Ōtemachi Superguide

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Ōtemachi

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°41’14.86″ N 139°45’52.56″ E

Station: Otemachi Station on Toyko Metro Subway: Marunouchi, Tozai, Chiyoda, or Hanzomon Lines (M18, T09, C11, Z08, respectively).

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Absolutely do not miss it.

Updated 12/29/2020

Don’t miss our other post on one of the best sub-sections of Otemachi: Ootomori.

Also be sure to check out the Tokyo 4K YouTube channel which has a lot of good vids around the Otemachi area.

Access

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Take the Marunouchi, Hanzomon, Tozai, or Ginza lines to Otémachi Station, or those lines or the JR Yamanote Line to Tokyo Station. If you exit Tokyo Station, head northwest on surface streets, or through Tokyo Station‘s vast underground walking tunnels to get to Otemachi Station, then head up to surface streets.

To get to Otémachi, take one of the lines listed above, and exit Otémachi Station. If you’d like a slightly longer way with more of a walk through central Tokyo, exit @ Tokyo Station, and head northwest on surface streets or through the vast underground network of tunnels under Tokyo Station which lead to Otémachi Station. If you do chose Tokyo Station there is a huge map of the entire area just next to the JR East Baggage Service office in the northwest corner at the Marunouchi side northwest exit

©2019 tenminutetokyo.com
©2019 tenminutetokyo.com

JR East Baggage Service office in Tokyo Station. The large area map is on the right.

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Northwest corner of Tokyo Station at the Marunouchi side northwest exit. JR Baggage Service office is just to the left, JTB tourism office just to the right, out of view. To walk to Otémachi from here, head left and out of the station, then head northwest on sidewalks.

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Just outside the northwest Marunouchi side exit. Head left (west) + north from here to reach Otemachi.

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One of the long underground walkways connecting Tokyo Station + Otemachi Station. Incredibly, there are actually miles of these tunnels all over the Marunouchi/Otemachi area. In fact, they run all the way to the south to Yurakucho Station. Many of them connect in the basements of skyscrapers and other stations. It’s possible to traverse the entire area underground.

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Hibiya-Dori runs north-south and connects Hibiya to the south with Otemachi to the north. This walk is one of the most spectacular in Tokyo and passes right in front of the Imperial Palace. A must-see.

Area layout

Otemachi‘s layout is shown on the map below in white. Marunouchi is just to the east (right), and Hibiya to the south. The big green area on the left is the Imperial Palace. Just to the northeast is Kanda and Ueno. Tokyo Station is the big area in the lower right corner to the southeast. Out of view to the northwest is Tokyo Dome City.

Central Tokyo. North is up. Clockwise from left: Imperial Palace + Gardens, Otemachi (highlighted in white), Marunouchi, Tokyo Station (lower right). Just to the south of Tokyo Station is Yurakucho. Just to the east of that is Ginza.

Otemachi is in the heart of the financial district and has endless huge office bldgs packed with Japanese workers.

Otemachi Station street entrance/exit – facing west from the Marunouchi side.

Area Street Maps

In addition to the huge area maps in Tokyo Station, there are many area maps just outside Otemachi Station on the street level. Most are in both Japanese + English, so if you’re lost, a quick glance at one of these can help.

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Tokyo central area map near Oazo, facing south. Otemachi is the blue area at the bottom of the map (north).

History

Otemachi derives its name from Ōtemon (“Great Hand Gate”), and was a critical area in the early Edo Period after Japan’s capital was moved from Kyoto to the Tokyo area.

Today the area houses dozens of critical Japanese companies including Japan Post HQ, Marubeni, Development Bank of Japan, Mizuo, Mitsui, Nisso (Nippon Soda) and The Nikkei newspaper.

MARUNOUCHI AREA GUIDE

At marunouchi.com there is a great free area guide which includes most things in Otemachi as well. Well worth checking out.

Otemon Guide + Otemachi One

Also be sure to check out the Otemon Guide – Chock full of good stuff to do in Otemachi. Shops, restaurants, displays, and museums. Definitely worth a look.

The top attraction in the area is called Otemachi One – a huge complex in the ground + basement levels of The Otemachi Tower. Also in this area with a little walking is Ootomori – which connects to Otemachi Station. Otemachi One is in the block to the east of Otemachi Station. Otemachi One has fabulous shops, restaurants, and museums to check out. A must-see.

The Otemachi One block is just one block to the east of the Imperial Palace – just across the street from the small north Imperial Palace Gardens.

Towards the end of each year, Otemachi One has a nice lighted display called OTEMACHI ONE WINTER FOREST

There is also a massive conference center called Otemachi Mitsui Conference in Otemachi Tower.

https://otemachi-one.com/floorguide/

https://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/the-otemachi-tower

1-chōme-2-1 Ōtemachi 1-chōme-2-1 Ōtemachi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0004

Directly connected to Otemachi Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, Marunouchi Line, Hanzomon Line, Tozai Line, and Toei Subway Mita Line
5-minute walk from Takebashi Station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line
14-minute walk from JR Tokyo Station(from the Marunouchi Central Gate)
12-minute walk from JR Kanda Station(from the South Exit)

Otemachi 1st Square + Coworking Spaces

In the block just to the south of the Otemachi One block is a complex called Otemachi 1st Square. There’s a nice large park + several good restaurants in the area – as well as a sidewalk entrance to Otemachi Station.

In the Otemachi 1st Square office bldg. there is a great shared office space by Regus which has some very nice decked-out office spaces starting at around $600-$799/mo per person. Very reasonable considering this is central Tokyo. Check ’em out. There is also a LIFORK coworking space here.

Also in Otemachi 1st Square is the NTT R&D HQ

https://www.emporis.com/buildings/104988/otemachi-1st-square-east-tower-tokyo-japan

Ote Center Building

Also of interest is Ote Center Bldg. – mainly for a few really great restaurants in the area. Ote Center Bldg. is in the south-east corner of the Otemachi main block.

TOKYO SANKEI BUILDING

Also in the same block – on the fast east side is the TOKYO SANKEI BUILDING – there are a few nice restaurants on the ground floor. Outside is the world-famous “red tube” artwork:

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https://www.sankeibldg.co.jp/tsb/location_eng.html

The Hidden Gem Courtyard

Just to the west of the Sankei Bldg., around 35°41’16.23″ N 139°45’54.45″ E is a nice little hidden gem of a courtyard sandwiched in between 2 office buildings. Lots of great restaurants, cafés + shops. Definitely worth a stop.

Wadakura Fountain Park

Just 2 blocks to the southwest of the Otemachi area and 1 block west of Oazo around 35°41’00.02″ N 139°45’39.55″ E is a great concrete urban park called Wadakura Fountain Park. It’s near the Hibiya area and across from the Imperial Palace. Well worth a quick stop or walk. Just on the north side of the park is the fabulous Palace Hotel Tokyo (if you can swing the $500/night cost).

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Palace Hotel Tokyo, right, and entrance to north Imperial Palace Gardens, left. This is facing north. Otemachi is on the right up the street. Wadakura Fountain Park is just on the right behind the red trees.

Just to the south end of the park is a small pedestrian walkway (Gyoko-dori) which runs west-east with a straight view of Tokyo Station. Gyoko-dori is best known for its spectacular fall view of Ginko trees, which turn a brilliant yellow around mid-late Oct. Like this:

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Looking east towards Tokyo Station. Gyoko-dori is out of view to the left.

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Looking west towards Imperial Palace from Tokyo Station. Gyoko-dori is the walkway with streetlamps on the right.

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Looking northeast from Tokyo Station. Gyoko-dori is out of frame to the left. Marunouchi is the area with the tall bldgs. to the east of the station.

Marunouchi Shuttle

There is also a free shuttle called the Marunouchi Shuttle which runs in a loop between many of the larger office bldgs. including a few in Otemachi. A quick way to see the area for free. The shuttle also has an app for Android and iOS, but it’s in Japanese only. The above page also has a PDF map of the area.

Coin Lockers

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If you don’t want to lug your heavy bags around the area, you can drop + lock them in any one of the many paid coin lockers around the area. The inside of Tokyo Station has huge banks of these, and you can usually find one available. Cost is anywhere from $4-$8. Most of them take electronic Suica prepaid rail cards for payment. Storage time is usually 16-24 hours.

Marunouchi Oazo

Just at the edge of Otemachi to Marunouchi to the west, is a small complex called Marunouchi Oazo. It’s mostly offices, but also has a shopping and a dining floor. Well worth a look. It’s located at 35°41’00.61″ N 139°45’58.92″ E.

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Northwest to Takebashi Station

If you head northwest on Rt. 403/401 past the Imperial Palace and loop around to the west, you’ll come to the northwest part of Otemachi. This area is just north of the north entrance to the Imperial Palace. You can also get here by taking a Metro subway to Takebashi Station on the Tozai Line.

Just across from the Imperial Palace is the Palaceside Bldg. – an older office bldg. but still worth a look. The ground-floor lobby has lots of shops and restaurants + a post office. The building also houses some coworking spaces. There is also a Tully’s on the north side of the bldg.

https://www.mai-b.co.jp/index-en.html

Rt. 301 North to Tokyo Dome City

If you head north on Rt. 301/Haukusan Dori from the Palaceside Bldg., a few miles up you will find Tokyo Dome City. See our other post on the area. Keep in mind from TDC, it’s only a few quick miles east to Ueno. In the 2nd block along this route there is also a very large nice museum on the left hand side of the street.

9 Hours Otemachi

If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in Otemachi, 2 blocks to the northwest of the Palaceside Bldg, is 9 Hours Otemachi. Can we recommend it? Well it depends – if you’re a light sleeper, not really. As with most other 9 Hours capsule hotels, the tubes you sleep in are made of plastic. It’s common to get stuck in these places with lots of snoring Japanese salarymen who will keep you awake all night. If on the other hand, you’re a heavy sleeper and nothing bothers you, then it may work. This particular 9 Hours has nice showers, and a nice common lobby with a small desk and charge ports, but the common locker rooms are a bit cramped and the minuscule lockers they provide are hard to deal with. At this hotel, for us at least, we also experienced rude, immature staff – very young teens from China staff the place – nothing like the legendary Japanese hospitality you’ve come to expect. Even by Tokyo capsule standards it left a lot to be desired. So, if you’re rough ‘n ready, 9 Hours Otemachi might work for you, else think twice. 9 Hours is located around 35°41’31.39″ N 139°45’39.14″ E down a tiny side street.

9 Hours Otemachi: entrance, capsules, showers:

9 Hours Otemachi is just down this side street on the right. This is facing west. There is also a big 7-11 on the corner.

Northwest to Jimbocho + glitch Coffee

If you head just to the northwest of the main street the 9 Hours is off of, you’ll come to Jimbocho – Tokyo’s famous used book area. Just to the northeast of that is WATERRAS, Ochanomizu, and lots of sports and music shops. You can walk from Jimbocho to Ochanomizu by walking along Yasukuni Dori to the east, then north on Rt. 405 for a few blocks. WATERRAS is just a few blocks north on your left (west) side of the street. 1 block northwest of that is Ochanomizu Station. Ochanomizu is known for its guitar shops. There are also a lot of ski/snowboard shops in the area.

Along the street north from the 9 Hours, around 35°41’37.44″ N 139°45’40.64″ E, on the right-hand side just before Yasukuni-Dori, is a hip little café called glitch Coffee. This place has some really high-end pour over coffee + Espresso, and lots of seating with a big window. Worth a stop. When we stayed @ the 9 Hours, they had a free breakfast ticket for glitch Coffee. The shop also serves lots of scones + pastries. The bldg. is a little hole in the wall, and the only sign is the small painted name in English on the front window.

Address:1F 3-16 Kanda Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0054 VIEW MAP 東京都千代田区神田錦町3-16 香村ビル1F
Website:http://glitchcoffee.com/
Hours:  Weekdays 7:30-20:00
Weekends 9:00-19:00

Near the WATERRAS complex, there is also a very nice big Olympic Grocery.

Food

Your food options in Otemachi/Marunouchi are endless. Aside from the ultra-deluxe restaurants in Otemachi One and the big hotels, you can stop in a café for a quick bite, or a local noodle shop. Many of the upscale hotels in the area have spectacular fabulous restaurants, though they will cost you.

Cappuccetto Rosso café in northwest Otémachi.

Conclusion + Footnotes

There’s a lot to do in Otemachi and it can serve as a jumping off point to lots of other interesting parts of Tokyo – it’s just north of Tokyo Station, just west of Marunouchi (from which you can jump to the northeast to Nihonbashii and its fabulous hotels + restaurants), it’s just a few miles south of Tokyo Dome City and just southeast of Akihabara. Also keep in mind just down Hibiya Dori to the south from Otemachi is the fabulous Hibiya area. It’s even close enough to walk to for most people. So, in summary, you can see everything Otemachi has to offer + get to lots of other interesting destinations quickly at the same time.

Plan on spending a 1/2 or whole day in Otemachi + surrounding area – especially if you want to see the Tokyo Station + Marunouchi areas at the same time.

Enjoy!

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LINKS

Rail:

Metro

Metro Otemachi Station

Tokyo Metro Subway Map

All Hanzomon Line Posts

Guides

Ootemori

OTEMON GUIDE

marunouchi.com

http://marunouchi.mec.co.jp/smt/en/

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/marunouchi-shuttle/id687729554

Places:

OTEMACHI ONE

Otemachi One

https://otemachi-one.com/en/

Marunouchi Oazo

Top 10 Picks for Tokyo Winter Illuminations

Otemachi Tower

Wadakura Fountain Park

Tokyo Station and Wadakura Fountain Park: ILLUMINATION AT ITS FINEST

Wadakura Fountain Park | japanistry.com

Wadakura Fountain Park, Tokyo @ Garden Visit

Wadakura Fountain Park – 和田倉噴水公園 | Tokyobling’s Blog

Wadakura Fountain Park – 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go – Tripadvisor

https://www.google.com/maps/search/?api=1&query=Wadakura%20Fountain%20Park%203-1%20Kokyogaien%20Chiyoda%20Tokyo%20100-0002%20Japan

PALACESIDE BUILDING

https://officee.jp/en/catalog/Palace+Side+Building/17456/

https://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/wadakura_fountain_park

https://en.palacehoteltokyo.com/

http://coffeecollection.tokyo/2018autumn/shops/glitch.html

Walking The Path To Glitch Coffee In Jimbocho

Taira no Masakado

9 Hours Otemachi

https://ninehours.co.jp/otemachi/?lang=en

Coworking

Regus Otemachi

LIFORK Otemachi

Spaces

A closer look at Tokyo’s coworking spaces

Maps

http://marunouchi.mec.co.jp/smt/en/map/

Help Desks

Information counters are located on the first floors of both Marunouchi Building and Shin-Marunouchi Building. Please feel free to pay them a visit if you have any problems.

11:00-21:00 until 20:00 on Sundays and national holidays.

Tourist Information Center, JNTO(TIC, JNTO)

Providing information on tourism throughout Japan at customer counters.

9:00-17:00 03-3201-3331

Rail

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

Additional Photos

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©2019 tenminutetokyo.com

Turning east (left) off Hibiya Dori. Otemachi is to the left.

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A spectacular night view in Otemachi.

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A Doutour Café on the northwest side.

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Street outside Oté Center Plaza bldg., Otemachi.

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Otemachi Park Bldg.

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Northwest side of Otemachi, facing east. Just to the right 2 blocks is the Imperial Palace and Hibiya Dori. Just to the left a few blocks is 9 Hours Otemachi. As a small footnote, the small tan bldg. in the center is currently a shared working space. Just behind the camera is a very nice Tully’s Coffee. If you go left here for several miles, you’ll come to Tokyo Dome City.

©2019 tenminutetokyo.com

2 more views at station street-level exits.

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©2019 tenminutetokyo.com

Info desk inside Tokyo Station.

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Another view of Oazo.

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A huge coin locker bank inside Tokyo Station.

VIDS

Mitsui Fudosan to pay $1.2 bil in white-knight bid for Tokyo Dome

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tokyo-dome-m-a-mitsui-fudosan-idUSKBN2870RX

“TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese property developer Mitsui Fudosan Co said on Friday it would pay $1.2 billion to buy ballpark operator Tokyo Dome Corp, a white-knight bid likely to help fend off prominent activist fund Oasis Management.

Tokyo Dome, which owns the home stadium of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team, has been under pressure from Hong Kong-based Oasis. The fund has called for the removal of board members, including Tokyo Dome’s president, and a change in operations”.

Cheese Meets Meat

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Cheese Meets Meat

Kind: Restaurant

Location: 35°42’00.14″ N 139°45’10.76″ E

Station: Suidobashi Station or Korakuen Station

Phone: 050-5597-3769 (+81-50-5597-3769)

Free WiFi: Unknown

Worth it? Absolutely.

Our Rating: ★★★★★

Last updated 8/23/2020

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

In western Tokyo, just south of Tokyo Dome City, there’s an upscale little restuarant called Cheese Meets Meat. The original one is in Yokohama.

This quaint little restaurant is superb – a must see if you are in Tokyo.

The menu is quite good – most are traditional dishes but heaped with all kinds of extra cheese. Prices are a bit on the high side – around $30-$40 per person, but well worth it. The quality is excellent.

They also feature delivery.

To get here take the JR Chuo Line or the Toei Mita Line and get off at Suidobashi Station. Exit the northwest exit, go around the corner, and head south down the street. Cheese Meets Meat is down about 2.5 blocks on the right.

You can download a complete train map here.

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Exit here (north/west exit), turn left out of the station, left again at the corner and head south.

You’ll pass several side streets – there’s a cheap 200¥ coin locker on one if you need one, and Cheese Meets Meat is on down a bit on your right.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

You’ll pass this coin locker on your left.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Pass this side street.

From Tokyo Dome City

If you are coming from Tokyo Dome City (TDC), head out the south exit on the west side of the complex, cross the little bridge there, and head south on the street straight ahead. Cheese Meets Meat is down just 2 blocks to the south.

To get to TDC, take either the Marunouchi or Namboku Metro subway line, and head up into the TDC complex (the Metro station is across the street from TDC). Cross through the LaQua complex (towards the stadium), head to the right down the stairs beyond the stadium, through a small covered area where First Cabin is, across another small foot bridge, and down the stairs + cross the street. Make a dog-leg left down the street towards Cheese Meets Meat.

Cross through the LaQua area shown here (the other direction – this is facing north).

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Go past Tokyo Dome Stadium to the left in this photo...

Courtesy Tokyo Drew

And down the stairs + through the small covered area on the right.

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The covered area from the reverse angle. There’s a bowling alley and First Cabin.

Exit the covered area….

And head down this ramp.

Immediately on your right you’ll pass this Koban (police box).

Looking back north towards Suidobashi Station. Cheese Meets Meat is on the left. Tokyo Dome City is at the end of the street straight ahead.

A Shortcut From Suidobashi Station

There’s actually a quicker shortcut to Cheese Meets Meat from Suidobashi Station: if you exit the station from the east exit and loop around the long side of the station to the south, you’ll come to the trestle shown on the right above. If you turn hard left here, it will take you down a short diagonal side street which will end right across from Cheese Meets Meat. Don’t head down the tiny street straight ahead, but instead make the hard left down the larger side street shown on the left above. This photo is looking southwest.

Additional Photos

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Namboku Line Korakuen Station (N11) – it’s in the basement across from TDC.

Marunouchi Line Korakuen Station (M22)

JR Suidobashi Station east exit – take the north/west exit instead. Take the east exit here + turn right at the street shown ahead for the shortcut mentioned above. Note the nice brand new renovation paint job on the overhead tracks.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Head south down the street for Cheese Meets Meat on the right.

Enjoy!

LINKS

https://cheese-meets-meat-yokohama.com/

https://r.gnavi.co.jp/4z5fs7zm0000/

https://restaurant.ikyu.com/108595/

https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1310/A131003/13234784/

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e891.html

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

https://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/eng/services/subway/stations/suidobashi.html

http://japan.apike.ca/japan_tokyo_suidobashi.html

https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/subwaymap/

https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/chuo-sobu-line

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 4/10/2021

©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).

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

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.

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

Tokyo Sky Tree Superguide

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Tokyo Sky Tree

Kind: Tower/Multi-use

Location: Oshiagé @ 35°42’36.40″ N 139°48’45.84″ E

Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-8634, Japan

Free WiFi: Yes.

Worth it? Do not miss it.

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Last updated 9/20/2020

©2020-21 tenmintokyo.com

Page takes a while to load due to photos.

Also see our full ONE @ Tokyo Hotel Review + Postal Museum Japan pages.

Buckle up – this is a long post.

Tokyo Sky Tree is a massive 635m tall multiuse tower in Tokyo’s eastern town of Oshiagé (pronounced Oh-she-a-geh). We highly recommend it. The tower was completed in 2012 to serve as a new terrestrial TV + radio broadcast tower because Tokyo had expanded so much that the old tower used for that purpose – Tokyo Tower – could no longer reach the outskirts of the city.

Sky Tree includes a 635m tall steel-truss/core tower, a side multiuse shopping/restaurant complex called Solamachi, and an office tower. There are also two observation decks, an indoor circular walkway, a restaurant level on floors 30-31, and a flat surface on the very top for helicopters/emergencies, and maintenance.

In the multiuse complex there is a giant food/gift floor, shops, lots of restaurants, and a postal museum and Sumida Aquarium. The ground floor has two food courts with eateries + gift shops.

Courtesy Tokyo Drew

The Sumida Aquarium on the East Yard roof.

Courtesy Tokyo Drew

Just to the left of the aquarium are a row of shops + restaurants including a Cold Stone Creamery.

There is also a large car parking garage + a bicycle parking garage in the complex (see below).

Train Access

2 train lines service the complex: The Metro Subway Hanzomon Line and the TOBU Sky Tree Line. The Hanzomon line is more direct + stops at more important stops than the TOBU line.

The complex is huge and is ringed by sidewalks. Its official civic name is Sumida Oshinari-koen Park (this is actually a bit redundant because koen means “park” in Japanese). Sumida is the large river which runs North-South to the west through the middle of Tokyo. You can easily walk from to Sky Tree to Asakusa near the Sumida River. The Yokojiken River also runs near Sky Tree – north to south.

You want to try to avoid weekends @ Sky Tree because the place is a mob scene of 1000’s of screaming kids everywhere. Lines for the observation deck tickets can be quite long on weekends – even into the 1000’s of people. So you shoud plan your Sky Tree trip on a weekday. 2-3 nights will be more than enough – you should be able to see everything in + around Sky Tree in 2 full days.

Sky Tree as seen from the Sumida River to the south.

Sky Tree facing north from Tokyo. The large river is the Sumida River. If you cross to the left (west) over one of the nearby bridges you will come to the town of Ueno.

Getting There

If you are coming from the Tokyo Station area, walk to Otemachi Station and get the Hanzomon Line there – but be warned – the underground tunnels from Tokyo Station to Otemachi Station are quite a hike through endless underground cooridors, shopping centers, and stairways – you may want to walk it on sidewalks on the surface instead – which is only a few long blocks. You can also get the Hanzomon Line at its western terminus Shibuya, near the central gov’t at Nagatcho, change from the Ginza Line at stations 1, 2, 3, 4, and 9 , or get on from the south at Kinshicho. You can also take the JR Yamanote Line from around Tokyo to Yurakucho Station, then get the Ginza Line from there. There are various other interchange points. Another line, the Hibiya Line, allows you to change to the Ginza Line @ Ningyocho Station. Consult a station map:

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Hanzomon Line Map. Oshiagé/SKYTREE station is on the far right (east), Shibuya, the western terminus is on the far left (west). Notable stops include Kinshicho, Suitengumae, Otemachi, Omotosando, Shibuya. Shibuya, Nagatcho, Otemachi stations are major interchange points for other lines (indicated by the colored circles above stations on the above map). At 5 of the stations you can change to the Ginza Line for Akihabara and Ginza stops.

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Hanzomon Line

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Head up out of the Oshiagé/SKYTREE station to the TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN mezzanine, then hang a left here to get to the escalators up to the lobby. There are lots of stores and vending machines here. There is also a huge map. Note the color-coded Metro exit sign in yellow.

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There’s also a mini-Lawson inside the station.

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The massive escalators from the station mezzanine area up to the Solamachi Bldg. lobby. A Family Mart conbini is straight ahead. Also note the small bank of coin lockers just to the right – you can stash your stuff there for a few ¥ – if you can find one that is not in use. There is another larger bank of coin lockers on the outdoor roof patio of the Solamachi Bldg.

Also nearby on the Hanzomon Metro Subway Line is Sumiyoshi. There is also another train line called the TOBU Line which has its own station on the other side of the complex to the northwest – The TOBU Tokyo Sky Tree Station. Either line works fine, but the Hanzomon Line is generally quicker + more direct.

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The TOBU Tokyo Sky Tree Station.

There is also an airport shuttle from Sky Tree – but only to Haneda airport, and not to Narita.

Town Layout

Sky Tree sits in the middle of the small town of Oshiagé east of the Sumida River. To the west are Asakusa, and over the river, Ueno. In fact, you can walk to Ueno easily from Sky Tree by heading west on Rt. 453 (Asakusa Dori). Total distance is only about 2 miles.

The Google Map is shown here.

Tokyo Sky Tree and Solomachi bldg.

The complex is a long rectangular shape running from west to east. On the east side is a street-level Metro exit, a Life Supermarket + mixed-use complex across the street, restaurants, a small post office to the south east, and various stores and residences along side streets. The intersection of Asakusa-Dori + Yotsumé-Dori marks the southeast corner. Just to the west of this intersection is a large Mr. Donut shop. The Solamachi Bldg. is at the southeast end of the complex with its entrance on the same side.

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The intersection of Asakusa-Dori + Yotsumé-Dori – where there’s a large Mr. Donut shop.

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Life Supermarket + Sizzler steak house complex. The Richmond Premiere Hotel is behind it. Directly across the street is the bus/taxi stop, a Metro exit, and the entrance to the Solamachi complex.

Also in the Life Supermarket complex is the Richmond Hotel. There is also a large Nitori home furnishing store in the complex. All 3 areas are on the same corner.

location_r

Richmond Hotel Premiere @ Oshiagé/SKYTREE.

Also across from the Life Supermarket complex is another surface Metro entrance/exit, as well as a bus/taxi stop. There is a public Sumida City sightseeing bus which stops here. You can board it for free + take a quick tour around the city.

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Oshiagé/SKYTREE station Metro exit across from the bus/taxi stop just next to Life Supermarket. There is also a large UNIQLO depato (dept. store) just to the right, out of frame, shown below:

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At the corner of the Richomd Premeire Hotel looking towards Sky Tree. The Life Supermarket is to the left, the bus stop and Metro entrance are straight ahead on the left. Ahead is the large UNIQLO store. Beyond that is the entrance to the Solamachi Bldg.

Just across the street on the other (east) side of the Solamachi complex is a small elevated walkway where you can get a great view of Sky Tree and the trains. It’s popular with families to take their kids.

Enter on the stairs at the left in this photo for the walkway and elevated viewing area. Sky Tree/Solamachi is just to the left, out of frame.

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Southeast corner of the Solamachi Bldg. at night. Entrance is just around the left:

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Just inside the 1st Solamachi entrance is a Kau’Aina Burger joint. A must-try.

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This entrance leads to one of the food/gift courts. The info desk is at the far end.

If the Richmond Hotel is a bit out of your price range, head one more block east, then turn northeast (left) down Rt. 465. 2 blocks up the street on the right is the excellent ONE @ Tokyo Hotel. We highly recommend it.

As you turn left here, you’ll also see a great MOS Burger – also worth checking out. MOS Burger prides itself on natural ingredients, and their sandwiches are incredibly cheap – 280¥ (about $3 US) for a burger with trimmings and sauce. Can’t go wrong. Just across the street from the MOS Burger is a Family Mart.

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Awesome MOS Burger located at 35°42’36.62″ N 139°48’52.78″ E

As you turn left up Rt. 465, you’ll be in one of 2 main parts of the town – the other part is on Rt. 453 heading west towards Sumida. You can get a feel for small-town life in Tokyo here. There’s a Star Dust Pachinko parlor here (if you can stand the smoke-filled room), and lots of other little diversions. There’s also a great natural supermarket just up on the left past the pachinko parlor called AEON. Very inexpensive and fresh. If you stay at the ONE @ Tokyo Hotel, it’s a lifesaver. Just beyong that is a big 2-story noodle house worth checking out. See our review of ONE @ Tokyo Hotel.

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Downtown Oshiagé at night.

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2-story noodle house across from ONE @ Tokyo Hotel.

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AEON Supermarket across from ONE @ Tokyo Hotel.

Coin Laundry

If you make a right on the side street directly across from the pachinko parlor, a few blocks down you’ll find a small clean coin laundry where you can wash clothes if you need to. They also sell small boxes of laundry detergent. Turn down this side street and it’s up on your right a few blocks:

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Sky Tree

Hours are 9:00AM – 9:00PM.

Ticket info is here.

Sky Tree itself is attached to the Solamachi Bldg. on the west (left) side. To purchase tickets, take the escalators up to the 4th floor. But be ready: the ticket lines can be insanely long on busy days – especially on weekends. Tickets to the observatories run around $34 per adult. You may have to stand in line for hours to wait to purchase. There’s a huge mezzanine on the 4th floor where a crowd lines up for tickets.

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Just inside the Solamachi entrance. The entrance to the food/gift hallway is through the door to the left.

Courtesy Tokyo Drew
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Solamachi 4th floor ticket floor. There is also an express ticket counter up the escalator, but it costs more. This is also the entrance to Sky Restaurant 634. On busy days this floor is packed with people.

Observation Decks

At the Tokyo Solamachi Bldg. there’s more to do: 2 long food court hallways, an aquarium, an info desk, a rooftop terrace outside Sky Tree itself, coffee shops, and various other attractions – and tickets to the Sky Tree‘s 2 spectacular observatories (floors 350 + 450). Cost for the observatories is around $50 per adult as of 2019. Be sure to check out the glass floor in the 1st observatory – for a dizzying view of the ground 340 floors below.

TEMBO DECK

Tembo Deck is on floor 340 and houses both the glass floor and the Sky Tree Cafe´– both must-sees. There’s also a photo service on this floor. Tembo Deck also contains the Official Sky Tree Shop. There is also another official Sky Tree Shop on the ground floor on the south side of the complex.

Tembo Galleria

Floor 450 is called Tembo Galleria. It has an enclosed glass walkway (Tembo Shuttle) which slowly arches upwards to floor 454 (Sorakara Point). Floor 454 is the highest user-accessible floor in the tower. From this height, you can see the curvature of the earth out the windows.

Restaurants + Food Palaces + Shops

There are also lots of restaurants on floors 340-350 including the Sky Tree Cafe. You can have a nice meal 1/4 mile up in the sky + take in the breathtaking view as you eat. There are more restaurants on floors 30-31 of the Solamachi tower part of the complex.

There are 3 food “palaces” @ Sky Tree, and boy, do the Japanese love their food palaces. One wonders how they can eat so much and stay thin, but once you walk around Tokyo all day, every day, you’ll find yourself losing weight too. It’s not uncommon in Tokyo to see 90 lb 5’4″ women wolfing down 12-stack high plates of pancakes or giant ice cream sundaes.

The first food palace is a hallway which cuts through the center of the Solamachi Bldg. Both sides are lined with crepé shops, gift shops, ice cream, burger places, and other various food. You can stuff yourself silly if you’re not careful.

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The second is a huge floor on the upper floors called Food Marché, which is like an entire mall unto itself. There’s an unbelievable amount of variety here – both restaurants + gift shops. And a large grocery store. There’s even a western Krispy Kreme donuts here. And some higher end stores such as Godiva.

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A massive food shop @ one end of the food mall floor.

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The “food madness” level – get ready to walk – and to eat.

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There is also a Vegeteria juice bar here.

There is another small food court on the patio roof (East Yard) just before the entrance to the Sumida Aquarium. On the way up the escalator to this level is another smaller food level with various restaurants at one end which leads into the massive mall-like food court. You can spend several hours on this level looking at everything.

At one end of the large food level is Nana’s Green Tea – a must-visit. The first one in America also just opened in Seattle, WA. At Nana’s Green Tea you can feast on a matcha green tea sunday like this one for around $7:


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Forget Paris or Italy – Tokyo is the food capital of the world. But then again, you’re probably going to walk this off because you’re going to be walking 15 miles/day when you’re there. There is also a NGT in Tokyo Dome City:

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Menus | Nana's Green Tea in Seattle, WA

Pig out.

Nana's Green Tea Drink And Sweets Menu | Tea cafe, Green tea ...

NGT‘s OTT menus.

Coin Lockers

As shown above, under the initial escalators into the complex, there is a small coin locker bank. On the patio roof (“East Yard”) of the Solamachi Bldg. there is a much larger bank of lockers. It usually has open lockers except on the busiest days. There are also various banks of coin lockers around the town itself hidden down side streets. Some of them are as cheap as 200¥ (about $2) for 8 hours of use. To use them, open one of the locker’s doors, insert your belongings, close the door, insert the coins indicated on the locker, then turn and remove the key. Don’t lose the key or your stuff will be trapped in the locker. You must retrieve your items before the limit is up (usually 8 hours).

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Coin locker bank on the patio (East Yard) roof of the Solamachi Bldg.

Looking down from the roof of the Solamachi Bldg.

Japan can be very wacky at times. The Kirby Cafe is just to the right:

Courtesy Totally Drew

There is also a small bank of lockers inside the Oshiagé/SKYTREE Metro station itself but you’ll have to find them near one of the exits:

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Down behind the East Yard is this staircase which leads down to the street on the other side of Sky Tree:

Courtesy Tokyo Drew

Mural

On the 1st floor of Sky Tree is an incredible hybrid mural which took over a year and a half to complete. It’s well worth a look.

Sumida Aquarium

On the 5th + 6th floors of the rooftop patio (East Yard) in Solamachi is the Sumida Aquarium. Buy tickets in the lobby, and then head up the elevators or escalators to the roof and turn left once out in the open for the entrance. A big hit with kids.

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East Yard patio roof. Sumida Aquarium is in the opposite direction – as is one of the small food courts. The coin locker bank is just up ahead on the right. You don’t really get the scale of Sky Tree until you start to aproach it close to its base. Those large struts at the base are about 25′ in diameter.

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East Yard patio roof. From here you can begin to get a sense of Sky Tree’s scale.

Bike Parking/Lockers

On the southwest side of the complex is the West Bicycle Parking lot. It’s expensive – about $20/8 hours. And it has a metal shutter that closes late at night, so if you don’t have your bike out by then it will be trapped overnight. To get to the bike garage, head south along the sidewalk, then right past the Solamachi entrance and head west. You’ll pass the car parking garage, cross a street in the middle, and then see it on the right:

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Roll your bike into a stand until it clicks – that’s it. You pay when you take it out, not when you lock it. When it comes time to take it out, head to this machine near the entrance, and enter the rack #. It will display the amount you need to pay. Insert your ¥ and the machine will unlock the bike rack – and your bike will be free:

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Courtesy Tokyo Drew

Inside the bike parking garage.

Also – if you stay at the ONE@Tokyo hotel up the street they have a very small, free outdoor bike locker at the hotel (on the north side). There’s only room for about 6 bikes, but it’s easy and free – just roll your bike onto the rack. You may want to buy a small combination wire lock to lock it there.

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Kicking back at ONE@Tokyo‘s elegant rooms.

Coheé (Coffee)

The Japanee word for coffee is coheé. If you come out of the bike garage + head right (west) again, on the next corner you’ll find the Unlimited Coffee Bar + Barista Training Lab Tokyo. Both are excellent. Japanese love coheé too and there are plenty of great cafes all over the city. This one is definitely worth checking out.

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There is also an excellent Hoshino’s Coffee in Sky Tree. They also have some pretty wild pancakes. There is another café on the south side of the complex called The Alley which is is very good:

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The Alley (white lit sign) @ the entrance to Solamachi.

Also along the south side is a somewhat more ice-cream oriented place called Dog Dept. Cafe:

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Sagawa Baggage Service

On the south side near the bike parking there is also a Sagawa Baggage Service. This place will store + ship your luggage for a mere $5-$7/bag, usually in 24 hours to most places in Tokyo including the airports. You can drop your bags here, then pick them up at the airport and check them in – no need to carry them with you. The staff is really sharp and it’s easy to do – just fill out a small form and provide your phone number. You can also do the reverse – ship your bags from the airport right to your hotel. There is also a Sagawa office @ Narita airport and @ Tokyo Station. All of them are excellent.

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River Walk

Along the entire south side of the complex is a nice river walk with sidewalks. You can stroll up and down the area and watch the river. A nice little walk. The bike parking garage is at the far end in this photo:

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Yokojiken River Walk + Backstreets

Once you’ve had your fill of Sky Tree/Solamachi, you might want to venture off the beaten path for a while to see a little more of local small-town Tokyo. The roads up + down the Yokojiken River are perfect for that. You can wander down lots of Oshiagé’s backstreets and discover some interesting things. It’s also a great way to get some awesome views of Sky Tree you can’t get any other way.

There’s a small branch of the Yokojiken River that runs south/southeast through the town and a long jogging path that follows it. You can walk for miles down this path and get some great views of Sky Tree.

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Hiding on the backstreets… in this case near the Yokojiken River.

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View along the Yokojiken River about 5 miles from Sky Tree.

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View from the Sumida River to the southeast.

View from Asakusa way to the west about 4 miles.

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There is actually a Tobacco + Salt Museum just to the southwest of Sky Tree, believe it or not. Tokyo is full of weird + wonderful museums like this.

Just to the north of Sky Tree near the Asahi Beer Hall is this park:

Courtesy Totally Drew

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Marunouchi Metro Line train bound for Tokyo Station tearing through Oshiagé late at night.

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Sometimes when walking around, a simple street scene will strike you so perfectly, you just have to snap a photo. These chances usually appear out of nowhere. This is why backstreet strolls are so worth it.

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The Japanese are kings of weird + funny restaurant names.

Well, that’s it. We hope you enjoyed this guide to Sky Tree and we hope you enjoy your trip there. Sky Tree is one of Tokyo’s most exciting and memorable destinations. It’s a must-see on any trip to Japan. Enjoy!

Additional Photos

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Solamachi Entrance on southeast side.

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Sky Tree soars.

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Sky Tree in the clouds.

Aerial view facing north.

Footnotes

In the event you find any of the hotels mentioned out of your budget, hop back west a few stops on the Hanzomon Line to Suitengumae – and stay at First Cabin Suitengumae. It’s about $42/night and it’s very clean. The staff is helpful and speaks English, Japanese, and other languages, and they have a free breakfast + a small lobby lounge. It’s off the beaten path back in a side neighborhood near the Sumida River, but it’s excellent for the price. Walk is only a few minutes to the Metro so you can shoot into Sky Tree in under 20 minutes (see vid below).

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First Cabin Suitengumae is awesome.

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Kicking back inside First Cabin Suitengumae. You get a bed, power, AC, a TV, charging ports, and a sliding door. Bathrooms + showers are down the hall but are spotless. The cabin is located at 35°40’54.15″ N 139°47’20.29″ E. Get off at the Suitengumae stop, exit to the street, head east down Etai-Dori, hang a left 3 blocks up, and head north. A few streets up to the right is the cabin. Also at Suitengumae Station is the Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT), which has busses to the airports for a mere $9 bucks.

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Stepping out of the First Cabin you face Etai-Dori, straight ahead. This photo is facing south. Proceed south 2-3 blocks, then turn right and Suitengumae Station + T-CAT are just a few blocks down on the right.

Q + A

Can you buy Sky Tree tickets online?

Answer: Yes and no – not from Sky Tree itself., but several sites sell them, such as Klook and others.

How is Sky Tree earthquake proof?

Answer: Its lattice system allows great flexibility and the ability to twist. It also allows wind loading forces to pass through the structure instead of putting stress on the sides. Sky Tree also uses a large counterweight at the top which offsets the forces of any swaying due to earthquakes. This design was copied from ancient wooden pagodas which used the same design – and are still standing today after centuries.

How tall is Sky Tree?

Answer: 635 meters or about 2083.33 feet – close to half a mile.

How do I get to Sky Tree?

Answer: See our section on trains above. You can also walk or bicycle to Sky Tree from many parts of Tokyo.

When was Sky Tree built?

Answer: the tower was completed in 2012.

Additional Photos

LINKS

Sky Tree

Google Map

Floor Guide @ Tokyo Sky Tree

PDF Floor Guide

Shops

Shop Search

Hanzomon Metro Subway Line

Oshiagé/SKYTREE Station

Tokyo Skytree Station

Access By Trains

Postal Museum Japan

Oshiage Station Post Office

Inside A Japanese Post Office (With a few donuts)

Oshiagé Area Guide

Tokyo Solamachi: The Shopping & Gourmet Paradise at the Foot of Tokyo Skytree

Sakura and Skytree = a dynamic duo if we’ve ever seen one!

Sky Tree Sightseeing App

Tobacco and Salt Museum

TOBU Hotel Levant

Richmond Hotel Sky Tree

First Cabin Suitengumae

MOS Burger Japan

AEON Supermarkets

Mr. Donut Near Sky Tree

Nana’s Green Tea

8 Best Places to Run in Tokyo

Hoshino Coffee – the chain that doesn’t feel like a chain!

Hoshino Coffee’s Menu: Look At These PANCAKES!

Hoshino Coffee

Asakusa

Sumida River Walk and Tokyo Mizumachi: Eastern Tokyo’s Coolest New Shopping Complex!

https://www.tokyo-mizumachi.jp/en/

https://cometojapankuru.blogspot.com/2020/05/a-spring-day-in-tokyo-with-tokyo.html

agoda.com

VIDS

Tokyo Drew has a very nice walkaround of the entire Sky Tree complex and town of Oshiagé.