If you’re looking to stay in Akasaka and don’t mind spending a few bucks, check it out. It’s an extremely nice + comfortable hotel in the $50-$100/night range. But the amenities + location can’t be beat.
The best thing, other than the quality, is the fact that it’s located right on one of Aksaka’s best + most popular nightlife streets: Peach St. Step out the front door and a dazzling array of things to do is at your feet.
Peach St. at night.
Across from Peach St. facing west. The hotel is just down a block to the right.
There is also a huge FamilyMart right on the corner.
The best Metro station to use in the area is Akasaka-mitsuke Station/G05/M13 just a stone’s throw and one street over. The station is just to the northeast around 35°40’34.02″ N 139°44’16.60″ E. From there is just a 2 block-walk to the hotel. You can also easily get to many other Tokyo destinations from the station on the Ginza + Marunouchi Lines.
There is also an exit in the .belleVie shopping complex where the Bic Camera is:
Aoyama (Blue Mountain in Japanese) is located just southeast of Omotesando/Harajuku in western Tokyo. The area is mostly shopping, but it’s worth a look and provides a nice stroll. The town is named after the late samurai Aoyama Tadanari, who was a daimyo in the area during Tokugawa Shogunate rule.
A main street named Aoyama-dori runs south-northeast through the town. You can start anywhere on the street, but if you head east, then south from Omote-sando Station, you can start at the Ao Building:
At the very south end of Aoyama-dori is a large building + complex called Ao Building. Itcontains a Kinokuniya bookstore, 2 outstanding restaurants (steakhouse ECM, and Two Rooms grill), and various other places of interest. If you’re up for a fine dining experience and willing to spend a lot of bucks, Two Rooms is an absolute must-see.
There is also a large farmer’s market just a block south on the same side of the street.
Just a block or so to the south of the market on the other (east) side of the street around 35°39’37.43″ N 139°42’26.78″ E is a popular little yogurt place called Tea and Spoon Nanaya Aoyama. If you’re up for a walk a few blocks to the south, check it out. It’s on a backstreet.
If you’re up for a walk 1/2 a mile to the east, around 35°39’45.14″ N 139°43’01.28″ E is the Nezu Museum.
After you’ve checked out Ao Building, head north on Aoyama-dori for a nice stroll. You can head all the way north on it past the Imperial State House Gardens, and then into Akasaka.
Beer Brain+ Stockholm Roast
Around 35°40’03.31″ N 139°42’52.00″ E as you stroll north is a tiny little project on a trailer built by a few entrepreneurs called Beer Brain. It’s a small popular beer hangout – but it’s tiny – just a plywood shack. There is outside seating.
Also in the area on the same side of the street is a great little outdoor walk-up café called Stockholm Roast (which has seating on the roof). Both are excellent.
As you continue north there are 2 more places of interest: Miyota, a popular restaurant, and Modern Works, a new furniture store:
There is also an Olympic bike shop nearby, which incredibly, sells a Hummer mountain bike made by General Motors.
As you continue north, you’ll come to a fork in the road. You can either take the left side and end up at the new 2020 Olympics complex, or you can take the right side and end up in Akasaka, which is also well-worth seeing. If you’re hungry after all that walking, there is a nice big 2-story Doutour café right at the split. If you take the right side far enough, eventually you’ll end up in Shinjuku.
Take the left side for the Olympic venue, or the right side for Akasaka.The Doutour is just on the left in the center and has some good cheap meals under $5.
Right around the split, if you take the right side, off to the south is the vast Ayoyama Cemetary, which is nearly 1/2 a mile wide. Buried here, among others is Ōkubo Toshimichi, a Japanese statesman from the 1800’s who was a major figure in the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Toshimichi was instrumental in ending the Tokugawa Shogunate and the feudal system in Japan. The small town of Okubo, now a Korean enclave, a few miles to the north was named after him.
While there may not be a ton to do in Aoyama, it’s still worth a look. You can stroll Aoyama-dori for hours, get some exercise, and still have fun. You can always check out Omotesando back to the west if you like.
New Hibiya is an underground, little-known vast complex of shopping, stores, food, passageways, and other venues underneath Tokyo’s city streets stretching from Hibiya on the west and all the way to Ginza Six on the east. The labyrinth runs for blocks and it’s easy to get lost.
But it’s definitely worth a look.
As part of the train renovations for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the entire underground complex has been totally rebuilt + refurbished. You can easily spend an entire day or more here and not see it all. Best of all, it’s right in the middle of Tokyo.
Many people don’t know all this even exists under the streets.
You can also enter in the basement of Tokyu Plaza Ginza around 35°40’20.19″ N 139°45’44.82″ E.
As the Metro map shows, Ginza Station itself is a vast underground maze of staggering size. There are 3 different Metro lines in the station, and New Hibiya wraps all around the entire station and to Hibiya to the west. Note that there is no one central street-level Ginza Station – the entire thing is underground.
The Hibiya area itself is just east of Hibiya Park, and Ginza is just to the southeast.
New Hibiya isn’t just one complex – it’s several – all connected by fully modernized tunnels, lights, station platforms, stairs, escalators, and shopping. It’s a dazzling display of light, sound, and things to do. You’ll feel like you’re in a science fiction movie.
Well, that’s it for now. If you’re in the area, pop down into New Hibiya and prepare to be astonished.
Heading down from a street portal into the subway tunnels.
Odawara is an old historical small Japanese town on the very southwestern outskirts of Tokyo + south of Kanagawa. Actually, it’s way outside Tokyo Prefecture and instead is in Kanagawa. But you can easily reach it from Tokyo. The quickest way is on the Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station, but it will cost you, and reservations are required. You can also take normal surface trains which will be much cheaper, but which will take up to an hour or more to reach the town.
The town itself is a bit north of Odawara Station – which is a huge complex in its own right and worth a stroll around (around 35°15’20.43″ N 139°09’22.17″ E).
There are all sorts of things to do in Odawara and the town is full of history. There are plenty of traditional food places and a few museums – and many other things to see and do.
Odawara sits on Sagami Bay, which has a spectacular beach running 20 miles to the north to Kamakura, although the beach is not continuously walkable for the entire distance.
If you’re willing to hike the long 15 miles to the northeast along the beach, you can also visit Tsujido Seaside Park.
The word Kanagawa means ocean bridge.Odawara Castle History Museum
A historical road called Tokaido Road runs through Odawara and it’s a must-see in the town. It was a main road between Kyoto + Tokyo (formerly Edo) in the Edo Period. You can still walk that route and others today if you’re in reasonably good shape. It is quite a long multi-day hike, though. You may want to check out hikejapan.com.
Odawara Castle is an ancient Japanese castle from the 1400’s which was destroyed and rebuilt several times, including in the mid-1800s during the Meiji Restoration. The castle is just south of the station and within walking or biking distance for most people.
About 3-4 miles northeast of the station around 35°17’02.50″ N 139°11’12.13″ E is a huge mixed-use complex called Odawara Dynacity. If you have extra time and are done with the castle area and other sights, it’s worth a look. It’s mostly just a moden mall, food places, and some other attractions, but it might be worth the walk if you’re up for it.