Komagome

Name: Komagome

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°44’11.87″ N 139°44’48.67″ E

Stations: Komagome Station/N14 Tokyo Metro Line, JR Komagome Station

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? For a quick look, or on the way to Itabashi, Sugamo, or Tokyo Dome City.

Updated 2/19/21

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Komagome is a small town in northwest Tokyo in between Tokyo Dome City to the south and Itabashi to the north. It’s on the JR Yamanote Line and Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. There’s not a lot to do in the town, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Perhaps the town’s most interesting feature is Rikugien Gardens (see below). The town also has a small lively nightlife backstreet area down a hill below the station away from the main part of the town. Its sister city Sugamo is just to the west.

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Access

To get to Komagome, take the JR Yamanote Line to Komagome Station, or take the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. You can also walk or bike in just a few miles from a side street (see below) from Sugamo or Itabashi. From Tokyo Dome City also take the Namboku Line (it’s in the basement) from Korakuen Station 3 stops east to Komagome Station. On bike it’s only a 30-45 min ride from Tokyo Dome City.

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Inside the station.

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There is also a small bank of coin lockers inside the station for around $4 each.

Area Layout

Central Komagome. The station is lower center left. The hill down to the backstreet area is the red-grey-lined street to the upper right of that. The alleyway area is right center. Rt. 455 runs north-south through the town. The APA Hotel is at the upper left corner to the northwest. Rikugien Gardens is just to the lower left out of view. Up is north.

Features

The main feature of Komagome is its mainstreet – Rt. 455 – which runs north-south through the town. At the south end of the town is Rikugien Gardens (see below). There is also a back alley area down the hill behind the station (also see below).

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Rt. 455 – the central road through Komagome facing south. The station is just down on the left. The APA Hotel is just to the right, out of frame.

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The central street through Komagome: Rt. 455.

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The center of town facing south on Rt. 455. There’s a large conbini (convenience store) across from the station on the right.

Cafés

Good cafés abound in Komagome. Be sure to check out the Niki Bakery + Cafe a few blocks south on Rt. 455 on the left.

There are numerous others in the area.

Rikugien Gardens

Facing west south of the station on Rt. 455 leads to the crosswalk shown below. Just to the left on the corner across the street is the entrance to Rikugien Gardens – a must see. Admission is 300¥-400¥ but well worth it. The gardens are huge and you can spend all day there looking at the lake and all the plants and trees. Also note the “31” (Baskin Robbins) just to the right. For some reason the Japanese call Baskin Robbins “31” – all because the 31 is more prominent on signage – and most likely because more Japanese know the western decimal numeral system than know full English.

Crossing to Rikugien Gardens on the left (out of view). As a footnote, if you head west down the side street shown here, after a few blocks you come to Komagome’s sister city, Sugamo. See our full post on Sugamo for more info.

Kyū-Furukawa Gardens + Otani Museum

If you’re willing to walk about a mile further north on Rt. 455 and back, around 35°44’34.58″ N 139°44’45.66″ E there are also the Kyū-Furukawa Gardens and an old museum called Otani Museum – both are worth a look for a little bit more of a hike. A mile further north beyond that on 455 is Oji Station, which is also on the Metro Namboku Line. Also in Oji is Ōji Jinja Shrine.

Komagome Ginza – The Hidden Nightlife Alley

Just down a hill to the left of the station entrance is a hidden backstreet area called Komagome Ginza which comes alive at night with restuarants, shops, bars, and pachinko parlors. To get there, head down the street shown below just left of the station. At the bottom take the first right on a tiny side street. The alley area is just on the left. You can also get to it by traversing down to the bottom level of the station from inside and exit on the left (north entrance). The alleys are well-lit at night with white LED lights and make for a fascinating evening stroll. There are plenty of good restuarants. There is also a huge free bike parking lot just at the lower exit to the station.

Head down this hill and turn right at the bottom for the hidden alley area.

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Heading down the hill. At the bottom, turn right for a tiny side street leading to:

Komagome Ginza – the nightlife area entrance and front of the Three Seven pachninko parlor.

A stroll through the nightlife area next to the Three Seven pachninko parlor.

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One of many great restaurants on the backstreet alley area.

Hotels

There are several good low-cost hotels in the area. The obvious choice is the APA Komagome a few blocks north of the station. During off-season you can get a nice room for around $60-$70/night. APA hotels are spotless, affordable, conveniently located, quiet (they have soundproof windows), and easy. They usually make your trip much easier. APA has a chain of these hotels all over Japan.

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APA Komagome lobby.

Typical APA hotel room – very small, but clean, usually with a small desk, and large TV. Most also have a micro-refrigerator as well.

There is also the nice Hotel Mets Komagome right next to the station. There is also Business Hotel Plaza Komagome, down by Komagome Ginza but it’s not quite as deluxe.

Hon-Komagome Station

About 1.5 miles south on 455 from Komagome Station is another station on the Namboku Line called Hon-Komagome Station (N13) around 35°43’29.15″ N 139°45’14.06″ E. You can also walk the entire distance on 455 south. Sandwiched in between this walk and Sugamo to the west is the world HQ of Pioneer Corporation around 35°43’44.71″ N 139°44’50.29″ E (just south of Rikugien Gardens in fact).

Also just to the west of the station a few blocks is Toyo University (incredibly, in a rare Tokyo oddity, there is a gigantic COCO’s restaurant right across the street from the university at 35°43’25.99″ N 139°45’07.10″ E).

Josenji Temple

Just north of Hon-Komagome Station is Josenji Temple around 35°43’32.86″ N 139°45’11.26″ E – it’s fairly small without a large grounds but might be worth a look if you’re walking.

Conclusion

Well that’s it for now – enjoy a walk or ride around Komagome. It’s a nice little day trip and worth a look.

Additional Photos

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Another view of the front of the station.

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

The large bike lot at the bottom of the station.

The lower rear entrance to the station down the hill.

North up Rt. 455 is this large wooden temple with interesting architecture. Worth a stop.

LINKS

Komagome Station/N14

Komagome Station

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e712.html

Komagome Station – GaijinPot

Komagome: A Quaint Town in Tokyo

Komagome Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

10 BEST Things to Do Near Komagome Station – Tripadvisor

Komagome 2021: Best of Komagome – Tripadvisor

Komagome Area Guide – Blog

APA Hotel Komagome Ekimae

https://www.hotelmets.jp/komagome/

Business Hotel Plaza Komagome | Tokyo Tourist Information

It’s a small world after all in Komagome | The Japan Times

Tokyo Travel: Rikugien Garden

https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index034.html

Sugamo

Tokyo Dome City on Bike

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

VIDS

Get lost in Akabane

Name: Akabane

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°46’47.87″ N 139°43’22.99″ E

Station: JR Akabane Sta. on JR Saikyo Line

Worth it? Yep.

Updated 2/24/2021

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Akabane is another fun, charming small Japanese town in northwest Tokyo. A nice short day trip, it sits just south of Saitama Prefecture in northwest Tokyo. Its train station is the 1st stop on the JR Saikyo Line with other notable stops to the south: Itabashi, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Omiya.

Be sure to check out the town square right outside Akabane Station. There are also very nice hotels right next to the station and even a western-style Denny’s. The lobby of the hotel Denny’s is in also has a 7-11 ATM which accepts some foreign bank + debit cards.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

The newly remodled JR Akabane Station

The JR Akabane Station has just been rebuilt and is very nice. Lots of shops and restaurants right in the station itself. Lots more just outside the west and east exists.

Akabane is 1 stop north of Jujo and 2 stops north of Itabashi on the Saikyo JR line. It’s easy to get to from Shibuya, Shinjuku, or Ikebukuro: take the Yamanote Line north from Shibuya, Harajuku, or Shinjuku, then get off at Ikebukuro Station and change to the Saikyo Line headed north. Akabane is 2 stops north of Itabashi on the Saikyo Line and 4 stops north of Ikebukuro.

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West exit, JR Akabane Station.

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South of the East Exit – there’s also a large Family Mart here.

There’s even a Mister Donut at the east exit: leave the station and turn right – you can’t miss it.

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Decisions, decisions...

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Careful – this can get dangerous real fast.

There’s more usual western fast food, and coffee in the area. But the real treats are the fine dining restaurants located on the upper floors of buildings overlooking the square. Give any one of them a try:

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There are 2 handy spots just to the north of the west exit: a bank of coin lockers where you can stash your stuff for a few bucks – and a free public WiFi spot. Go out of the west exit, turn left, cross the street, then turn left again. Cross the next intersection and immediately turn right – both the coin lockers + WiFi spot are just on your left.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

After dark, visit Akabane Ichibangai alley – which dates back to the turn of the 20th century and survived World War 2 air raids intact. Locals pour into bars and tiny restaurants here. There’s an endless variety of local food.

Just across from the station is a long covered shopping arcade that is worth a look.

Aeonbike Akabane

There’s a also a huge AEONBike bike shop on the side streets of Akabane around 35°46’46.24″ N 139°43’29.54″ E.

〒115-0045 Tokyo, Kita City, Akabane, 2 Chome−3−8

ダイエー赤羽店別館1F
+81 3-3901-0701

Open until 9:00 PM

Department Stores + Arcades

There’s also a SEGA arcade, a UNIQLO and ABC Mart on the west side of the station.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

There’s also a huge Ito Yokado depato just across from the UNIQLO shop.

Bivio Near the Station

Just at the southwest side of the station is a multi-use complex connected to Ito Yokado called Bivio. It’s a small-scale shopping area but worth a quick walk though.

Under the Tracks + Beans

Under the main station tracks is a little shopping arcade called Beans. Worth a stop if you have time:

At the south end of the city – away from the square is a great little cafe called Nine Tea. Worth a stop. From the west exit, head one block east, then south.

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Nine Tea

Also check out the huge Kyu-Furukawa Gardens.

One of the first Walmarts to open in Japan is to the east of the station – and they seem intent on putting traditional Japanese depatos such as Seiyu out of business.

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It’s also easy to get lost in Akabane. There’s a long road which rings the town and if you walk far enough on it, you can almost end up at JR Jujo Station to the south.

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Walk far enough east + south – you’ll end up in Jujo. It’s a good idea to have a cell phone or GPS device available at all times in case you get lost.

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Some areas in Japan are finally starting to install bike lanes – something long overdue. This one is just to the south west of JR Akabane Station.

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There’s also a large Catholic Church built right after World War 2 to the east of the station. Its co-founder, Saint Maximillian Colby died in a German concentration camp.

Links

https://www.gotokyo.org/en/destinations/northern-tokyo/akabane/index.html

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

https://www.gotokyo.org/en/destinations/northern-tokyo/akabane/index.html

https://digjapan.travel/en/blog/id=12259

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlaUpFtefvI&feature=share

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhnLc8k6Ebk&feature=share