshita Street on the right, you’ll find a small side street that heads up a hill. Head up this street to the end – past several shops and boutiques, and then head left as the street curves around. Wander down a bit futher and at the end you’ll find the Depla Pol Chocolatier. This fabulous place has all kinds of goodies and waffles to boot. It’s only open from 10:00 AM to 8PM but well worth it. Its located at approximately 35°40’15.61″ N 139°42’14.89″ E. But because it’s off the beaten path, there is almost never a line and you can usually get right in.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Head left at this bldg.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Entrance to Depla Pol Chocolatier.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com
©2019 tenmintokyo.com

There is also an excellent bar/restaurant hidden back on this street.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Along this street is an amusingly named beer/coffee shop called Farms – by Good Munchies.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

A stroll down Takeshita St. This is facing back towards the street entrance to the west.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Just south of JR Harajuku Station. The new station bldg. is on the left. The tall NTT HQ bldg. (also known as the “bubble building”) is in the center off in the distance in Shinjuku to the north. To the right is Omotesando Blvd.

Coin Lockers

Just down on the right past the entrance to Takeshita St is a small luggage storage locker shop. If you need to store your luggage for the day, you can drop your stuff here, and retrieve them on your way out. Rates range from 400¥-800¥ and you can store items for up to 4 days. The shop has 24/7 video surveillance of all lockers so your stuff is secure. Oddly, this shop is run by the NOAH Company, which also runs the NOA Coffee shop just down the street.

Omotesando Blvd.

Omotesando Blvd. entrance east of Harajuku Station. The Omotesando Hills shopping center is on the left.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Heading east down Omotesando Blvd.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Further down Omotesando Blvd. on the left side is a MOS Burger Café.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

There is also a Tokyu Plaza with an open-air garden on top.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Apple Store on Omotesando Blvd.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Plenty of nice restaurants along Omotesando Blvd.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Omotesando Blvd. facing east.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

A side street off Omotesando Blvd.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Another side street.

If you head down Omotesando Blvd, past the first major intersection, at around 35°40’04.35″ N 139°42’24.64″ E on the right across from the Ralph Lauren Flagship Store, you’ll see a side street. If you turn right here and head up the street, just on your right you’ll come to the best pancake shop in Harajuku: Flippers. This place is so good there is usually a line. The pancake craze has hit Tokyo and this is one of the best pancake shops in the city. Be prepared to wait and pay a few dollars to pig out on pancakes + fruit. But be careful – you can eat yourself sick in this place if you overdo it.

Flipper’s pancake shop in Omotesando.

There is another, competing pancake shop called A Happy Pancake (Shiawase no Pancake – literally Pancake Happiness) in Omotesando worth checking out. See our review of the one in Ikebukuro for links + more info.

There are all kinds of additional shops down side streets. It’s well worth it to wander down some of these streets to see what’s there. There is even a TinTin store tucked back on the south side of Omotesando Blvd. If you arrive early enough, you can easily walk all of Harajuku + Omotesando in a day. Try to avoid weekends and nights because that is when the area is packed with crowds of tourists.

If you walk all the way down Omotesando Blvd. about .7 miles, you’ll come to Rt. 413. If you head left (north) here, you’ll find all kinds of interesting stuff. There’s a great upscale noodle restaurant called Miyota. There’s also an Olympic bicycle shop which has some really nice bikes at reasonable prices. There’s an elegant upscale furniture store called Modern Works, and a few small drink spots: Beer Brain in a small wood shack on a trailer, and Stockholm – a small café with a tiny rooftop porch. All worth checking out


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Miyota in Omotesando.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com


©2019 tenmintokyo.com


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Beer Brain in east Omotesando.


©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Stockholm Roast in east Omotesando.

Meiji Jingu Shrine

Back behind the new Harajuku Station to the west is Meiji Jingu Shrine. This is one of the most famous and popular shrines in all of Tokyo. It’s surrounded by a huge park with spectacular gardens. Well worth a look. To reach the entrance, just exit the station, then head over the small bridge behind it and to the right.

Just to the southwest of Meiji Jingu Shrine is Yoyogi Park – also well worth a visit – and it’s free. There ‘s a small pond inside, lots of walking paths, and large grass areas to sit in. It’s a popular spot for picnics among locals in spring and fall. To reach it, head south (left) from the entrance to Meiji Jingu Shrine just for a few steps, then turn right under the pedestrian overpass. It’s just a few yards down on the right.

In fact, you can walk the entire road encircling both parks in under an hour or two. Both are well worth a look.

A Few More Notables

There are a few other interesting spots to check out: Watari-um Museum, Nezu Museum, and The Awesome Store. See links below for more.

Well, that’s it for Harajuku/Omotesando. Enjoy your trip – both are easy to access, and compact enough to see everything in a day. It’s one of Tokyo’s most intersting spots and well worth a look.

LINKS

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/destinations/tokyo/index.html?src=gnavi

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

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/01/29/national/new-harajuku-station-building-unveiled-march-opening/

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omotesand%C5%8D

http://omotesando.or.jp/jp

http://omotesando.or.jp/en/shop_category

https://thosewhowandr.com/blog/things-to-do-harajuku

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/things-to-do/50-things-to-do-in-harajuku

https://whereintokyo.com/venues/25094.html

http://www.ao-aoyama.com/

https://whenin.tokyo/Omotesando-Aoyama-Area-Guide

https://whenin.tokyo/Gyre-Omotesando

http://japanshopping.org/

https://whereintokyo.com/venues/25094.html

https://favy-jp.com/topics/2559

https://t5pg.jp/shops/a009-011-003/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1066451-d8612608-Reviews-Sobakiri_Miyota-Minato_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

http://tokyobelly.blogspot.com/2017/02/omotesando-soba-kiri-miyota-delicious.html

http://www.poldepla.be/index.php?c=about&id=42

http://www.tbb.works/

https://stockholmroast.jp/

Watari-um Museum

Nezu Museum

IKEA Harajuku – Shopping And Vegan-Friendly Swedish Delights

https://matcha-jp.com/en/15

https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-temples-shrines/meiji-shrine

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3002.html

Harajuku Guide @ The Best Japan

Workingholiday Connection | Harajuku

Gomaya Kuki

Coconut Glen’s Coconut Ice Cream is a Must-Try in Omotesando

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsOBBA-hvfM

Even murals in Japan are done with class.