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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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

Kinshicho Superguide

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Kinshicho

Kind: Town

Location: 35°41’48.26″ N 139°48’52.14″ E

Station: Kinshicho Station (Z13), Hanzomon Line, JR Chuo Line or Sobu-Chuo Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

Worth it? Well worth a short trip

Updated 8/30/2021

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

About a mile south of Tokyo Sky Tree in east central Tokyo is the town of Kinshicho. A small town centered around the JR Kinshicho rail station, Kinshicho offers a variety of department stores, movie theaters, grocery stores, a large outdoor park, and various other restaurants and shops. The town is compact enough to see in less than a day, and is worth a short day trip. It’s also close enough to walk to from Sky Tree to the north.

Getting there

Take the Hanzomon Metro line to Kinshicho Station (Z13), or take the JR Chuo Line or Sobu-Chuo Line to Kinshicho Station and exit. There are exits on the street on the northwest side and in the basements of some of the large department stores. There is also a street-level exit on the west side of Kinshi Park at the northeast end of the town. The main JR Station sits below and underground beneath the TERMINA department store.

Area Layout

The town is roughly laid out in a grid or square less than .5 miles across. The station is in the center, with the TERMINA department store to the southwest, PARCO store complex to the southeast, AraK!T complex to the northwest and Kinshi Park to the north east (center right in this photo). To the east about a mile is the sister city of Kameido also with a JR station. On this map, Sky Tree is vivisble just a the top of the photo. The JR line tracks are visible in the lower center of the photo – just north of the main square.

TERMINA, PARCO, OIOI Department Stores

The central town area contains 3 main complexes as well as other side streets and shops. The main complexes are TERMINA, PARCO, and OIOI (pronounced “Marui”) department stores (depato in Japanese). The main east-west route at this intersection is Rt. 465. If you head west down Rt. 465, you’ll come to the fabulous Edo-Tokyo Museum, and the Hokusai Museum, both of which are located in the Ryogoku area, which also has a huge Sumo stadium.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

TERMINA

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

PARCO

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

OIOI (Marui) across the street from the JR Kinshicho Station.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

TERMINA also has a nice food court basement called FOOD GARDEN.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

In the basement of the PARCO is a SEIYU discount grocery store. There’s also a Metro subway entrance here. SEIYU has some great midnight grocery sales where you can find food cheap.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

This box of butter cookies is only around $.80 cents.

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

In the basement of OIOI is this great Japan Meat which also has midnight sales.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just down the street is the Veggie House restaurant.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just to the south of the main area.

Japan Post Office

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Also in the PARCO bldg. is a very nice Japan Post office.

Courtesy Totally Drew

Tokyo Sky Tree visible from Kinshicho streets.

Kinshi Park + OLINAS Core

On the northeast part of the town is a large park called Kinshi Park, which is popular with families. The park features a spectacular view of Tokyo Sky Tree. Just to the north of the park is a large mixed-use center called OLINAS Core. There is also a free parking lot at OLINAS Core but only if you purchase over 15,00¥ worth of merch from any single shop. Interesting shops include a YAMADA Denki (electronics), a Seria 100¥ shop, a NITORI furniture shop, a Taito Game Station, and a TOHO Cinema. There is also a large baseball field, tennis courts, and gymnasium.

Kinshi Park. OLINAS Core is the glass bldg. shown here on the north end. Tokyo Sky Tree is about a mile to the north.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Kinshi Park looking south. OLINAS Core is on the left, out of view. The station is straight ahead.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Kinshicho Station on the Hanzomon Line. Also note the Yamato Transport office with the yellow-green sign on the right. The tall bldg. is the LOTTE City Hotel, which has spectacular views of Tokyo Sky Tree.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

OLINAS Core

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside OLINAS Core

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

Also inside OLINAS Core is a Baskin Robbins (which is known in Japan simply as 31), featuring the one-of-a-kind Pikachu Thunderbolt Fruit Mix ice cream.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

As a footnote, diagonally opposite Kinshi Park is a very nice multi-level Doutour coffee shop which has a variety of quick decent food cheap.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Doutour lettuce hotdog + coffee: less than $5.

ArcaK!T + Park

To the northwest of the station is another shopping complex called ArcaK!T which has a multitude of shops + cafés as well as a very nice organic Life Grocery. There’s also a small concrete park here.

Food

There is plenty of food around Kinshicho. All the depatos have multiple floors of great restaurants, cafés, steak and noodle places – just about aything you want. Lots of great grocery stores too.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Another Doutour – in the basement of the PARCO.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just to the left of JR Kinshicho Station is Café Le Monde. Just to the left of the café is a long shopping street.

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

Most of the department stores have fabulous food basements (deepchika) where you can get all kinds of specialty foods, snacks, desserts, and gifts.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Butter Pancake @ PARCO

In the PARCO department store is a nice pancake shop called simply Butter which serves stacks of a dozen pancakes with fruit, whipped cream, and other goodies:

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

Crazy stacks of a dozen pancakes with fruit, butter, syrup, whipped cream, ice cream @ Butter in PARCO. Get ready to walk that 15 miles to walk it off.

Rakeru @ OIOI Kinshicho

Also in the OIOI bldg. is Rakeru. While not particularly high-end, this quaint western-style restaurant serves a variety of pancake plates with fruit, ice cream, whipped cream, and other toppings. Prices range from $6-$18. Not a bad little shop. There are loads of other nice restaurants on this floor also.

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

Thai Restaurant Keawjai

Thai Restaurant Keawjai

About 2 blocks west of the town center on Rt. 465 is the really awesome Thai Restaurant Keawjai. It’s right down from the corner around 35°41’45.61″ N 139°48’42.56″ E. Head west on 465 then turn north (right) up a side street. It’s on the left. It’s 1 block south of the ArcaK!T complex. From the street you will have a clear view of Tokyo Sky Tree to the north.

There is also a nice AEON supermarket in Kinshicho not too far away.

East to Kameido

If you head east down Rt. 465 and cross the Jokojikken River at the Matsushiro Bridge, you’ll come to Kinshicho‘s sister city Kameido. We have another post on Kameido. It’s a smaller town and there’s not as much to do, but it’s less than a mile from Kinshicho so if you have time it’s worth a short hike. There is a station there but it’s only served by the Tobu Kameido Line and Chūō-Sōbu Line. There is no Metro stop. The 3 biggest features of Kameido are the atré shopping plaza, the huge Don Quijote 100¥ shop, and huge Mister Donut right across from each other.

Heading west on Rt. 465. Kameido is just ahead.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

On the way you’ll pass numerous apartment buildings, and pass through this tunnel. This photo is facing back west towards Kinshicho.

Harley Davidson Kameido

On the way you’ll also pass a very nice Harley dealer.

That’s it for now. Enjoy Kinshicho!

LINKS

https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinshich%C5%8D_Station

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

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

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

https://www.japanvisitor.com/tokyo/tokyo-area-guides/kinshicho

https://tokyocheapo.com/locations/east-tokyo/kinshicho/

https://kinshicho.parco.jp/en/

https://www.termina.info.e.zi.hp.transer.com/

https://www.olinas.jp/english/

https://www.google.com/search?q=Kinshicho

http://rakeru.jp/

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/attractions/kinshi-park

https://www.31ice.co.jp/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/RestaurantsNear-g1066459-d7274865-oa120-Toho_Cinemas_Kinshicho_Rakutenchi-Sumida_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

https://www15.j-server.com/LUCSUMIDA/ns/tl.cgi/https%3a//www.city.sumida.lg.jp/?SLANG=ja&TLANG=en&XMODE=0&XCHARSET=utf-8&XJSID=0

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

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peLv9IKVpGM&feature=emb_logo

Suitengumae Superguide

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Suitengumae

Kind: Town

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

Station: Suitengumae, Metro Hanzomon Line

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

Suitengumae is just to the right of the bldg. in the center with the square hole in it. The river shown is the Sumida River. This is facing southwest.

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

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 stroll.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Last updated 8/2/2021

©2019-2021 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).

There is also another, new larger entrance about a block to the west around 35°42’00.70″ N 139°44’37.52″ E.

©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.

Facing west on the walkway.

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

Japanese Candy

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Last updated 2/13/2021

Japan has some crazy candy. You can usually find it cheap. The best places to shop for cheap candy are in Welcia drug stores, Don Quijote discount stores (see below) and ordinary conbini such as Family Mart, Lawson, or 7-11.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Meiji chocolates. Meiji in general is a well-respected brand in Japan.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Chcodama.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Strawberry Milk Candy.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Gumdrops (Gamudoroppu in Japanese).

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

Happy barf Licorice.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Rock candy.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Japanese equivalent of Slim Jims – pepperoni-flavored beef/pork sticks.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Smores bar.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

A Doutour cookie. Doutour is a large restaurant/cafe chain in Japan.

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

Crystal sugar rock candy.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Small chocolate/strawberry squares.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

One of the best places to buy cheap snacks + candy in Japan is the discount store Don Quijote. Look for the crazed penguin outside. There are lots of them all over Tokyo, the one shown above is in Itabashi. There is also one near Tokyo Dome City, Ginza (shown below), and in Ikebukuro.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside Don Quijote: total madness.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Don Quijote Ginza (located at 35°40’01.63″ N 139°45’43.15″ E). It’s actually located just southwest of Ginza on the edge of Shiodome. One of the best Don Quijotes in Tokyo for snacks hands down. This one also happens to sell lots of good bicycles cheap outside on the right side. You can even get a GM/Hummer bike here for around $300.

More snacks in Don Quijote Ginza. Around $1.00 – $1.25 USD.

Another little snack from Don Quijote.

Enjoy.

LINKS

5 Popular Japanese Candies

Salmon-flavored candy.

VIDS