Imperial Palace + Kitanomaru Park

Name: Imperial Palace + Kitanomaru Park

Kind: Castle + Park

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°41’31.72″ N 139°45’03.45″ E

Station: Kudanshita Station, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, Toei Shinjuku Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? A must-see.

Updated 8/11/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Just north of the Imperial Palace is a huge park called Kitanomaru Park.

The park includes a huge pond, gardens, and the Nippon Budokan – which was originally built as a Judo arena for the 1964 Olympics.

The Imperial Moat runs along the west side. If you head northwest or further west and down south a bit, you’ll arrive at the fabulous Akasaka. Just across the street to the south before the Imperial Palace is the Imperial Guard Division HQ. Just east of that is the Japan National Archives. Just across east of that on Uchibori-Dori is the Parkside Building, which is down into Otemachi.

There are also 2 large car parking lots.

Uchibori-Dori, facing west. The entrance to the Imperial Palace is on the left, the Parkside Bldg. on the right. Kitanomaru Park is ahead up the street on the right.

Access

To get to the park, take the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, and exit Kudanshita Station. You can also take Toei Shinjuku Line. Get off at Kudanshita Station around 35°41’44.45″ N 139°45’05.70″ E. Head west down the street, then south in the next block.

Entrance is free and is easiet on the south side of the street at the Tayasumon Gate near the Imperial Palace from the main street. There’s a small bridge to cross the moat into the park. You’ll be right at Nippon Budokan so head southwest around the walkway and further south into the park.

2 Museums

Inside the park there are 2 great museums: National Museum of Modern Art and the Science Museum. The Science Museum is way out on the southeast side.

There are also a few other small things to do, and shops including an ice cream place and a few small other food shops.

The leaves in the fall are spectacular.

If you’re in central Tokyo, you don’t want to miss it.

Enjoy!

LINKS

Kudanshita Station – Wikipedia

Kudanshita Station/T07/Z06 | Route/Station Info

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

A visit to “Kitanomaru Garden” – This is where you’ll find your new favorite museum! – Visit Chiyoda

Nippon Budokan

National Archives of Japan – Wikipedia

Tokyo Imperial Palace | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace: Mega Guide for What to Do and See | Tokyo Cheapo

Imperial Palace Tokyo – a travel guide for visitors

Tayasu-mon Gate, Tokyo

旧江戸城写真ガラス原板  田安門 | Tokyo Museum Collection

Kitanomaru park, Tokyo, Japan [RESULT] – SketchCrawl.com™

Parc Kitanomaru – Le jardin du château d’Edo

Tokyo Travel Tips. Advice, Reviews, How to get Around, Things to See

Breakfast at Yaesu Hatsufuji (again), Ueno Park, and Kitanomaru Park – mmm-yoso!!!

Kitanomaru Square The Terrace – Luxury Apartment for Rent in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

VIDS

Kasumigaseki

Name: Kasumigaseki

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°40’22.31″ N 139°44’58.97″ E

Stations: Kasumigaseki Station, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line (M-15), Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-07), Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-08)

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? If you’re nearby.

Updated 6/25/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Kasumigaseki is a small town just south of the Japan central gov’t area Nagatcho in west-central Tokyo. Kasumigaseki literally means Misty Gate. It’s also the name of a 19th century Ukiyo-e wood block painting High Noon at Kasumigaseki.

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.

Around further to south and east are Hibiya and Marunouchi north of that. Just east is the spectacular Hibiya Park.

Kensei Memorial Park

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.

Also just to the northwest of the park is the nice Akasaka area – see our post Nagatcho/Akasaka Superguide for more info.

Kasumigaseki Building

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.

Access

To get to the area take the Metro Marunouchi Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, or Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-08) and exit at Kasumigaseki Station. The Chiyoda Line has a few more key stops just a few stations away in either direction: namely, Hibiya Station, Ōtemachi Station, and Akasaka Station.

When you exit, you’ll come up to the street just south of the park mentioned above. The Diet bldg. will be just to your northwest.

Toranomon to the South

Just a few blocks to the south is the cool Toranomon area. See our Toranomon Superguide for more info. If you have extra time it’s worth a stroll. It’s only a few blocks’ walk.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Looking southwest into Toranomon from Kasumigaseki at sunset.

Conclusion

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.

Enjoy!

LINKS

Also see our Nagatcho/Akasaka Superguide since Kasumigaseki is very close to Nagatcho/Akasaka.

Kasumigaseki

Kasumigaseki Station (Tokyo) – Wikipedia

Kasumigaseki Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

Edo Castle Outer Moat Underground Museum | Tokyo Cheapo

Kasumigaseki Building – Tokyo’s 1st high-rise office building[4]

Chōkōsō no Akebono (A film about the construction of the Kasumigaseki Building).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kuniyoshi_Utagawa,_High_Noon_at_Kasumigaseki.jpg

VIDS

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

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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

Blue Bottle Coffee @ Manseibashi Station

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

©2020 tenmintokyo.com

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/

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

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

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

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