Just to the southeast of Kensei Memorial Park and the Japan central gov’t HQ are a cluster of gov’t buildings including the HQ for the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There is also a Metro station at Kasumigaseki.
Because it’s a large gov’t area, there’s not a lot to do, but it’s still worth a look. The walk around the area and up north towards Nagatcho can be spectacular at sunset. The Imperial Palace, jogging path, and moat are also just to the east.
Just to the north of Kasumigaseki, out in front of the Diet bldg. around 35°40’33.84″ N 139°44’53.60″ E is Kensei Memorial Park – a very nice green park with a small museum at the north end. If you’re in the area, you’ll want to stop by.
Of particular note around 35°40’17.43″ N 139°44’52.85″ E is the Kasumigaseki Building– Japan’s first real skycraper built in 1968. There’s a large concrete park + fountain behind the building. A film, Chōkōsō no Akebono, was made about its construction.
Even though it’s a gov’t area, there’s a fair amount to see just by walking around, and at the right time of day, it can be a visually epic area to see. You can enjoy crossing the area on the way between one of the areas mentioned above, or walk around the Diet/park area for some exercise. If you have extra time, be sure to check out the Akasaka area as well. Hibiya Park to the easy is a must-see.
Just 2 blocks east of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is a fabulous mixed-used shopping/food complex called Ootemori. The complex is embedded in the Tokyo Metro’s Otemachi Station. It’s also reachable from Tokyo Station via a long labyrnth of underground tunnels, stairs, and escalators inside the station. For those not familiar with the area, the central part of Tokyo has 4 small sub-areas: Marunouchi where Tokyo Station and the financial district are, Otemachi, just to the northeast a few blocks, the Imperial Palace area just to the west, and Yurakucho just to the south. Underground, Tokyo Station and Otemachi Station are linked with vast levels of buildings, tunnels, escalators, and walkways.
Metro line map for 3 of the 4 lines. Otemachi Station is roughly mid-way on each line, shown here in red on each line map.
The complex + station is a vast 6-level labyrinth that overwhelms any first-time traveler to the area. It will take several trips through the complex before you become thoroughly familiar with all its intricacies. All 4 Metro lines are on different levels. The Marunouchi platform was recently renovated for the 2020 Olympic Games. There are over 100 exits in the station.
Entering Ootemori complex underground from Tokyo Station. Ootemori features spectacular soaring ceilings, and food/shopping galore. Do not miss it.
Otemachi Station street-level entry/exit. There are several such exits at street level around the Otemachi area.
Ootemori is housed in the B1 level of this bldg. in central Tokyo. But the complex and station levels span miles below the surface streets.
The Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station at night, facing northeast. Otemachi is to the northwest (left) of this photo. There are vast underground tunnels connecting the two areas beneath the station. To the south (right) is Yurakucho, and beyond that, Ginza to the east.
Inside one of many soaringoffice bldgs. in Otemachi.
Otemachi 1st Square
Just 1 block back to the west from Ootemori is Otemachi 1st Square – another large mixed use complex filled with great shopping + food. There is also a small outdoor park between the two bldgs. If you’re at Ootemori, it’s worth a stop too. Around Halloween time there’s a huge outdoor Halloween festival @ Otemachi 1st Square, so if you’re in the area around that time, be sure to stop by.
1 block diagonally to the southeast of Ootemoriis another nice mixed use complex called Marunouchi OAZO. It’s also worth a look, although there’s not as much to do @ Marunouchi OAZO as at the other 2 complexes. Marunouchi OAZO is mostly a mixed use corporate office park so the focus is more on work, but there are some things here worth a quick look.
Marunouchi OAZO complex. There are interesting shops on the 1st floor and a restaurant level on the top floor. There’s also a hotel here.
2 blocks to the northeast of Ootemori is the new Otemachi One mixed-use complex which is a great new attraction in the Maronuchi area. Built in 2017, this new complex is definitely worth a stop. The new complex features a new 2-block park + water park for visitors to relax around, a Four Seasons Hotel, and a host of other shops, cafés, and amenities.
You can spend hours or even days wandering around the subterranean levels in Ootemori exploring all it has to offer. Dozens of great restaurants, cafés, and shops abound.
Newly renovated Marunouchi Line platform. This level is one of many connected together inside Otemachi Station and, if you walk far enough, all the way to Tokyo Station.