Komagome

Name: Komagome

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°44’11.87″ N 139°44’48.67″ E

Stations: Komagome Station/N14 Tokyo Metro Line, JR Komagome Station

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? For a quick look, or on the way to Itabashi, Sugamo, or Tokyo Dome City.

Updated 2/19/21

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Komagome is a small town in northwest Tokyo in between Tokyo Dome City to the south and Itabashi to the north. It’s on the JR Yamanote Line and Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. There’s not a lot to do in the town, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Perhaps the town’s most interesting feature is Rikugien Gardens (see below). The town also has a small lively nightlife backstreet area down a hill below the station away from the main part of the town. Its sister city Sugamo is just to the west.

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Access

To get to Komagome, take the JR Yamanote Line to Komagome Station, or take the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. You can also walk or bike in just a few miles from a side street (see below) from Sugamo or Itabashi. From Tokyo Dome City also take the Namboku Line (it’s in the basement) from Korakuen Station 3 stops east to Komagome Station. On bike it’s only a 30-45 min ride from Tokyo Dome City.

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Inside the station.

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There is also a small bank of coin lockers inside the station for around $4 each.

Area Layout

Central Komagome. The station is lower center left. The hill down to the backstreet area is the red-grey-lined street to the upper right of that. The alleyway area is right center. Rt. 455 runs north-south through the town. The APA Hotel is at the upper left corner to the northwest. Rikugien Gardens is just to the lower left out of view. Up is north.

Features

The main feature of Komagome is its mainstreet – Rt. 455 – which runs north-south through the town. At the south end of the town is Rikugien Gardens (see below). There is also a back alley area down the hill behind the station (also see below).

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Rt. 455 – the central road through Komagome facing south. The station is just down on the left. The APA Hotel is just to the right, out of frame.

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The central street through Komagome: Rt. 455.

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The center of town facing south on Rt. 455. There’s a large conbini (convenience store) across from the station on the right.

Cafés

Good cafés abound in Komagome. Be sure to check out the Niki Bakery + Cafe a few blocks south on Rt. 455 on the left.

There are numerous others in the area.

Rikugien Gardens

Facing west south of the station on Rt. 455 leads to the crosswalk shown below. Just to the left on the corner across the street is the entrance to Rikugien Gardens – a must see. Admission is 300¥-400¥ but well worth it. The gardens are huge and you can spend all day there looking at the lake and all the plants and trees. Also note the “31” (Baskin Robbins) just to the right. For some reason the Japanese call Baskin Robbins “31” – all because the 31 is more prominent on signage – and most likely because more Japanese know the western decimal numeral system than know full English.

Crossing to Rikugien Gardens on the left (out of view). As a footnote, if you head west down the side street shown here, after a few blocks you come to Komagome’s sister city, Sugamo. See our full post on Sugamo for more info.

Kyū-Furukawa Gardens + Otani Museum

If you’re willing to walk about a mile further north on Rt. 455 and back, around 35°44’34.58″ N 139°44’45.66″ E there are also the Kyū-Furukawa Gardens and an old museum called Otani Museum – both are worth a look for a little bit more of a hike. A mile further north beyond that on 455 is Oji Station, which is also on the Metro Namboku Line. Also in Oji is Ōji Jinja Shrine.

Komagome Ginza – The Hidden Nightlife Alley

Just down a hill to the left of the station entrance is a hidden backstreet area called Komagome Ginza which comes alive at night with restuarants, shops, bars, and pachinko parlors. To get there, head down the street shown below just left of the station. At the bottom take the first right on a tiny side street. The alley area is just on the left. You can also get to it by traversing down to the bottom level of the station from inside and exit on the left (north entrance). The alleys are well-lit at night with white LED lights and make for a fascinating evening stroll. There are plenty of good restuarants. There is also a huge free bike parking lot just at the lower exit to the station.

Head down this hill and turn right at the bottom for the hidden alley area.

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Heading down the hill. At the bottom, turn right for a tiny side street leading to:

Komagome Ginza – the nightlife area entrance and front of the Three Seven pachninko parlor.

A stroll through the nightlife area next to the Three Seven pachninko parlor.

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One of many great restaurants on the backstreet alley area.

Hotels

There are several good low-cost hotels in the area. The obvious choice is the APA Komagome a few blocks north of the station. During off-season you can get a nice room for around $60-$70/night. APA hotels are spotless, affordable, conveniently located, quiet (they have soundproof windows), and easy. They usually make your trip much easier. APA has a chain of these hotels all over Japan.

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APA Komagome lobby.

Typical APA hotel room – very small, but clean, usually with a small desk, and large TV. Most also have a micro-refrigerator as well.

There is also the nice Hotel Mets Komagome right next to the station. There is also Business Hotel Plaza Komagome, down by Komagome Ginza but it’s not quite as deluxe.

Hon-Komagome Station

About 1.5 miles south on 455 from Komagome Station is another station on the Namboku Line called Hon-Komagome Station (N13) around 35°43’29.15″ N 139°45’14.06″ E. You can also walk the entire distance on 455 south. Sandwiched in between this walk and Sugamo to the west is the world HQ of Pioneer Corporation around 35°43’44.71″ N 139°44’50.29″ E (just south of Rikugien Gardens in fact).

Also just to the west of the station a few blocks is Toyo University (incredibly, in a rare Tokyo oddity, there is a gigantic COCO’s restaurant right across the street from the university at 35°43’25.99″ N 139°45’07.10″ E).

Josenji Temple

Just north of Hon-Komagome Station is Josenji Temple around 35°43’32.86″ N 139°45’11.26″ E – it’s fairly small without a large grounds but might be worth a look if you’re walking.

Conclusion

Well that’s it for now – enjoy a walk or ride around Komagome. It’s a nice little day trip and worth a look.

Additional Photos

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Another view of the front of the station.

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The large bike lot at the bottom of the station.

The lower rear entrance to the station down the hill.

North up Rt. 455 is this large wooden temple with interesting architecture. Worth a stop.

LINKS

Komagome Station/N14

Komagome Station

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e712.html

Komagome Station – GaijinPot

Komagome: A Quaint Town in Tokyo

Komagome Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

10 BEST Things to Do Near Komagome Station – Tripadvisor

Komagome 2021: Best of Komagome – Tripadvisor

Komagome Area Guide – Blog

APA Hotel Komagome Ekimae

https://www.hotelmets.jp/komagome/

Business Hotel Plaza Komagome | Tokyo Tourist Information

It’s a small world after all in Komagome | The Japan Times

Tokyo Travel: Rikugien Garden

https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index034.html

Sugamo

Tokyo Dome City on Bike

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

VIDS

Sugamo

Name: Sugamo

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°44’31.93″ N 139°43’43.02″ E

Stations: Toei Sugamo Station, JR Sugamo Station Yamanote Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? For a quick look, or on the way to Itabashi.

Updated 2/16/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Sugamo is a small area in Tokyo north of Tokyo Dome City and south of Itabashi on Rt. 17 (Hakusan Dori). It’s not a large area but still worth a look. The main attraction is Rikugien Gardens 2 blocks to the east (discussed below).

Access

Unfortunately there is no Metro subway stop at Sugamo Station. You’ll have to either take the JR Yamanote Line or the Toei Mita Line. The closest main area to Sugamo is Ikebukuro to the west, or Tokyo Dome City (TDC) to the south, but on foot it’s a bit of a hike. On bicycle it’s a quick ride, and there are bike lanes part of the way, but you’ll need to make a short right-turn jog on Hakusan Dori (see below) on bike or you’ll get lost and end up on Old Hakusan Dori to the east which runs away from TDC. The other nearby area is Itabashi to the north several miles from Sugamo Station. Itabashi and Ikebukuro are only 2 miles apart and walkable. You can also get to both on the Yamanote Line or Saikyo Line. If you’re on bike, the entire length of Rt. 17 is cruisable in non-rush hours. See our post on bike cruising from Itabashi all the way through Sugamo to TDC. You can also get to/from Itabashi on the Mita Line at stop I17 – Shin-Itabashi. There is also a Nishi-sugamo Station (I16) further north nearer to Itabashi than to Sugamo. At Nishi-sugamo Station you can also catch the Toden Arakawa Line Tram – better known to locals as the Sakura Tram.

Area Layout

Central Sugamo facing northeast. The station + atré complex is the white square bldg. right of center. Rt. 17 or Hakusan Dori runs north-south. A Beck’s Coffee is the tiny black bldg. next to the small concrete park in the lower right. The main outdoor covered shopping area is just off 17 in the upper center left. Just north of that on the east side of the street is the APA Hotel Sugamo Ekimae (Ekimae means “at the station”). Continuing to head north on 17 for a few miles leads to the small charming micro-town of Itabashi, which just renovated its train station in 2020. There are various other shops + food palaces around the station as shown above.

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JR Sugamo Station facing south towards TDC. APA Sugamo Ekimae is just behind the camera to the left.

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APA Sugamo Ekimae facing south. The station is just ahead 2 blocks.

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Facing south on Hakusan Dori just south of the station. TDC is straight ahead.

Features

Sugamo is not a huge area. But there’s still a fair amount to do. The atré complex over the station is worth a look, and Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street (discussed next) is a must-see. You can also stroll the outdoor shops along the streets on both sides for miles. Rikugien Gardens (discusssed below) a few miles to the east is a must-see. It’s one of the most well-known Japanese gardens in the world and in the spring + fall is spectacular. The town that Rikugien Gardens is in – Komagome – just to the northeast is also worth a quick look and isn’t too far.

Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street

Entrance to Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street which veers off to the left west of Hakusan Dori. The street is lined with charming shops, and if you follow it far enough north you’ll come to Itabashi. The entrance is just north of the APA Hotel on the left around 35°44’04.41″ N 139°44’12.70″ E.

Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street is a long narrow north-south street which parallels Hakusan Dori in Sugamo. The street is known as a hang-out spot for seniors, but it’s definitely worth a stop for everyone. The street has some very nice food shops with traditional Japanese foods of all kinds. If you keep going north until the end of Sugamo, you’ll come to the charming micro-town of Itabashi, which recently just built a brand new train station. Itabashi is just north of Ikebukuro and is a jumping off point for many other locations on the JR Saikyo Line such as Ikebukuro.

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Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street with its charming shops facing north. Well worth a stroll.

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Sugamo Jizo-Dori Shopping Street approaching Itabashi.

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Rikugien Gardens


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Approaching Rikugien Gardens, on the right. Just ahead is the small town of Komagome, just east of Sugamo.

If you head south on Hakusan Dori from the station for a few blocks, there’s a side street around 35°43’52.63″ N 139°44’29.39″ E heading east just after the MOS Burger on the left. At the end of this street about a mile down is world-famous Rikugien Gardens – one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in the country. It’s a must see. Admission is 300-400¥ or so, but it’s worth it for a couple bucks. While you’re there you can stop and check out the town – Komagome – which has its own JR station. It’s a small unremarkable town, but worth a quick walk. There’s also a very large ancient temple there with spectacular architecture. It also has its own APA HotelAPA Komagome. See our post on Komagome for more about the town. It’s worth a quick look.

Hotels

The obvious choice in the area, as we mentioned, is APA Sugamo Ekimae 2 blocks north of the station. Clean, upscale, and relatively cheap at $70-$80/night in off-season, it’s the best bet in Sugamo. There are others around in the area too. Check agoda.com for more choices.

North to Itabashi

Only about a mile north of Sugamo is the small charming town of Itabashi. Several rail lines including JR and the Toei Subway stop there. The JR station is on the Saikyo Line. It’s only about a mile walk north on Hakusan Dori and is worth it if you have extra time. See our full multipart post on Itabashi for more info.

Additional Photos

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The station at night facing north.

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Arriving at TDC on Hakusan Dori from the north.

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Hakusan Dori and the area around TDC actually have some nice bike lanes – if there are no delivery vehicles parked in them.

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Cruising south on Hakusan Dori facing southwest at sunset.

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Beck’s Coffee near the station. The Japanese word for coffee is coheé.

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The covered shopping street just north of the station facing north. APA Sugamo Ekimae is just ahead. You can also hang a right here to explore some of the backstreets where a good 200¥ coin-locker is located.

Courtesy @Mohejin_Japan

The covered shopping street on the west side of Hakusan Dori. Note the Toei Subway entrance on the left.

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This MOS Burger is just down Hakusan Dori on the east side. If you turn left just after this shop when heading south on Hakusan Dori, you’ll come to world-famous Rikugien Gardens on the right – and Komagome.

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The street to the east just south of the MOS Burger leads to Rikugien Gardens.

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A beautiful fall sunset in Sugamo facing west.

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The right split at Old Hakusan Dori heading south from Itabashi. Don’t miss this jump to the right side of the street or you’ll end up way off course and miss TDC.

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Waiting @ the MOS Burger on the way to Komagome. Turn left @ the next intersection for Rikugien Gardens.

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MOS Burger menu. You can actually eat fairly cheap in Japan – under 500¥ (around $5) for a good MOS Burger meal. The company prides itself on fresh ingredients. Our experiences at the chain are generally good.

They even have some fun desserts.

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There is also this small guitar school just north of the gardens.

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Heading north out of Sugamo on Hakusan Dori to Itabashi in late fall.

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The huge temple north of Komagome – eerily silent near midnight.

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The Sakura Tram near Itabashi.

LINKS

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

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

Sugamo Station – GaijinPot Study

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nishi-sugamo_Station

Tokyo Dome City – Part 1: Itabashi->Tokyo Dome: on Bike

Sugamo | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Tokyo Travel: Sugamo

Sugamo Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

Things to Do near Sugamo Station

APA Hotel Sugamo Ekimae

Sugamo metro station – Metro Line Map

https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/teien/en/rikugien/access.html

Itabashi | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

VIDS

This vid also shows the APA Hotel towards the end.

Yotsuya

Name: Yotsuya

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°41’08.42″ N 139°43’46.32″ E

Stations: Metro Yotsuya Station, Yotsuya-sanchome Station, Marunouchi Line or Namboku Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? For a quick look, or for Sophia University, or to Akasaka

Updated 2/13/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Access

To get to Yotsuya take the Marunouchi Line to Yotsuya Station and exit. There’s an atré shopping complex over the station. The station is right at the area’s main intersection. You can also walk from either Shinjuku to the west or from Akasaka from the south. If you take the Marunouchi Line you can also exit Yotsuya-sanchome Station one station to the west between Yotsuya and Shinjuku.

Area Layout

The central intersection in Yotsuya is Rt. 405 (Sotobori Dori) and Rt. 20 (Shinjuku Dori). The station is just on the northeast corner. To the east down Rt. 20 is the main center area where Sophia Univerity is. If you take 20 farther east it will lead you directly into Hanzoman and the Imperial Palace. To the south at the 415-405 split is Akasaka Palace which gives free tours when available. If you take 405 further southeast from there, you will arrive in Akasaka/Nagatcho where the central gov’t is located. Akasaka is a lively area and well worth a look on its own. 405 south past the split into Akasaka is a long gradual slope which cruises past the New Otani Hotel to the east. This slope makes for an interesting bike ride. The hotel has a renowned garden and a sky restaurant on top. If you head west on 20 several miles, you will eventually come to the central area of Shinjuku, which is one of the busiest parts of Tokyo. The walk from Yotsuya to Shinjuku is around 2.5 miles.

There are plenty of restaurants + cafés in Yotsuya as well – most notably St. Marc’s Café on the southwest corner of the intersection.

The central intersection facing east on Rt. 20. Sophia University is straight ahead. Rt. 405 south to Akasaka is to the right.

Yotsuya layout. The central intersection is center left, with Akasaka Palace just below it. Akasaka itself is in the lower-right corner with Rt. 405 running east-west then heading north. The New Otani Hotel is on the right in the green area at the 405 bend. Out of frame to the right (east) is the Imperial Palace. At the very north end of Yotsuya is the Japan Ministry of Defense.

Rt. 405 seen facing north in Asakasa. Head left here for Yotsuya.

The 405 intersection in Akasaka facing west. Head west up this road for Yotsuya. Akasaka is to the left.

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Cruising up Rt. 405 on bike from Akasaka to Yotsuya at dusk. The New Otani Hotel is just out of frame to the right.

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Walking up Rt. 405 north from Akasaka to Yotsuya in fall 2019. Akasaka Palace is just up the street to the left.

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At Sophia University facing back west towards the main intersection. The station is just out of frame to the right.

After heading west on Rt. 20 for several miles, you’ll be in Yotsuya-Sanchome. Make this crossing and continue west (left) to get to Shinjuku. Directly behind the camera is a MOS Burger.

Shinmichi Dori Street

Just west of Yotsuya Station across the street is the entrance to a narrow side street called Shinmichi Dori Street. This street is lined with hundreds of small but upscale restaurants and noodle shops. Well worth a walk.

Akasaka Palace

Just 1/2 mile or so down Rt. 405 to the south is the Akasaka Palace – part of the imperial properties. When not in use, the gov’t normally provides free tours of the palace which is well worth a visit. To get there, just walk down Rt. 405 south on the right hand side of the street, then at the Rt. 415 split head right, then left at the next street for the entrance.

Co-working Spaces

There are plenty of co-working spaces to chose from in Yotsuya – the most notable being Moboff (yes, places have names like that in Japan). There is also offices.co in the Tokyu Yotsuya Building and a WeWork . Like Book•Off and other “Off” type places, in Japan the word “Off” is short for “Offload”. So Book•Off means “Offload your books” and Moboff means “Offload your mob” – or in this case, your workforce. No, just kidding – Moboff more likely is a contraction for “Mobile Office” (Japanese love contractions of words – it’s one of the ways they save typing + shorten information).

Conclusion

Well that’s it. While Yotsuya isn’t a large area with lots to do, it’s still interesting + is centrally located to enough stuff that is. You can visit it as a short side trip to Akasuka, or on your way east from Shinjuku. The walk around Sophia University campus is nice too. If you’re in the area, check it out.

LINKS

Yotsuya

Yotsuya-sanchome Station/M11

https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/japan-stations/yotsuyastation

New Otani Hotel

Shinjuku City

http://www.yotsuya.moboff.jp/en/

https://offices.co/japan/tokyo/41452/

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2ZCoVSVSnQ

Kanda Superguide

Name: Kanda

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°41’40.88″ N 139°45’53.80″ E

Stations: Kanda Tokyo Metro Station, JR Kanda Station, Ogawamachi Station Toei Shinjuku Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? For a quick look, or enroute to Akihabara

Updated 2/2/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Sandwiched in between Akihabara to the northeast and Tokyo Station to the south is a part of Tokyo called Kanda. It’s centered on Rt. 405 (Sotobori Dori) just north of the financial district Marunouchi. Also just to the northwest is Ochinomizu. Akihabara is just a few minutes’ walk up Rt. 302 to the east. Jimbocho, Tokyo’s used book town is just 1/4 mile to the west. All 4 areas are within walking distance of each other.

Access

To get to Kanda take the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Kanda Station or the JR Yamanote Line and exit Kanda Station. It’s also quite easy to walk from either Tokyo Station to the south or Akihabara Station to the north. Note however that the main JR Kanda Station is actually about 4 blocks to the southeast. There is also plenty to do around the station itself. If you walk south on Rt. 17 from JR Kanda Station it will take you directly into Nihonbashi which is one of the nicest areas of Tokyo, although it is in the opposite direction from central Kanda.

A quicker + closer way is to go to Ogawamachi Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line, around 35°41’42.88″ N 139°45’59.85″ E and head west one block, or take the Metro to Awajicho Station on the Marunouchi Line.

Heading south from JR Kanda Station.

JR Kanda Station facing north on Chuo Dori. Continuing north will take you right into Akihabara, which is the next JR stop north on the Yamanote Line. The area under the station to the north side is known as Kanda Crossing. There’s a small side street shown here on the right worth a stroll.

Area Layout

Central Kanda. Akihabara is on the right side of the frame, Jimbocho on the left. The WATERRAS complex is the large black building to the upper right. Sotobori Dori is the main street running north-south center right.

Central Intersection

The central area in Kanda is on the intersection of Yasukuni-Dori (Rt. 302) and Hongo-Dori (Rt. 403). You can walk west or east on 302 for miles and there is a lot to see. On the very west end is Jimbocho, known as Tokyo’s used book town (as well as an area with lots of sports shops).

At the intersection there are lots of cafés and restaurants including a Doutor and an Excelsior Café. In fact, there are 2 Doutours 1 block apart. There are also a variety of noodle and yakiniku (steak) places around. And several conbini (convenience stores).

Facing west on 302 towards Jimbocho.

Facing east on 302 towards Akihabara. Excelsior Café is on the right. The block from here east is the central area. WATERRAS (see below) is one block up to the left. You can also just barely see Tokyo Sky Tree in Suitengumae in the distance.

The Doutour one block to the west.

Kanda Nishiguchi Shopping Street

Several blocks to the southeast around 35°41’28.24″ N 139°46’07.97″ E is the entrance to a narrow little street full of shops called Kanda Nishiguchi Shopping Street. It’s just a few blocks, but worth a stroll if you’re willing to walk the 8 blocks or so down Rt. 403 to get to it.

WATERRAS + Sola City

Just to the north a few blocks up Rt. 305 is an office/shopping complex called WATERRAS. WATERRAS has some cafés at the ground level, a Mr. Donut on the northeast corner, and a large upscale shopping complex called Sola City across the street to the north. It’s worth a quick walk around. The main area of interest is up the front WATERRAS escalator and stairs, then around to the left. There is also a large garden terrace on the southwest corner of the building.

WATERRAS 2 blocks to the north.

Sports Shops

Further west on 302 the street is lined with sports shops on both sides – mostly ski + snowboard shops. There is also a Xebio and Victoria sport shop near each other a few blocks down to the west.

glitch Coffee Jimbocho

Just at the west edge of Kanda and into Jimbocho around 35°41’37.53″ N 139°45’40.15″ E is the hipster café glitch Coffee. It’s in an old run down dump of a building and has no sign other than on the front window, but the inside is very nice and the coffee + food is awesome. If you want to venture just a bit west of Kanda into Jimbocho, it’s worth a stop.

Top Tokyo Coffeehouses: Glitch Coffee, Fuglen And More

Believe it or not, in this dilapidated building is the hipster café glitch Coffee. The shop also has a small walk-up window on the left.

Facing north in Jimbocho. glitch Coffee is in the small pink bldg. on the right. Kanda is just up the street to the right east of Jimbocho.

The HUB @ Kanda Station

For a foreigner-friendly stop with food + drinks check out The HUB just south of JR Kanda Station.

The HUB @ Kanda Station. Also note there are 3 cafés right next door.

TAP x TAP Kanda Craft Beer

If you’re in the mood for craft beer, there’s TAP X TAP Kanda around 35°41’34.09″ N 139°46’20.90″ E. To get there, exit JR Kanda Station, head to the northeast side street known as Kanda Crossing shown above, go through the side street entrance on the right, then turn right again at the 1st block. It’s just down on the left side 2 blocks.

Kanda Myojin Shrine

A bit of a hike north on Rt. 452 around 35°42’06.62″ N 139°46’03.28″ E is Kanda Shrine. It’s a large complex with spectacular architecture but it’s closer to Akihabara than it is to Kanda. If you’re up for a bit of a walk and have time, it’s worth checking out. There are a few other shrines in the area.

Kanda River + Rt 405

The Kanda River, which cuts through the center of Tokyo east-west runs approximately from the Sumida River to the east all the way to Tokyo Dome City to the west. In fact, you can walk the entire distance on Rt. 405 which parallels it. Just head north on any one of the major north-south streets in Kanda or Jimbocho to get to 405. You can also head east (right) on 405 to get to Akihabara. The distance from central Jimbocho to Tokyo Dome City is only about 1 mile.

Hotels

There are a variety of hotels in Kanda, but perhaps the best value once again is APA Hotel. In fact there are 3 APA Hotels in the area, but one of them, APA Hotel Kanda-Eki-Higashi is far to the southeast. Just south of Akihabara Station is APA Hotel Kanda Ekimae around 35°41’36.66″ N 139°46’17.15″ E (Ekimae means “at the station”). The closest one is APA Hotel Kanda Jimbocho Eki-Higashi just to the west. There are also 2 APAs in Akihabara. APA has some of the best deals in hotels in Japan – with hundreds of them all over the country and many all over Tokyo. Off-season rates are usually very good and depending on occupancy can run from $65-$90/night. At some APA’s off-season you can even get rates as low as $40 depending on how centrally located the hotel is. All are clean, and slightly upscale depending on location.

There is also HOTEL MYSTAYS Ochanomizu CC just to the north.

Jazz Clubs

There are a surprising number of good jazz clubs near Kanda. Just south of Awajicho Station is JAZZ LIVE Lydian. Just north in Ochinomizu is Naru. Jazz spot Step is just a little northwest of JR Kanda Station. There’s also a Tokyo Jazz Festival site and YouTube Channel.

Conclusion

Well that’s it. Kanda/Jimbocho is a great place to visit. It’s 1/2 way between Tokyo Station and Akihabara so you can access both those areas too. In fact, assuming you want to spend all day in the area, you can see all 3 in a long day, although Akihabara is really a full day in itself. The walk along Rt. 403 from Jimbocho to Akihabara with Kanda in the middle is only about 1.5 miles, so it’s easy. There is plenty to do and see along the way. Enjoy!

Additional Photos

Heading into central Jimbocho.

LINKS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanda,_Tokyo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanda_Station_(Tokyo)

Kanda Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

WATERRAS

https://japantravel.navitime.com/en/area/jp/spot/06123-5375/

Make stained glass works with the gift ‘Marine Glass‘ from the sea!

Tokyo Metro Kanda Station – Japan Travel

Kanda Station Tokyo | JapanVisitor Japan Travel Guide

Kanda Station Area Management Association

Tokyo Travel: Kanda

Kanda Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

Craft Beer in Kanda | Metropolis Japan

https://www.agoda.com/apa-hotel-kanda-eki-higashi/hotel/tokyo-jp.html?cid=1720055

Glitch Coffee, Kanda-Jimbocho

GLITCH COFFEE & ROASTERS グリッチコーヒー&ロースターズ

Walking The Path To Glitch Coffee In Jimbocho, Tokyo

VIDS

Yoyogi Superguide

Name: Yoyogi

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°40’59.52″ N 139°42’07.52″ E

Stations: Yoyogi Station JR Line, Shinjuku Station JR Line, various non-Metro subway lines

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? For a quick look.

Updated 2/2/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Yoyogi is a small town just south of Shinjuku. In fact it’s just one stop south of Shinjuku on the JR Yamanote Line. It’s close enough to walk. Some of the side streets + alleyways are worth a look. There is also a huge multi-use shopping complex called Takashimaya Time Square just north of the station. For a quick trip + walk around, it’s worth a stop. There are various other non-Metro subway links into Yoyogi Station listed over on the Wikipedia article.

The most famous + enjoyable part of Yoyogi is Yoyogi Park – a huge green open space popular with families and young hipsters. In mid-Oct. the entire park turns a brilliant yellow/red with the leaves on the trees preparing to drop for the winter.

Just behind Yoyogi Station to the north east towers the NTT DoCoMo HQ, better known to locals as “The Bubble Bulding” because it was built during Japan’s “bubble” economy era – the 1980’s.

Also across from Yoyogi Park is the National Gymnasium. At the south end of the park is small bridge to a large open concrete park area with benches.

Just to the southeast of Yoyogi Park – and 1 stop south of the station is the world-famous Harajuku/Omotesando area – so you can make a stop there afterwards, if you have time. Just take the JR Yamanote Line again 1 stop south to Harajuku Station. A brand new Harajuku Station just opened in 2020.

One more thing to be aware of is that during rush hours (5AM-8AM and 5PM-7PM Shinjuku Station is an absolute madhouse. If you do take a train there during those hours, get ready to be squashed like a sardine in the train.

Area Layout

Yoyogi Station lies at the bottom of this map (top is north). At the north end of the map is the massive Shinjuku Station – the busiest rail station in the world with 2 million people passing through every day. Center right on the map is the towering NTT DoCoMo bldg., and just east of that is Shinjuku Goyen Park. Takashimaya Times Square is just north of the NTT bldg. Yoyogi Park and National Gymnasium is just to the southwest out of frame. One JR stop to the south is Harajuku.

Yoyogi Station south entrance. The main square is just to the left.

Attractions

There actually isn’t much in Yoyogi itself beyond the park. There is one small intersection to the west of the station lined with shops, and a street running north into central Shinjuku that is worth a stroll. The area to the west is mostly a hilly residential area. To the immediate right of the station is a small underpass which leads to the street running north directly into Takashimaya Times Square.

Station area facing south at night. The small rail underpass is just to the left.

Facing southwest. There is a large FamilyMart conbini (convenience store) just on the right. There are also a number of good cafés around. Above the FamilyMart are a couple nice yakiniku (steak) places. Head straight down the street ahead to the south for Yoyogi Park a few blocks down.

Another front view of the station.

The Bubble Building soaring above Yoyogi Station.

Facing east. The pedestrian underpass is just ahead. Head straight then left to get to Takshimaya Times Square. Also note Panda Sugar just on the corner to the right.

90 degrees to the left and you’re facing north on the main street. The triangular bldg. barely visible in the distance is the MyLord Bldg. in Shinjuku. There is also a 2nd entrance to the station just on the right behind the truck in this photo.

Instead of heading straight, you can also head left down this little side street. Note the Doutour café straight ahead, and a Pronto Café on the left. Doutour has some reasonably good food very cheap.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Boarding @ JR Yoyogi Station.

Yoyogi Park

From the main west intersection head south down the center street for a few blocks and on your right will be Yoyogi Park. Admission is free and it’s a huge park – about a mile across. You can spend nearly a day there walking around. The park is especially nice in the fall and spring. On weekends the park is packed with families and kids – so you may want to go in the middle of the week to avoid crowds if possible.

You can also get directly to Yoyogi Park by taking the Yamanote Line 1 more stop south to Harajuku Station – then exit, turn right, then turn right again at the next intersection – just up the street on the right is Yoyogi Park.

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The south entrance @ Yoyogi Park in the fall.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

A map near the south entrance.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

At the park facing north in fall. The NTT bldg. in Shinjuku is visible in the distance.

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The bridge at the south end of the park.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

The small open area south of the park.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

National Gymnasium. Harajuku/Omotesando is just down the street on the left.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Harajuku/Omotesando facing east. New Harajuku Station is the grey bldg. on the left. Entrance to Meiji Shrine is just to the left of that out of frame. Entrance to Omotesando is straight ahead. Yoyogi Park is back up the street behind the camera.

Meiji Shrine

As we mentioned, just to the south of Yoyogi Station is Meiji Shrine – a monument to Japan’s 19th century emperor Meiji. Meiji was most famous for the Meiji Restoration – the opening of Japan to trade in 1868 and the ending of the absolute rule of Shoguns as commanders of the country. You can walk to Harajuku Station where the southern entrance is, or you can take the JR Yamanote line further south 1 stop and exit there. The entrance is just behind the station. One of the most notable features is the huge wood Torii Gate at the entrance – one of the largest in Japan.

Takashimaya Times Square

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Just up the street from Yoyogi Station is a huge multuse complex called Takshimaya Times Square. The main building is mostly huge department stores and restaurants but there are a lot of smaller interesting shops around the main building. The top 3 floors of the main building are all restaurants. There is also a small outdoor area with benches on an overpass with glass walls. The B1 level is all food. Here’s the official website and shop list.

Shinjuku Goyen National Garden

Just to the east of Takashimaya Square is the huge and amazing Shinjuku Goyen National Garden. This park has amazing paths to stroll around and a huge lake. Unfortunately there’s no entrance on the west side and you’ll have to head to the north side around 35°41’18.02″ N 139°42’28.79″ E to get to the entrance. There is a small entrance fee, but it’s not much. There is also a huge flower garden in the park. It’s worth a stop if you have a few extra hours to kill.

Food + Cafés

As we mentioned, there are a few places to eat around the station: one of the cafés, one of the steak places, or something from a conbini. The convenience store food in Japan is much better than that in the US. Pre-made sandwiches are actually fresh + natural without all the preservatives and chemicals found in western convenience store food. Or you could go to a place in Takshimaya Times Square or even in Shinjuku to the north. There are a lot of great Depachika (short for Basement Department) in the depato (department stores) in Shinjuku including Keio and others. Or you could try one of the upscale places in Omotesando. There are lots of great places there including a MOS Café, and several pancake shops. There are also several western fast food places near the station.

Conclusion

Well that’s it for now. Yoyogi + Yoyogi Park can make a fun day, or 1/2 day. If you have a little extra time, be sure to also check out Takshimaya Times Square and Shinjuku Goyen. It’s possible to do all 4 areas in one day, but it will be a full day. Enjoy!

Additional Photos

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

West facing New Harajuku Station which opened in 2020. Just to the left around the corner is the entrance to Meiji Shrine. Just beyond that to the west is Yoyogi Park.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

New Harajuku Station under construction in 2020.

Old Harajuku Station is just to the right. Just to the left in this photo is the entrance to the world-famous Takeshita Street. The entrance to Meiji Shrine is just down the street on the right.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Giant cookies the size of frisbees in Keio department store’s depachika.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

3 more views of the NTT building from Shinjuku.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Mayhem @ Shinjuku Station.

Shinjuku’s most OTT street musician – Duckman!

LINKS

Yoyogi

Yoyogi Station

Yoyogi Station travel guide

Yoyogi @ tokyo-tokyo.com

Yoyogi | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Yoyogi Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

Yoyogi Park – Tripadvisor

Yoyogi Park

Shinjuku | Takashimaya Department store

Takashimaya Shinjuku Department Store – Shinjuku Station

https://trulytokyo.com/takashimaya-times-square/

Takashimaya Times Square

Shinjuku

Shinjuku Station

Route Maps | JR-EAST

Yamanote Line

JR Yamanote Line

Yamanote Line — Map, Lines, Route, Hours, Tickets

JR Yamanote line @ jrailpass.com

Meiji Shrine Official

Meiji-jingu Shrine | JNTO

Meiji Shrine Outer Garden – Wikipedia

Meiji Shrine Review | Fodor’s Travel

Sekai Ichi: Japan Travel Blog: Meiji Shrine

Meiji Jingu (Shrine), Tokyo. | Old TokyoOld Tokyo

Meiji Jingū Shrine – Christine Loves to Travel

Meiji Shrine | Steviekun Foto: Life in Japan

Visiting The Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan – Drone & DSLR Travel Blog

Harajuku + Omotesando Superguide

New Harajuku Station Officially Opens

Walking route. Harajuku Station to Yoyogi Station

TOKYO WALKING

Emperor Meiji

Panda Sugar

Tokyo Vegetarian Restaurants + Cafe Guide

The Sound of the Mountain – Wikipedia

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuCY4EGHajk