Just north of the ImperialPalace in central Tokyo is the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (not to be confused with the Museum of Contermporary Art, Tokyo further to the east). This excellent and modern museum lies just west of the Parkside Bldg., just north of the moat north of the Imperial Palace, and also just west of Hibiya. Just beyond Hibiya to the east lies central Tokyo and the Marunouchi district.
Further to the west around the moat to the south lies the fabulous Akasaka.
Just northwest of the museum is Kitanomaru (North Circle) Park – so named because it is on the circular route that rings the Imperial Palace. The park has other stuff to do – such as a large science museum, walking paths, and Nippon Budokan (built for the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics). Budokan is now used for various sporting events and concerts.
To get to the museum, take the Metro Tozai Line and exit Takebashi Station to the street. At street level, head west down the sidewalk, pass the Parkside Bldg. on your right, and the museum will be up a block on your right – across from the Imperial Palace. Note that for Takebashi Station there is no above-ground station – the entire thing is under street-level.
Takebashi Station exit, right, Parkside Bldg., left. One block left of that is the museum.
Takebashi Station exit, far right, Parkside Bldg., upper center. One block left of that is the museum.South of the museum is the Imperial Palace.You can also walk all the way around the palace by walking the sidewalk along the moat.The science museum is in the upper left corner of the frame.To the very upper right of the frame is Otemachi.Way off to the right out of frame is Hibiya.
There’s lots to do here, although the museum isn’t terribly large. The building itself is impressive, as is its collection of art. Most of the art is from Japan but it’s impressive nonetheless and worth a look. If you have time, stop in and look around.
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.
Just 2 blocks northeast of the Imperial Palace, in south Kanda/Jimbocho, in a bldg. without so much as a sign is the very cool Glitch Cofee & Roasters. This is a very hip little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop with some premium varieties of coffee. Well worth a stop-in. To get here, take the Tozailine to Takebashi Station (T08 – 35°41’21.44″ N 139°45’40.89″ E), and walk north on Rt. 301 for a few blocks. You will pass a small street on the left with a 7-11 on the corner. Just down this street to the left happens to be 9 Hours Otemachi – a small modern capsule hotel, which is quite inexpensive.
Rt. 301 facing north on the left side of the street. 9 Hours Otemachi is to the left, Glitch Coffee is up on the right 2 blocks.Further up on the left side of the street is a Yamato Transport luggage delivery service.
If you continue up 301, 2 more blocks on the right is Glitch Coffee. This is just before the main cross-street of Rt. 401, which if you head west (left) leads to Tokyo Dome, and if you turn right (east), leads to the WATERAAS complex, and beyond that, Akihabara.
Glitch Coffee, in south Kanda/Jimbocho – 2 blocks northeast of the Imperial Palace.The shop is on the east side of the street. This is facing southeast towards Tokyo Sta.There is no sign, except on the doors.
There are also other Glitches in Akasaka and Nagoya.
Of interesting note is the the fact that if you continue north past Glitch, in a block or two you’ll come to Rt. 302 (Yasukuni Dori), which runs east to west. This is a major street which has lots of sporting goods stores. There is a SuperSports Xebio store right across the street, as well as lots of ski + snowboard shops along the street. If you continue east on 302 for several blocks, you’ll come to Rt. 405 (Sotobori Dori), which, if you turn north (left) onto, will take you the WATERRAS complex, which is worth checking out, and which has a very nice Olympic Grocery store + Mister Donut in it. You can enjoy a nice stroll up and down these streets for all kinds of shops and cafés.