Friday, January 22, 2016

#Pro Tokyo Trips ♪ Travel the 59-Minute Yamanote Loop Day 1






#Pro Tokyo Trips ♪ Travel the 59-Minute Yamanote Loop Day 1


Take an exhilarating ride with us around the hottest districts via 
the busiest and most important train line in metropolitan Tokyo.
The very thought of trains in Tokyo is synonymous with 
one particular circular line, the Yamanote line. 
Perhaps one of the most popular ways to get around Tokyo, 
the Yamanote Line trains make stops at 29 different stations every 
2.5 minutes from as early as 4am to as late as 1am the next day. 
With over 3.68 million passengers per day, the Yamanote line 
is clearly a major hub of transport for getting around the 
best districts of TokyoWe decided to take a 48 hour 
journey on the Yamanote line to show you some of the 
impressive sights to see along it's approximately hour-long loop.
Without further adieu, let’s go!!




©RailRider Wikipedia.org







Osaki Station (大崎駅)


The Yamanote line technically begins and ends at Osaki Station, 
so we decided to initiate our journey at this starting point.  
Osaki station is located in Shinagawa, Tokyo and is the 
place in which Yamanote line trains are put into and taken 
out of service. The station boasts 8 platforms for oncoming 
trains and like may other stations in Tokyo, has been 
operating for over a century.






A rain-free easy access point to Ohsaki New City from the train station!








Ohsaki New City

One of the main draws of Osaki station is a creative space known 
as Ohsaki New City. This area can be described as a futuristic
 urban development in which the developers were trying to 
create a balanced district with amenities, comfort, urban
architecture and natural modeling all in one.







Gotanda Station (五反田駅)

The next station on our journey serves as a link between 
Osaki and Meguro station. Smaller in comparison to
 the other stations, Gotanda exclusively serves the JR Yamanote 
Line, Tokyu Ikegami Line and the Toei Asakusa subway line.
Before venturing too far from the station, we have a recommendation 
for stopping for a quick bite to eat. As your arduous journey across 
Tokyo deepens, be sure to check out Gindaco Highball Yokocho 
for amazingly delicious octopus dumplings (takoyaki)! You 
can actually get a box of eight for about ¥550 ($4.70).  
Can’t beat that price so grab em before they’re gone!!

Adress: 
Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo Higashi Gotanda 1-26
Phone: 
03-5447-6680
Hours: 
11:00~23:30(LO 23:00)
Google Maps






Meguro Station (目黒駅)

As you make your way from station to station you’ll
soon start to notice a pattern.
The majority of stations are interconnected to 
shopping malls offering several floors of 
shopping heaven.In Meguro station, among others, 
there is an Atre Meguro shopping center
 with various shops to choose from.

More info about Atre: (Ueno shop)
http://cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp/2015/03/shopping-atre-ueno-shopping-area.html





Meguro Gajoen (雅叙園)

Meguro Gajoen is a bit of a hike from the station but it is 
a cultural gold mine well worth it.
What is Meguro Gajoen you may be wondering?
This site is like a Showa Era fairy tale palace dedicated to the God of the Sea.
Featuring historical works of art it originally started out as a restaurant,
later morphing into an ideal setting for weddings and banquets.
Some of the amenities include guest rooms, banquet halls, a church, shrine,
costume and beauty salon, and a photo studio.

Google Maps
Website:
http://www.megurogajoen.co.jp/english/



Ebisu Station (恵比寿駅)

Ebisu is a station originally named after Yebisu Beer,
one of Japan’s oldest brands first brewed in 
Tokyo in 1890 by the Japan Brewery Company.
During the time, the station was opened to 
serve as a freight terminal
for the neighboring Yebisu Beer Factory. The platform edge
 doors at the station were some of the first ever installed outside of 
the Shinkansen (bullet train) platforms.





Good luck charm

A statue of Ebisu, the Japanese deity of good fortune, the ocean,
and fishing folk etc. can be spotted not far from the west
 exit of the station. Not a bad idea to pay Ebisu a visit 
and ask for safe travels on your trip across Tokyo!





Shibuya (渋谷)

Shibuya station is currently undergoing major renovations so the
overall look of the station as well as most exits will change over time.
Shibuya is a great destination for tourist because it features 
some of the best shopping, fashion and nightlife venues in Tokyo.
 However the appeal is definitely geared towards the youth.






A Sea of people
A simple walk outside of the station greets you with the one of the
World’s busiest intersections. On an average weekday about 2.4 million
passengers use Shibuya station making it the 4th busiest
commuter rail station in Japan.
While in Shibuya, some shopping recommendations!

Jeansmate:
http://cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp/2015/12/fashion-wanna-try
-shibuya-style-come-to.html#more

Shibuya 109 Mens~Vanquish:
http://cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp/2015/10/shopping-meet-
updating-trend-at.html







Harajuku & Yoyogi Station (原宿駅)

Harajuku is known the world over as a place in Tokyo in which the most
unique and eye-catching street fashion can be viewed.
 This young and thriving district of Tokyo is made up of many
 backstreet shops that offer an interesting array of small independent
 boutiques, cafes and dining options.




Takeshita Street

Across the street from the station you’ll find one of the 
aforementioned backstreets
with a wealth of independent boutiques and shops,
but there still is bigger chains such as The Body Shop, 
7 Eleven and McDonalds.
Takeshita Street is a popular destination by tourists so be 
prepared to get stuck in the flow of human traffic and weave your 
way in and out on your way to your destination. While in 
Harajuku be sure to check out 
these shopping destinations!

Niko and…:
http://cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp/2015/12/shopping-discover
-tokyos-new-trendy-hot.html
New Era Japan:
http://cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp/2015/11/shopping-everything
-about-new-era-japan.html

Dr. Martens Harajuku:
http://cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp/2015/09/shopping-meeting
-sub-culture-fashion-in.html






Yoyogi Station (代々木駅)

Yoyogi Station serves as a bridge between the two 
major fashion destinations in Tokyo, Harajuku and Shinjuku, 
and sits nearby one of the largest parks in all of Tokyo.







Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine

Although they are not connected via a path,
they occupy the same space in the midst of the 
concrete jungle that is Tokyo. Yoyogi Park and Meiji 
Shrine provide the perfect escape from the hustle 
and bustle of the city similar to how Central Park functions 
for New York City. A visit to this park can be a 
spiritual journey of sorts by transporting
you to a new, quiet and peaceful dimension.







Shinjuku Station (新宿駅)

At last we have come to the busiest transport hub in the world!
According to the Guinness Book of World Records a whopping 3.64 million
people use Shinjuku Station every day! To give you a mental image of the
sheer size of this station, there are over 200 exits, 36 platforms with 17 additional platforms accessible via 5 directly connected 
stations, an arcade above ground and underground, 
and numerous shops and amenities. Shinjuku is revered 
as the center of Tokyo because of the amount of  
skyscrapers,shopping areas, hotels, bars and nightclubs,
 and major department stores concentrated here.

Check out Shinjuku Lumine Est
http://cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp/2016/01/shopping-warm-cool-check-out-tokyos.html

Part 2:
http://cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp/2016/01/shopping-
light-years-ahead-of-fashion.html






State of the art Coin Lockers

Coin lockers at Shinjuku station can be easily found using the navigation map
embedded at the various locker locations. They also provide a real-time
map showing which lockers are still available.
These lockers are invaluable when you are trying to explore the city
but have a ton of bags to lug around.









Payment is quick and easily done using your electronic smart card
Don’t know how to get a smart card? Check here!
http://www.japankuru.com/en/transportation/e64.html






Shin-Okubo Station (新大久保駅)

Shin-Okubo is known to be the Korea-town of Tokyo due to the large presence
of a local Korean community near the station. In the area a great number of
restaurants and stores selling Korean food and popular culture
items including Kpop, line the streets.





The influence of the idol culture of Korea is strong in Japan






Takadanobaba (高田馬場駅)

Takadanobaba is positioned between the major shopping districts of
Ikebukuro and Shinjuku, and nearby Waseda and Gakushuin University.
Being so close to major schools the station has garnered the reputation as a popular
 student district, with cheap bars and izakayas (Japanese –style pub)
 designed to cater to the student population. In popular culture, the town can
 be linked to the popular anime Astro Boy, due to the story’s setting.








Homage to a legend

The Astro Boy character, though first introduced in the early 1950s is
still a popular character even today.  Nearby Takadanobaba station murals
depicting the anime can still be found under the stations tracks!





Mejiro Station (目白駅)

As we continue on our trip around the Yamanote loop our next stop takes
us to Mejiro station. Being one of Tokyo’s oldest stations it’s age and size are
easily apparent. With only a single exit you’ll be pit between Gakushuin
University and the Mejiro Elementary School upon exiting.






Philatelic Museum Mejiro

A simple 5-minute stroll from the station and you’ll reach the 
Philatelic Museum Mejiro,
which is home to over 35 million different types of stamps.
The building also consists of a Library on the second floor with over
10,000 philatelic books and 1,000 magazines.

Adress: 
1-4-23 Mejiro Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0031
Phone:
 +81-3-5951-3331
Car Parking:
 Available for handicap
Hours: 
10:30 - 17:00
Admission: 
Adults 200 yen
students: 100 yen
handicap: free
website:
http://www.yushu.or.jp/museum/english/index.html





Ikebukuro Station (池袋駅)

The second busiest railway station in the world behind Shinjuku, on average 2.71
 million passengers pass through Ikebukuro on a daily basis. With so many
people feeding into the station there is a major commercial presence in the
surrounding area.  There are a number of different shops, restaurants,
Universities and hotels to accommodate the surge of people.









Just above the station is the Seibu Department Store, which is over 9 floors of pure
shopping heaven! But most shopping centers don’t provide you with a
place to rest after you shop till you drop. Fortunately, at the 
Seibu Department Store, the roof is actually a relaxing space/food court. In the wintertime it’s a
 bit chilly but during the summer and spring it should be just right
to catch a few rays while relaxing after a long day of exploring Tokyo.
Website (Japanese):
https://www.sogo-seibu.jp/ikebukuro/roof_garden/





Otsuka Station (大塚駅)


The next station on our loop is Otsuka station. A bit of 
history about the station, it was built in 1903 and remained a 
wooden structure until it was demolished in 2009 in favor for a more 
modern design. There isn’t much around the station but the 
atmosphere is reminiscent of a smaller town.







Tenso Shrine

About a 2-minute walk from the station is Tenso Shrine,
which houses an astounding 600 year-old Ginkgo tree
 that sits next to the fountain.
The grounds have been remarkably taken care of and it’s free to enter!






Sugamo Station (巣鴨駅)

Sugamo Station is another relatively smaller station that is
 known for having a lot of shopping streets. 
One in particular is our recommendation, 
so be sure to checkit out if you get the chance. 
Just imagine a Harajuku, for older ladies!






Jizo Street

The aforementioned popular stretch for older ladies is a street
called Jizo. This destination offers a wide variety of Mom and Pop shops
with everything from shoes to household appliances.






Komagome Station (駒込駅)

Our journey across Tokyo via the Yamanote line crosses 9 of the
23 special wards of Tokyo. The special wards of Tokyo are made up of the
 most populous places of Tokyo. Komagome, Sugamo, Ikebukuro, and
Otsuka are all a part of Toshima ward (豊島区)。Komagome, similar to
Sugamo offers a rustic old downtown feeling, with many parks nearby.






Satsuki Street

Komagome is a perfect town for a nice stroll through the city.
With lots of smaller streets and shops to check out, you won’t have to worry
about spending more than you budgeted for your trip. A quick walk from
Komagome station will bring you to a smaller shopping street called Satsuki Street.
Just like Jizo Street, say hello to all the grannies along the way.






Tabata Station (田端駅)

We’ve finally reached the northern end of the Yamanote Line with
 our next stop at Tabata. At first glance, Tabata may seem to be smaller suburb
in comparison to heavy hitters like Shinjuku and Shibuya,
but it’s a great place to find remarkable views of The Bullet train (新幹線).





Speedy trains

Wow! Look at the amazing view of the passing Bullet trains you can
get from Tabata!! And what’s that? Is it the Tokyo Sky Tree
in the background? Amazing!!





At last the first 24 hours of our journey has come to a close, but we still have another 24 hours to complete our journey! I know your legs must be tired from all the walking but stay tuned for the next edition!

To be continued…