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 Parkis ahead up the street on the right.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Sportsstore 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 452north 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.
Facing west on Yasukuni-Dori.Note the sidewalk Metro portal on the right.
Head north off Yasukuni-Dori here for WATERRAS.
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.
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.
The east side of the station from mAACh eCute‘s official brochure. Pass this to the left shown here, then head right.