As a side note, you can even buy some pretty cool Hanzomon Line merch online now.
Free Wifi: Yes
Location: 35°41’44.37″ N 139°45’05.56″ E
Worth it? If you’re in the area.
Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑
Oddly, the name Kudanshita means 9 Levels Hill.
There’s not a huge amount to do in the area.
The most important sights nearby are the controversial Yasukuni Shrine to the west, and the Imperial Palace grounds to the south.
There is also a large science museum called simply The Science Museum.
If you’re in the area, stop in and have a walk around.
Free Wifi: Yes
Location: 35°39’16.52″ N 139°47’47.47″ E
Worth it? A must-see.
Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Toyosu is small man-made island in the upper northwest part of Tokyo Bay around 35°39’24.99″ N 139°47’48.54″ E built in 1938. Today, it is most well-known for the Toyosu Fish Market – a brand new relocation of the world-famous old Tsukiji Fish Market.
The island also has several other interesting attractions.
Don’t get the new station confused with the old Tsukiji Station on the Metro Hibiya Line in the old location southeast of Ginza – not on Toyosu.
There are also a large variety of high-rise condo residences + short-term apartments on the island.
For an excellent history of the fish market, see this article.
There are several ways to Toyosu island, but the 2 quickest are on the Metro Yūrakuchō Line, or on the Yurikamome Line from Shimbashi Station. Keep in mind the Yūrakuchō Line is one of the longest in Tokyo, but it also offers a multitude of stops around the city. Toyosu Station is only 4 stops from the world famous Ginza area on the line (from Yurakucho Station/Y18). Taking Yurikamomé has the advantage that there are many other stops around the cluster of islands in Tokyo Bay, including Odaiba and at Tokyo Big Sight. In fact, Yurikamomé runs a ring around most of the islands.
Toyosu Station is smack in the middle of the island, but the fish market is actually several long blocks west towards the bay out on the long narrow western part of the island. It’s still within walking distance for most people.
If you have a little extra time, also check out Toyosu Gururi Park at the far western shore of the island – it provides epic views of Tokyo Bay + the Tokyo skyline (incuding the Rainbow Bridge). It’s one of the best kept photo secrets in Tokyo. You won’t be disappointed.
Toyosu Island. Tokyo Bay is to the left (west). There are 2 parts to the island: the smaller square area on the right (east) side, and the longer western part. The station is on the east side, and the fish market is at the far lower left (west) corner. Toyosu Gururi Park is at the extreme west side. Ginza is in the upper left corner.
Toyosu Fish Market
The island’s main attraction is the huge new Toyosu Fish Market – where a huge variety of fish and bought, sold, and processed. Tours are available and parts of the facility are open to the public.
After the fish market, the next biggest attraction on the island is LaLaport TOYOSU – a huge mall with numerous attractions. There is also a Kinokuniya Bookstore, and a Tokyu Hands in the mall. There’s loads to do at LaLaport.
Toyosu Sanchome Park
2 blocks east of LaLaport TOYOSU is Toyosu Sanchome Park – and open-air mostly concerete park used for sports + concerts.
In the very northeast corner of the western 1/2 of the island is the Tokyo Gas Science Museum which also has a huge outdoor park for kids. There is also a long jogging path along the shore.
Just northeast of the Gas Museum are Toyosu Park + Harumibashi (Springtime Beauty Bridge) Park.
Toyosu Roku-chome Park
In the southeast corner of the western 1/2 of the island is another small park called Toyosu Roku-chome Park.
MIFA Football Park
On the very north side of the western 1/2 of the island are 3 large public soccer fields called MIFA Football Park.
teamLab Planets TOKYO
Just south of that is a small art collective called teamLab Planets TOKYO.
Tokyo Sport Playground
Well that’s it for now. Toyosu has lots to offer. Even besides the fish market, the views, parks, and other attractions make it a worthwhile stop. If you’re in the area, check it out.
Free Wifi: Yes
Location: 35°41’05.75″ N 139°44’39.04″ E
Worth it? Yep.
Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑
Just west of the Imperial Palace and just north of the natonal Diet Building in Tokyo is the small district of Hanzomon. The area is rich in history and dates back to the 1600’s. It’s named after a Edo-period samurai Hattori Hanzō, who was a guard and retainer for Tokugawa Iyesu, who later became a Shogun. Hattori died just before 1600.
Hanzomon was orginally a sentry outpost on the west side of the Imperial Palace grounds. The area is bounded on the west side by a large moat which runs north-south around the palace. Around 35°41’05.75″ N 139°44’39.04″ E is an ancient sentry post building called Hanzomon Gate.
The area is accessible in several ways: you can walk around the sidewalk on the north side of the palace + wind around down to the south (along Rt. 401), you can take the Tokyo Metro subway on the Hanzomon Line to Hanzomon Station/Z05, or you can walk to to from the south in the Nagatcho/Akasaka area where the Diet Building is located.
You can also ride the road that rings the palace on a bike – if you’re feeling adventurous. The ride downhill from the northwest of the palace all the way down into Nagatcho is a spectacular ride, especially at dawn.
The moat is open to the public for small non-powered boats in the spring – and the area is a popular recreation area for joggers + walkers.
See our other post on Nagatcho/Akasaka for more info.
We also have a page featuring posts on nearly every stop on the Hanzomon Line.
Hanzomon Gate circa late 1800’s.
Today a sidewalk runs almost exactly where these people are standing.
The station is off to the west and directly north of the Diet Building to the south. It’s an easy walk from one area to another. The moat rings the palace grounds t the east across Rt. 401. To the southeast is Hibiya and Hibiya Park as well as Kasumigaseki (which has its own station).
Just 3 blocks south of the station is the very nice Hanzomon Museum – a must-see. The museum contains many ancient and interesting displays + artifacts.
National Theater + Supreme Court of Japan
Just southwest of Hanzomon Gate is the National Theater of Japan – also worth a look. The Supreme Court of Japan is also in the same complex.
Also just to the south is the Liberal Democratic Party HQ – home of the current ruling party of Japan.
Jammed in a narrow strip to the north between the moat + Rt. 401 is Chidorigafuchi Park (try saying that 3 times quickly) – which a sidewalk runs through. The area is popular with joggers.
To the west less than a mile is the north end of the Akasaka area – a hip + trendy area popular with young people. The area also contains the very upscale New Otani Hotel. Just to the west of that is the Imperial State House guest house – which offers free tours when foreign dignitaries aren’t occupying it.
However, the real interesting part of Akasaka is just to the south down Rt. 405.
Akasaka at dusk facing northwest.
One last word: be aware that because of its proximity to the Imperial Palace + Diet Building, the area is crawling with security. Behave yourself and don’t do anything which might even slightly be construed as threatening while in the area. The guards don’t take kindly to problems or disturbances. In general if you mind your business, you’ll be fine.
Hanzomon is an interesting historical area, as well as a nice place to stroll around or ride a bike, weather permitting. If you have time and are on the Hanzomon Line, stop in and check it out.
Hanzomon Line station map 5 stops east of Hanzomon.
To the south in Akasaka.
25 Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 102-0082
NEST HOTEL TOKYO HANZOMON (around 35°41’00.38″ N 139°44’31.38″ E)
APA Hotel Hanzomon (around
Name: Hotel Hillarys
Free Wifi: Yes
Location: 35°40’26.41″ N 139°44’16.74″ E
Worth it? Yep.
Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑
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:
From either station, head west across the main street, one street further west, and onto Peach St. – the narrow hidden street behind the large Bic Camera building.
Just south of Peach St. in Akasaka.
There is so much to see around Akasaka, at stay on Peach St. will be a delight. You’ll have immediate access to everything – and you could easily spend a few days in the area. There’s that much to do.