Jimbocho: Tokyo’s “Book Town”

Name: Jimbocho

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°41’45.95″ N 139°45’41.43″ E

Station: Jimbocho Station, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line

Worth it? For a nice stroll, books, music, or sports.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Updated 3/12/2021

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Jimbocho is a small town in north central Tokyo about 1/2 a mile to the north of the Imperial Palace and the Otemachi area. It’s known as Tokyo’s book town. But it also has a wide variety of sports + music shops – especially for skiing and snowboarding. You can spend a whole day strolling east-west on Yasukuni-Dori Ave (Rt. 403). checking out the shops. There are endless bookstores in the area with every kind of book imaginable.

Access

To get to Jimbocho, take the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line and get off at Jimbocho Station. You can also easily walk/bike from Akihabara/Otemachi/Tokyo Dome City.

Area Layout

Central Jimbocho facing north. Yasukuni-Dori runs east-west in sort of an inverted arc shown here running throught the center of town. This street is lined with endless sports/book/music shops, cafés, and restaurants. To the north is Ochanomizu, to the east (right) is Akihabara and Kanda, and to the south is Otemachi and the Imperial Palace. Tokyo Dome City is to the northwest, out of frame.

Extended view facing north. Jimbocho is in the center, Akihabara on the right, TDC at the upper-left, and Imperial Palace to the south, just out of view.

The central + west side of Jimbocho is better described in our Kanda Superguide. We’ll detail just the basic area here. Essentially Yasukuni-Dori (Rt. 403) runs east-west in an arc through the center of town.

There are endless backstreets + streets full of book stores. Most of the major sporting + music shops are along Yasukuni-Dori. There are dozens of interesting guitar shops along the way.

The Hidden Pedestrian Side Street

At around 35°41’43.31″ N 139°45’39.23″ E – just across from a Xerbio Sports store and right next to an ABC-Mart shoe store is the entrance to a charming little side street off-limits to vehicle traffic. There are dozens of nice restaurants + cafés and other shops up + down this street. If you walk this street a few blocks to the west and then turn right on Rt. 301 (Hakusan-Dori) it will take you right into TDC. Turning left on the main street next to ABC instead of taking the side street will lead you to glitch Coffee (discussed next). If you continue walking far enough south past glitch Coffee it will take you to the Imperial Palace and Otemachi.

This street is shown in the 1st video below by NIPPON WANDERING TV.

glitch Coffee

At around 35°41’37.52″ N 139°45’40.50″ E just to the south of Yasukuni Dori is glitch Coffee. The shop is excellent, but’s in a run-down non-descript old office bldg. with only a sign in the window. Don’t let the appearance fool you – it’s worth a trip. See our full review.

Facing north into Jimbocho from Otemachi. glitch Coffee is the small pink bldg. on the right. Yasukuni-Dori is just a few blocks straight ahead.

Yonemoto Coffee Shop

At around 35°41’32.82″ N 139°45’48.60″ E just to the south a few blocks off Yasukuni-Dori and several blocks east of glitch is the Yonemoto Coffee Shop – it’s on a corner and a very nice place to rest + get a brew. It’s popular with early-morning local workers. There is a larger main shop by the same company east of Ginza near Tsukiji.

Yonemoto Coffee Shop – just a few blocks east of glitch.

4-11-1, Tsukiji, Chuo 104-0045 Tokyo Prefecture+81 3-3541-6473

WATERRAS + Ochanomizu

If you walk a mile or so west on Yasukuni-Dori, then turn north (left) onto Rt. 405 (Sotobori-Dori), you’ll come to the sister city of Ochanomizu where there is a spectacular complex called WATERRAS around 35°41’50.39″ N 139°46’03.98″ E. There is also a very nice organic Olympic grocery in the basement of WATERRAS. If you’re up for a bit of a walk, WATERRAS is worth the quick tirp.

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Just to the west of WATERRAS 2 blocks is a Greek Orthodox church with spectacular Russian architecture called Holy Ressurection Cathedral.

North to Ueno, east to Akihabara.

If you head north of WATERRAS and cross the Kanda River, then head onto Rt. 452 north for about 1 mile you will come to the famous Tokyo district of Ueno.

You can also cross the Kanda River, then head east a few blocks, then north a few blocks again to Akihabara which is only a few miles to the northeast.

Additional Photos

Facing west on Yasukuni-Dori. Note the sidewalk Metro portal on the right.

Head north off Yasukuni-Dori here for WATERRAS.

Conclusion

Jimbocho is a nice little town worth a stroll. It’s usually low-tourist, and low-crowd, which makes it easy. It’s well worth a quick trip or day trip from any of the other local major areas such as Otemachi, Akihabara, or TDC. Check it out.

LINKS

Jimbōchō, Tokyo – Wikipedia

Jimbōchō Station – Wikipedia

Hanzomon Line

Hanzomon Line Posts | Ten Minute Tokyo

Ōtemachi Superguide | Ten Minute Tokyo

Kanda Superguide | Ten Minute Tokyo

Glitch Coffee, Kanda-Jimbocho | Ten Minute Tokyo

Chiyoda City

Kanda & Jimbocho | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Jimbocho Book Town Things to Do

Jimbocho Book Town

Jimbocho Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

10 Great Things to Do in Jimbocho | Tokyo Creative Travel

Jimbocho: Spending A Day In Tokyo’s Book District – Savvy Tokyo

Jimbocho Winter Sports Shop Street – Japan Travel

Jimbocho Guide – Japan Talk

Jimbocho: Tokyo’s Used Bookstore District

Japan Trip 2009: Jinbocho – Comics212.net

VIDS

Ootemori

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Ootemori

Kind: Shopping/Mixed Use

Location: 35°41’06.13″ N 139°45’56.04″ E

Station: Tokyo Station, Otemachi Station (C11) on Metro Chiyoda Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Do not miss it.

Updated 10/24/2020

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.

Getting Here

The easiest way to Ootemori is to take the Metro Chiyoda, Hanzomon, Marunouchi, or Tozai Line and get off at Otemachi Station. You can exit above ground and walk to the building, or you can brave the long tunnels underground to get to it. You can also get here from Tokyo Station by following the underground signs to the Hanzomon Line, but that approach is quite a hike – several miles. You can also exit Tokyo Station to the street, and head northwest on surface sidewalks to reach Ootemori.

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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.

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Entering Ootemori complex underground from Tokyo Station. Ootemori features spectacular soaring ceilings, and food/shopping galore. Do not miss it.

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One of many long underground passages from Tokyo Station to Otemachi Station.

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Otemachi Station street-level entry/exit. There are several such exits at street level around the Otemachi area.

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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.

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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.

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Ootemori is beneath this bldg. in Otemachi.

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Inside one of many soaring office 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.

Marunouchi OAZO

1 block diagonally to the southeast of Ootemori is 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.

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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.

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Otemachi One

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.

Additional Photos

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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.

Massive Metro lines map inside Tokyo Station.

One of many Otemachi Sta. Metro street entrances in Otemachi – this one right next to Sapia Tower.

Well, that’s it for now. Ootemori is definitely worth a look/trip. It’s easy to get to on the Metro lines and can keep you interested for an entire day or night.

Enjoy!

LINKS

http://www.ootemori.jp/index.php

https://www.marunouchi-hotel.co.jp/

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

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

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g14129477-d7711565-Reviews-Ootemori-Otemachi_Chiyoda_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

http://www.1st.co.jp/

Tokyo Station City

marunouchi.com

https://otemachi-one.com

http://www.otemon.net/index_g

Ootemori on YouTube

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Ootemori

Blue Bottle Coffee @ Manseibashi Station

You can soon get your Blue Bottle cold brew coffee fix from a can - Los  Angeles Times

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Name: Blue Bottle Coffee Kanda

Kind: Café

Location: 35°41’51.10″ N 139°46’11.06″ E

Station: Akihabara Sta.

Address: 1-chōme-25-4 Kanda Sudachō, Chiyoda City, Tōkyō-to 101-0041, Japan

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Totally.

Updated 9/25/2020

A new Blue Bottle Coffee café has opened in the historic Manseibashi Station just north of Tokyo Station in Kanda. Well worth a stop in for a drink and a rest. Note that most seating is outside. This is the 11th Blue Bottle Coffee in Tokyo.

To get here exit Akihabara Station, head south on Chuo-Dori to Manseibashi Bridge, cross it, then turn the corner right past the station. Blue Bottle Coffee is down on your right – the 1st shop just past the 1912 stairwell entrance.

Hours are mostly 8:00-9:00 AM – 7:00-ish PM.

Drinks are around 500¥ (about $5 USD). They also sell BBC mugs.

Check out the gorgeous photos @ urdesignmag.com below.

The mAAch eCute mall inside Manseibashi Station in general is well worth a stroll.

LINKS

https://www.urdesignmag.com/lifestyle/2019/04/02/blue-bottle-coffee-kanda-manseibashi-cafe/

https://bluebottlecoffee.com/cafes/kanda

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/shopping/maach-ecute-kanda-manseibashi

https://japantravel.navitime.com/en/area/jp/spot/02301-1405315/

https://www.ejrcf.or.jp/mansei/english/

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

Manseibashi: The Phantom Station of Tokyo

Experience The 100 Year History of “mAAch ecute” Underpass

https://tokyorailwaylabyrinth.blogspot.com/2013/09/manseibashi-revival-of-abandoned-station.html

https://visit-chiyoda.com/

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The 1912 stairwell on your right is just before Blue Bottle Coffee.

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On the 2nd floor of the station is a small museum detailing its history – worth a quick look after your coffee break. From Blue Bottle Coffee head north on the west side of the station, then head inside for the elevator to the 2nd floor.

Blue Bottle, pop-up store in Kanda

The east side of the station from mAACh eCute‘s official brochure. Pass this to the left shown here, then head right.

mAACh eCute map. The station is in the middle, Akihabara Station is the small “+” shaped area to the right. The bridge crosses the Kanda River.

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyki4e6RG84BT_xzi4oYkRw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il3lGdmG888