Tokyo Station Superguide Part 2: Yaesu

Name: Tokyo Station

Kind: Station/Multi-use

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°40’49.41″ N 139°46’07.51″ E

Station: Tokyo Station

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Don’t miss it.

Updated 4/17/2021

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For general info on Tokyo Station see Part 1 of our series.

The east side of Tokyo Station is called the Yaesu side (named after the 17th century foreign Samurai Jan Joosten).

It’s the newer more modern side of the station compared with the west Marunouchi side built in the early 1900’s.

Access

For access + area layout info for the station see Part 1 of our post which has all the ways to get to Tokyo Station.

Design

The east side is one long continuous sidewalk on the outside with a large bus stop + loading area, a central entrance, the large DAIMARU depato (department store), and an elevated walkway with some shops called GRANRoof. There is also a very cheap hidden luggage store/forward place in a hidden basement at the very south end.

Underneath the east side are endless corridors, passages, and a huge shopping mall. The main street running north-south in front of the east side is called Sotobori Dori. Across the street to the east are shops, the huge Yamada Denki (an electronics shop called Concept LABi), and some very interesting side streets with lots to see + do. There are also some very nice hotels on the east side.

Just to the north of the DAIMARU depato is a very upscale hotel – the Shangri La Hotel Tokyo. You can’t find a better or more convenient hotel in Tokyo, but it will cost you dearly – close to $500/night or even more during peak tourist season in the spring. The only closer hotel is the Tokyo Station Hotel itself – inside the station.

Facing south. The station is center right. The DAIMARU building is right of that, and the Shangri La is on the far right. On the left is the Yamada Denki Concept LABi store. The street shown is Sotobori Dori. Just down to the left past Yamada are some interesting side streets that are a must-see.

At the very south end are some shops on the outside including a very nice 2-story waffle house. If you turn right and follow a small corridor past the corner, then take the nondescript elevator down, you’ll find a hidden luggage storage/delivery service with very cheap rates. This place comes in incredibly handy when going to/from the station with luggage. If you are arriving in Tokyo you can drop your luggage here overnight, then come back the next day and pick it up. They can also deliver to your hotel.

The Yaesu Central Entrance. The huge staircase + escalators lead to the underground shopping mall. The stairs on the left lead up to GRANRoof.

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The Nihombashi (north) Entrance

Just north of the Shangri La around the corner to the left is the smaller north, or Nihombashi entrance to the station. This entrance is mostly used for buses, but also has some other unique features – the Sagawa luggage delivery/storage service is here, as are a few restaurants and a large bank of coin lockers. (Nihombashi is the district just north of Tokyo Station).

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The Nihombashi Entrance.

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The large bank of coin lockers along the north side. An entrance to 1st Avenue underground mall is on the left.

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Along the Yaesu side. The bus loading area is on the left. The Yaesu Central Entrance is just to the right out of frame. Small food shops are at the far end. Just behind the camera is the DAIMARU depato:

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

The roof mezzanine level which has many shops on the left side. This level also affords a spectacular view of the city to the east.

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Surprisingly, just outside is a free + large place to park bikes. And you don’t even need to lock them. Hardly anyone in Japan steals anything.

Inside

We described the vast tunnels + platforms inside the station in Part 1 so we won’t go into it again here. Suffice it to say there are 2 sides to the station and underneath are vast shop/restaurant areas with endless things to eat. It’s so vast it’s easy to get lost. You’re going to need a lot of food after spending hours walking around the place and up + down stairs.

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In one of many corridors inside Tokyo Station.

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After walking miles in the station, you will be ready to eat.

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Inside the station there are endless food options + goodies.

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Sakura Street

Just east of the station and 1 block south of the Yamada Denki building is the entrance to a small side street known simply as Sakura Street:

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If you’re visiting the station for the 1st time, this street is a must-see. But wait until after dark when the street comes alive with restaurants, cafés, pubs, and a host of other cool places to check out. There are also a few other good smaller hotels on this streets such as:

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and

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Sakura Street comes alive after dark.

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One of many parallel side streets near Sakura Street. Lots to see + do.

Head Further East

At the end of Sakura Street just 2 blocks east around 35°40’49.19″ N 139°46’20.99″ E is another major north-south street with lots to do. There’s a huge museum here (Artizon Museum), lots of skyscrapers, and a huge Takashimaya depato. The restaurant level on the top floor of the Takashimaya Annex is especially good. If you want a really good hamburger, try Brozer’s on that floor:

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com
Nihombashi Takashimaya Shopping Center

2-4-1 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8265
Phone +81-3-3211-4111

More Cool Stuff On the Backstreets

If you wander around the backstreets you will find a surprisingly awesome array of cool things to do + see – not just on Sakura Street, but on all of the streets. Places such as these:

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Coin Lockers

There are huge banks of paid coin lockers around the station. The largest banks are near the shinkansen entrances, along the north corridor, and along the west corridor. To learn how to use them, see Part 1. You can pay by cash, coin, or electronic Suica card. (the Japanese word for card is a Katakana loan word from English: cardo).

The lockers can come in handy when entering or leaving the country, going to other cities in Japan, or if you are just taking a day trip and don’t want to carry everything with you. They are usually totally secure.

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Large lockers. The red indicator usually means they are in use.

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Locker payment machine. The touchscreen at the top indicates how you would like to pay, and the small oval below it is the Suica card reader. After indicating payment by Suica, just slap your card on the reader and the price will be deducted from the card. You can also use bills + coins.

Prepaid IC Cards in Japan: How to Use - Japan Rail Pass

Conclusion

Well that’s it for Tokyo Station. We’ve barely scratched the surface here. The station is vast and you can easily spend days exploring it. It’s a must-see on any trip to Tokyo. Don’t miss it.

Additional Photos

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The Shangri-La Hotel.

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Across from the north entrance is this employment agency – PASONA.

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Inside the north entrance.

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The underground Yaesu Shopping Mall which is vast.

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Heading down into the Ginza Metro subway line.

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Inside the underground 1st Avenue mall.

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10 floors of electronics mayhem in Concept LABi.

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Inside Concept LABi. The wall of iPhone cases alone is gigantic.

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The view east from the roof mezzanine.

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One of many restaurants on the roof mezzanine level.

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The R.L. Waffle Café at the very south end.

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One of the Shinkansen (bullet train) entrances. Note the bank of coin lockers on the left.

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3 of the major Metro lines in Tokyo Station: Marunouchi, Chiyoda, and Tozai lines.

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There are even entire grocery stores inside the station.

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A specialty store inside DAIMARU.

Entrance to the Shangri-La Hotel. There is also an upscale Sarabeth’s above on the 2nd floor. The station is to the left, out of frame.

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Area to the east of the station.

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Area northeast of the station.

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Main entrance to Takashimaya.

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The Annex has some really great places to eat.

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Stairs on the Yaesu side leading up to GRANRoof mezzanine.

GRANRoof mezzanine.

At the south end of the Yaesu side. The hidden luggage elevator is just to the left.

Heading into the north entrance.

In the underground shopping mall.

And the ubiquitous Hello Kitty shop in the underground mall.

A specialty food selling in the station.

Crazy food basements with all kinds of goodies.

Entrance to e•Cute shopping mall in the station.

Another crazy food seller.

LINKS

The Complete Guide to Tokyo Station – LIVE JAPAN

Sagawa Luggage Service

VIDS

For many interesting vids around the station, see Part 1.

Kanda Superguide

Name: Kanda

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°41’40.88″ N 139°45’53.80″ E

Stations: Kanda Tokyo Metro Station, JR Kanda Station, Ogawamachi Station Toei Shinjuku Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? For a quick look, or enroute to Akihabara

Updated 2/2/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Sandwiched in between Akihabara to the northeast and Tokyo Station to the south is a part of Tokyo called Kanda. It’s centered on Rt. 405 (Sotobori Dori) just north of the financial district Marunouchi. Also just to the northwest is Ochinomizu. Akihabara is just a few minutes’ walk up Rt. 302 to the east. Jimbocho, Tokyo’s used book town is just 1/4 mile to the west. All 4 areas are within walking distance of each other.

Access

To get to Kanda take the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Kanda Station or the JR Yamanote Line and exit Kanda Station. It’s also quite easy to walk from either Tokyo Station to the south or Akihabara Station to the north. Note however that the main JR Kanda Station is actually about 4 blocks to the southeast. There is also plenty to do around the station itself. If you walk south on Rt. 17 from JR Kanda Station it will take you directly into Nihonbashi which is one of the nicest areas of Tokyo, although it is in the opposite direction from central Kanda.

A quicker + closer way is to go to Ogawamachi Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line, around 35°41’42.88″ N 139°45’59.85″ E and head west one block, or take the Metro to Awajicho Station on the Marunouchi Line.

Heading south from JR Kanda Station.

JR Kanda Station facing north on Chuo Dori. Continuing north will take you right into Akihabara, which is the next JR stop north on the Yamanote Line. The area under the station to the north side is known as Kanda Crossing. There’s a small side street shown here on the right worth a stroll.

Area Layout

Central Kanda. Akihabara is on the right side of the frame, Jimbocho on the left. The WATERRAS complex is the large black building to the upper right. Sotobori Dori is the main street running north-south center right.

Central Intersection

The central area in Kanda is on the intersection of Yasukuni-Dori (Rt. 302) and Hongo-Dori (Rt. 403). You can walk west or east on 302 for miles and there is a lot to see. On the very west end is Jimbocho, known as Tokyo’s used book town (as well as an area with lots of sports shops).

At the intersection there are lots of cafés and restaurants including a Doutor and an Excelsior Café. In fact, there are 2 Doutours 1 block apart. There are also a variety of noodle and yakiniku (steak) places around. And several conbini (convenience stores).

Facing west on 302 towards Jimbocho.

Facing east on 302 towards Akihabara. Excelsior Café is on the right. The block from here east is the central area. WATERRAS (see below) is one block up to the left. You can also just barely see Tokyo Sky Tree in Suitengumae in the distance.

The Doutour one block to the west.

Kanda Nishiguchi Shopping Street

Several blocks to the southeast around 35°41’28.24″ N 139°46’07.97″ E is the entrance to a narrow little street full of shops called Kanda Nishiguchi Shopping Street. It’s just a few blocks, but worth a stroll if you’re willing to walk the 8 blocks or so down Rt. 403 to get to it.

WATERRAS + Sola City

Just to the north a few blocks up Rt. 305 is an office/shopping complex called WATERRAS. WATERRAS has some cafés at the ground level, a Mr. Donut on the northeast corner, and a large upscale shopping complex called Sola City across the street to the north. It’s worth a quick walk around. The main area of interest is up the front WATERRAS escalator and stairs, then around to the left. There is also a large garden terrace on the southwest corner of the building.

WATERRAS 2 blocks to the north.

Sports Shops

Further west on 302 the street is lined with sports shops on both sides – mostly ski + snowboard shops. There is also a Xebio and Victoria sport shop near each other a few blocks down to the west.

glitch Coffee Jimbocho

Just at the west edge of Kanda and into Jimbocho around 35°41’37.53″ N 139°45’40.15″ E is the hipster café glitch Coffee. It’s in an old run down dump of a building and has no sign other than on the front window, but the inside is very nice and the coffee + food is awesome. If you want to venture just a bit west of Kanda into Jimbocho, it’s worth a stop.

Top Tokyo Coffeehouses: Glitch Coffee, Fuglen And More

Believe it or not, in this dilapidated building is the hipster café glitch Coffee. The shop also has a small walk-up window on the left.

Facing north in Jimbocho. glitch Coffee is in the small pink bldg. on the right. Kanda is just up the street to the right east of Jimbocho.

The HUB @ Kanda Station

For a foreigner-friendly stop with food + drinks check out The HUB just south of JR Kanda Station.

The HUB @ Kanda Station. Also note there are 3 cafés right next door.

TAP x TAP Kanda Craft Beer

If you’re in the mood for craft beer, there’s TAP X TAP Kanda around 35°41’34.09″ N 139°46’20.90″ E. To get there, exit JR Kanda Station, head to the northeast side street known as Kanda Crossing shown above, go through the side street entrance on the right, then turn right again at the 1st block. It’s just down on the left side 2 blocks.

Kanda Myojin Shrine

A bit of a hike north on Rt. 452 around 35°42’06.62″ N 139°46’03.28″ E is Kanda Shrine. It’s a large complex with spectacular architecture but it’s closer to Akihabara than it is to Kanda. If you’re up for a bit of a walk and have time, it’s worth checking out. There are a few other shrines in the area.

Kanda River + Rt 405

The Kanda River, which cuts through the center of Tokyo east-west runs approximately from the Sumida River to the east all the way to Tokyo Dome City to the west. In fact, you can walk the entire distance on Rt. 405 which parallels it. Just head north on any one of the major north-south streets in Kanda or Jimbocho to get to 405. You can also head east (right) on 405 to get to Akihabara. The distance from central Jimbocho to Tokyo Dome City is only about 1 mile.

Hotels

There are a variety of hotels in Kanda, but perhaps the best value once again is APA Hotel. In fact there are 3 APA Hotels in the area, but one of them, APA Hotel Kanda-Eki-Higashi is far to the southeast. Just south of Akihabara Station is APA Hotel Kanda Ekimae around 35°41’36.66″ N 139°46’17.15″ E (Ekimae means “at the station”). The closest one is APA Hotel Kanda Jimbocho Eki-Higashi just to the west. There are also 2 APAs in Akihabara. APA has some of the best deals in hotels in Japan – with hundreds of them all over the country and many all over Tokyo. Off-season rates are usually very good and depending on occupancy can run from $65-$90/night. At some APA’s off-season you can even get rates as low as $40 depending on how centrally located the hotel is. All are clean, and slightly upscale depending on location.

There is also HOTEL MYSTAYS Ochanomizu CC just to the north.

Jazz Clubs

There are a surprising number of good jazz clubs near Kanda. Just south of Awajicho Station is JAZZ LIVE Lydian. Just north in Ochinomizu is Naru. Jazz spot Step is just a little northwest of JR Kanda Station. There’s also a Tokyo Jazz Festival site and YouTube Channel.

Conclusion

Well that’s it. Kanda/Jimbocho is a great place to visit. It’s 1/2 way between Tokyo Station and Akihabara so you can access both those areas too. In fact, assuming you want to spend all day in the area, you can see all 3 in a long day, although Akihabara is really a full day in itself. The walk along Rt. 403 from Jimbocho to Akihabara with Kanda in the middle is only about 1.5 miles, so it’s easy. There is plenty to do and see along the way. Enjoy!

Additional Photos

Heading into central Jimbocho.

LINKS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanda,_Tokyo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanda_Station_(Tokyo)

Kanda Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

WATERRAS

https://japantravel.navitime.com/en/area/jp/spot/06123-5375/

Make stained glass works with the gift ‘Marine Glass‘ from the sea!

Tokyo Metro Kanda Station – Japan Travel

Kanda Station Tokyo | JapanVisitor Japan Travel Guide

Kanda Station Area Management Association

Tokyo Travel: Kanda

Kanda Area Guide | Tokyo Cheapo

Craft Beer in Kanda | Metropolis Japan

https://www.agoda.com/apa-hotel-kanda-eki-higashi/hotel/tokyo-jp.html?cid=1720055

Glitch Coffee, Kanda-Jimbocho

GLITCH COFFEE & ROASTERS グリッチコーヒー&ロースターズ

Walking The Path To Glitch Coffee In Jimbocho, Tokyo

VIDS

Iidabashi Superguide

Name: Iidabashi

Kind: Town

Location: 35°42’01.65″ N 139°44’57.25″ E

Station: Iidabashi Station

Free WiFi: Yes

Worth it? For a quick stroll.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Last updated 8/2/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Iidabashi is a small town in central Tokyo just west of Tokyo Dome City and just east of Kagurazaka. Just to the south is the Imperial Palace and Maruonuchi areas.

To get here take the Tozai Line, Namboku Line, or Yurakucho Line and get off at IIdabashi Station. The Yurakucho Line can also shoot you into the Ginza area @ Yurakucho Station by going east across Tokyo. The Tozai Line has some other notable nearby stops such as Nakano, Waseda, and Kagurazaka. It’s also less crowded. The Namboku Line stops @ Korakuen Station at Tokyo Dome where you can change to other critical lines such as the Maronuchi Line (which can also shoot you to Ginza, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Tokyo stations).

There is also another, new larger entrance about a block to the west around 35°42’00.70″ N 139°44’37.52″ E.

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Maronuchi Line map @ Korakuen Station.

History

The area was originally called Iidamachi (literally ‘Iida’s Town‘), named after a local samurai in the late 1500’s – Iida Kihei. Later a bridge (bashi) was built in the area. The town informally came to be known as Iidabashi (‘Iida’s Bridge’) during the Meiji Restoration of the mid 1800’s. But the town wasn’t officially renamed to Iidabashi unti 1966 when the first post office was opened there.

Area Layout

Central Iidabashi – the main intersection with its huge elevated walkways is in the middle. The station is in the center left below the walkways. The Ramla complex is in the tall bldg. on the left. Mejiro Dori is the street running to the south towards the Imperial Palace. If you head east (right in this photo) at the small 2-story white bldg. in the center, you will come to Tokyo Dome. Shinjuku is to the west (left).

IIdabashi is a rather small town by Japanese standards but is just central enough to be important for easy access to different parts of the city. The town is mostly organized around one central intersection on Rt. 8 (Mejiro Dori), and includes 4 major streets – 2 running north, one running east-west, and one running south (Mejiro Dori).

The central area around the major intersection has everything you want to see as well as IIdabashi Station on the southwest corner. The station is the small tan bldg. on the right shown in the photo at the top of this page.

Just to the right of the station is a Becker’s (Bekazu’s to locals) which has all kinds of food and great burgers. Just to the right (west) of that around the corner is a shopping complex called Ramla.

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©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Ramla complex, left. The station is just around the corner to the left. If you head up this street (west) for about 1/4 mile, then turn right, you’ll come to Kagurazaka. There is also a Metro subway entrance for Iidabashi Station there. A few blocks down on the left is the Canal Café.

A reverse view of the station – looking back north. The station and Ramla are on the left.

There is a massive long walkway system with stairs on each corner of the intersection. You’ll have to climb the stairs and then walk along the walkway to get to the other side.

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The massive pedestrian elevated walkway.

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Get ready to climb some stairs.

On the walkway, facing east. Tokyo Dome Hotel is just barely visible in the upper left side of the photo.

Facing west on the walkway.

If you cross to the northwest corner of the walkway, then down to the street, you’ll be on a street running northwest (the next street to the north of the street Ramala is on), you’ll find some good restaurants and shops. There’s a nice Tully’s Coffee right on the corner, ramen and soba noodle shops, pizza, and a nice Italian place across the street called Spiga. A few more blocks up the street on the left is a Doutour café which has some good cheap food like lettuce hot dogs for a few bucks. There is also a Denny’s in the area.

Facing west. Station is to the southwest.

Spiga restaurant.

Plenty of local places to eat.

Hotels

There is the aforementioned Tokyo Dome Hotel to the east in the area, a nice FLEXStay Inn to the northwest a bit (up Shin-Mejiro Dori), and a nice APA Hotel to the south on Mejiro Dori. All are worth it. Tokyo Dome Hotel tends to run roughly around $100/night, the other two around $65-80, depending on season + demand. There are various other hotels in the area.

Walk to Imperial Palace + Marunouchi

Once you’ve had your fun in Iidabashi, you can stroll for a few miles south on Mejiro Dori and after crossing Rt. 302, it will turn into Sotobori Dori. Continue south here for about 1/2 mile until you hit Hakusan Dori and then turn right, then 1 block and turn left. Continue south a bit more, and you’ll come to the Imperial Palace (south on Rt. 301).

Head south on Sotobori Dori for 1 block, turn right onto Hakusan Dori shown here, cross over the river, then make the next left for the Imperial Palace.

The entire walk is only a couple of miles. Just to the east of Imperial Palace is the Otemachi/Marunouchi financial district which is well worth a look. But be prepared because the Marunouchi area is vast + takes several days to explore fully. The Otemachi/Tokyo Station underground area is a city unto itself.

As a footnote, if you turn around north on Hakusan Dori it will take you all the way back north to Tokyo Dome City.

That’s about it for Iidabashi. It’s a nice little town for a quick evening or weekend look.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

Another view of the station from the walkway stairs.

The small Doutour Café on the right. Station is down the street straight ahead, then right.

The huge walkway coming down the street from the Doutour. Tully’s is on the right, out of frame.

LINKS

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

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

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

https://www.ramla.jp/

https://chikatoku.enjoytokyo.jp/en/spot/ramla.html

https://tokyocheapo.com/locations/central-tokyo/idabashi/

https://www.canalcafe.jp/

http://tenmintokyo.com/2020/07/12/walk-in-waseda/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1066457-d1095031-Reviews-FLEXSTAY_INN_Iidabashi-Shinjuku_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

https://www.doutor.co.jp/en/

VIDS