Hiroo

Name: Hiroo

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°39’06.53″ N 139°43’20.30″ E

Station: Hiroo Station (H03), Metro Hibiya Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? For a quick stroll or some night dining.

Updated 4/24/2021

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Hiroo is a small town just southwest of Roppongi in Tokyo.

There’s not a lot do to here because the town is mostly a high-end residential district. There are however many very cool restaurants and few large parks + complexes worth checking out. The area is known as one of the more upscale areas in Tokyo. It also has many high end car dealerships.

There are several large hospitals to the north, and a large Christian college. Roppongi is to the northeast, and Shibuya is to the northwest, both easily within walking distance.

Just to the east a few blocks is the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library and gardens.

Access

Get the Metro Hibiya subway line and exit Hiroo Station – the 3rd stop on the line. When you exit to the street you’ll be on Gaien Nishi-Dori which runs north-south.

If you head a bit further south on Gaien Nishi-Dori you’ll come to Ebisu.

Area Layout

The town is pretty simple – one main street running north-south and a bunch of side-streets. Most of the interesting stuff is on the main street. There is also Hiroo Strolling Street (see below).

The biggest reason to visit Hiroo is for the nice restaurants. There are also a few multiuse complexes worth checking out. There’s a wide range of food from Italian, pizza, cafés (there’s a nice Blue Bottle Coffee), sushi and more.

Blue Bottle Coffee which is right across from the station.

Café Michelangelo.

Hiroo Plaza, Hiroo Garden, National Azabu Supermarket

Around 35°39’00.19″ N 139°43’17.13″ E is a large multiuse complex called Hiroo Plaza worth checking out. Right across the street is Hiroo Garden – another small shopping complex. There is also a small free city shuttle bus stop right out front of Hiroo Garden. Both are worth a look.

Around 35°39’02.42″ N 139°43’27.84″ E is a very nice large organic grocery called National Azabu Supermarket.

Hiroo Strolling Street

At 35°39’02.08″ N 139°43’16.63″ E to the west is Hiroo Strolling Street (aka Hiroo Shopping Street) – which comes alive after dark and makes a nice nighttime stroll. Right on the corner is a huge 2-story wine bar/shop called Vinos Yamazaki.

New Sanno Hotel

Just a few blocks east from the intersection of Gaien Nishi-Dori and Meiji Dori is the New Sanno Hotel. If you’re looking for a nice hotel in the area, this is it. There are some others which aren’t as expensive, but if you’re looking for pure luxury and nice surroundings, New Sanno is the best in the town.

Yamatane Museum of Art

About 1/2 a mile to the west around 35°39’11.52″ N 139°42’49.09″ E is the very cool Yamatane Museum of Art. This museum has an excellent contemporary clean design inside and out and has a huge collection of ancient art. If you have a few extra minutes and don’t mind the walk, it’s worth checking out.

There are also quite a few ancient temples in Hiroo worth checking out.

Conclusion

Hiroo is a very hip quirky little town. If you’re on the Metro Hibiya Line and have a few free minutes, pop in and take a walk to check it out – especially at night.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

There are also several bus stops.

Lots of high-end car dealers abound.

LINKS

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

Hibiya Line | Tokyo Metro Line

Hiro-o Station/H03 | Route/Station Information

https://www.library.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/english/central_library/

https://bluebottlecoffee.com/cafes/hiroo

Exploring around Hiroo Station: For Lunch and Dessert

Segafredo Zanetti Espresso Hiroo – Café in Hiroo

Finding New York Style Pizza at The Pizza in Hiroo – Japan Journeys

VIDS

Kiyosumi-shirakawa

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Name: Kiyosumi-shirakawa

Kind: Town

Location: 35°40’55.63″ N 139°47’56.02″ E

Station: Kiyosumi-shirakawa, Metro Hanzomon Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒

Worth it? For a quick look

Updated 7/17/2020

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

You come from far away
With pictures in your eyes
Of coffeeshops and morning streets
In the blue and silent sunrise

— Suzanne Vega

Kiyosumi-shirakawa is a small town in east Tokyo. It’s mostly a residential neighborhood area, but there are a few things here worth a look if you’re in the area. It’s the 4th stop (Z11) on the Metro Hanzomon Line from its eastern terminus Oshiagé <SKYTREE> which is to the northeast.

Area Layout

The town layout is around the intersection of Rt. 474 and Kiyosumi Dori – the large “+” shaped intersection in the center right of this map. The Metro station is just east (right) of that, and the Kiyosumi Garden (see below) is the large green area. The Sumida River and the town of Suitengumae are to the left (west).

The town is just to the east of the Sumida River, and less than a mile from its sister city to the west – Suitengumae (where the Tokyo City Air Terminal is located). From the west you can get to it by crossing the Kiyosu Bashi Bridge which spans the Sumida River. This puts you onto Rt. 474 heading east, which is the main road through the town. The Metro station is just to the east about a mile down on 474 after it crosses Kiyosumi Dori. To walk to the town from Tokyo Station from the west, just head down Eitai Dori to the east – it’s only a few miles. Cross Kiyosu Bashi Bridge and you’re there. There’s a walking/cycling lane on the bridge. There is also a town layout map on the sidewalk just at the top of the station stairs.

The bridge itself is quite interesting because it’s small, but it’s a suspension bridge and has a decidedly European flavor to it. There is also a famous spectacular night view from the bridge to the south. For more on the area in general and the bridge, see our post on Suitengumae.

Station

To get here by train take the Metro Hanzomon Line and exit up the stairs or escalator to the street. You’ll be presented with a city map + a sign pointing to the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (see below). Interestingly, there are a number of ancient artworks in the station itself to look at on your way. The station does have free WiFi. Just across from the station is Reigan-ji Temple.

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Like many train station stairs in Japan, Kiyosumi-Shirakawa’s can be daunting.

Be careful.

Attractions

By far the biggest attraction in Kiyosumi-shirakawa is Kiyosumi Garden (aka Kiyosumi Teien) – a spectacular Japanese garden complete with walking paths, a tea house, and a pond. The gardens are well worth a look. The garden is just south of 474 on Kiyosumi Dori. Turn right (south) at Kiyosumi Dori from 474. You can also enter on the east end of 474 itself. There’s an annual pass for a mere $6 available. There’s also a large library at the south end of the park – Fukagawa Library.

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

The other big attraction in the town is the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. As of this writing the museum is temporarily closed. It’s about 1/2 mile to the southeast of the station on 474.

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Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

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Kiba Park

Just to the south of the museum is the huge + spectacular Kiba Park.

The park has 2 parts – a smaller part just south of the museum, and then a spectacular huge park south of that across the Sendai-Bori River. There’s a large concrete foot bridge you can cross from the northern part to get to it. The large side of the park has a huge open space, cherry blossom viewing in spring, paths, and the Kiba Midorium – a small indoor plant hothouse. (“Midori” means “green” in Japanese). The east side of the park is bounded by the Oyoko River, from whose banks you can see Tokyo Sky Tree to the north (in fact you can walk there up streets to the north – it’s just over 2 miles).

Fukasado Café

About a block east of the garden around 35°40’43.40″ N 139°48’00.51″ E is a mixed use art co-op + café called Fukasado – well worth a look.

Blue Bottle Coffee

Around 35°40’39.72″ N 139°48’02.55″ E is a huge new Blue Bottle Coffee which is well worth a stop. Totally Drew did a video on it not too long ago.

There are a ton of other good small coffee shops around the area as well.

Other Goodies

Along the way to the museum/park there are a few other interesting places such as small shops and, to the south a bit but still west of the park there is the Fukagawa Winery. There are also cafés, pastry shops, and traditional Japanese restaurants in the general area.

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Fukagawa Winery

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Well, that’s it for Kiyosumi-shirakawa. Stop by when you have time and have a quick stroll around to get that shitamachi (“old Tokyo”) feel. Stop by Suitengumae to the west also if you have time. Enjoy!

Beeslow Kiyosumi Shirakawa

Also be sure to check out the cool tea shop Beeslow Kiyosumi Shirakawa. They feature a Black Honey Mojito that is fabulous on a hot summer day.

Toyosumi Park + Sendaiborigawa Park + Kiba Park

If you have some extra time, just to the east, be sure to also check out Toyosumi Park and Sendaiborigawa Park. They’re worth a look if you’re in the area. There’s another awesome huge park just to the east called Kiba Park which is a must-see also. Check it out.

Conclusion

Kiyosumi-shirakawa may be small, but there are a lot of small charms here worth seeing. If you have time, stop in and check it out.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

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A local Koban (police box).

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The city has also just completed a huge new sidewalk renovation project replacing old sidewalks with new multicolored pavers.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

LINKS

https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/kiyosumi-shirakawa/index.html

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

https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index033.html#googtrans(en)

https://www.gotokyo.org/en/destinations/eastern-tokyo/kiyosumi-shirakawa/index.html

https://old-tokyo.info/getting-deeper-kiyosumi-shirakawa/

https://www.japan-guide.com/chottozeitaku/190419.html

https://whereintokyo.com/venues/25148.html

https://jpninfo.com/65196

https://www.mot-art-museum.jp/en/

http://fukadaso.com/

https://www.tcat-hakozaki.co.jp/en/

Beeslow Kiyosumi Shirakawa

Kiyosumi Koen and the surrounding area

What does Kiyosumi-Shirakawa mean?

VIDS

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