Friday, January 22, 2016

#Pro Tokyo Trips ♪ Travel the 59-Minute Yamanote Loop Day 2

#Pro Tokyo Trips ♪ Travel the 59-Minute Yamanote Loop Day 2

Once again we set off in search of entertainment along the useful 
Yamanote line, but how much do you really know about the Yamanote line?
The Yamanote Line alone is responsible for serving 3.68 million 
passengers per day at 29 different stations making stops every 
2.5 minutes from as early as 4am to as late as 1am the next day. 
This whirling pace makes it one of the busiest train lines in the world. 

Fast facts:
New York City’s Subway: 5.08 million passengers riding 
26 different Lines serving 469 stations.
London’s Underground: 3.36 million passengers ridng 
12 different lines serving 275 stations.

All trains is ride along only two tracks alternating clock-wise
 (外回りsotomawari), and counter-clockwise (内回りuchimawari) 
and they make stops at all stations without exception. 
Quite possibly the easiest train to ride!


Nishi Nippori Station (西日暮里駅) & Nippori Station (日暮里駅 )

Nippori and Nishi Nippori station make up the shortest
 distance between any of the Yamanote line stations 
(about 0.5 km), so the neighborhoods are largely the same.
Nippori makes up a major railway exchange in Tokyo 
because it’s essentially one of the main stations to pass 
through on the way to Narita international airport. 
Because of this, there are a great deal of people who pass 
through the station on a given day, effectively allowing 
for a growing number of businesses to flourish around the station.
To save time on your journey we’ll actually only recommend 
one spot in between the two...

The Yanaka Ginza is a great place to pick up hand-made 
gifts or delicious meals from smaller back alley shops.

Aside from the shopping, the area is well known for attracting 
a lot of stray cats. Pet the adorable little monsters at your own 
risk because after all, they are stray cats!

Uguisudani  Station (鶯谷駅)

After riding along the Yamanote line for a while you’ll 
start to notice that each station has it’s own particular style, 
and restaurants and services that cater to that style. Uguisudani 
possess a unique style all it’s own.

Ghost Station

Upon exiting the train you’ll soon notice two things. 
Depending on what time you reach the station, there isn’t 
a lot of people that frequent the station.

Neon Wonder

Uguisudani is also situated in a peculiar neon-lit area. 
Most notably there is a high concentration of “Love Hotels” 
in the vicinity of the station.  That’s right, I said ‘L-O-V-E hotel’,
no further explanation should be necessary. 
Venture at your own risk!

Ueno Station (上野駅)

A major transport hub on the eastern side of Tokyo, 
Ueno station is like most other major stations surrounded
 by shopping areas and restaurants. With over 20 tracks 
serving various key lines we recommend getting spending a 
little time inside the station checking out the smaller shops
 and restaurants if you have time.

Things to do in Ueno Station:

Fallen Hero

Ueno’s park is a great cultural walk destination featuring 
the Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Nature and 
Science, National Museum of  Western Art,  etc just to name a few. 
This shot was taken at the statue of Saigo Takamori, the 
inspiration for the Hollywood film The Last Samurai.

More info:

Okachimachi Station (御徒町駅)

Due to ongoing renovations at Okachimachi station we decided 
to focus on the amazing nearby shopping district. Ameyoko is 
basically a bazaar of sorts, a collection of unique shops offering
low priced goods. It’s also accessible from Ueno Station but 
the distance between the two stations isn’t very far so 
the shopping district extends the distance between the 
two stations. The area is unique because most of the shops 
sit under the railway line making for an interesting 
underground atmosphere.

Akihabara Station (秋葉原駅)

Akihabara, referred to as the electronics town, is the place
 to visit for anyone interested in anything electronic, or 
people who want to experience otaku (fanatic) culture. 
There are also many hobby shops devoted to various things such 
as action figures or model aircraft, etc... Safe to say that 
when most people imagine Tokyo, an image of Akihabara 
will most likely spring to mind.

Capsule Paradise

One of the earlier mentioned hobby shops/fanatic shops 
dedicated to Gachapon, or capsule toy vending machines. 
This is a smaller shop but it’s quite interesting the range 
of toys and the details in the characters.

Capture your toy today!

Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Sotokanda 3-15-5
11:00〜22:00(Fri, Sat.)
11:00〜19:00(Sun & Holidays)

Kanda Station (神田駅)

Fast approaching the main business district of Tokyo, our 
next exchange drops us off at the intermediary Kanda Station. 
Home to the largest bookstore district in Japan (Jinbocho), 
there’s not too much to do in the so we recommend 
exploring a nearby cultural site.

Tokyo Resurrection Cathedral

The main Cathedral of the Japanese Orthodox church,
 founded in 1891 by Ivan Dmitrievich Kasatkin, a Russian 
archbishop seeking to improve relations between Japan and 
Russia during the Meiji Era. The stark contrast in architecture 
between the sleek Japanese buildings and the Byzantine
 influenced architecture is astounding. A great cultural
 break from all the shopping

Tokyo Station (東京駅)

In sheer volume of trains moving through a single station, 
Tokyo Station is by far the busiest, although it doesn’t have 
the most foot-traffic. Still undergoing renovations to be recreated 
as it was back in 1914, Tokyo station is the starting point of 
many intercity bullet trains. Walking down the halls of the station 
you can feel the history through the architecture 
reminiscent of old times.

Secret Passageway

Most people aren’t aware but there is actually a secret 
entrance to the station for Emperor Akihito. Whenever 
the emperor does make a public appearance (which isn’t very often)
, you can imagine there’s quite a bit of fanfare. Because of this, 
a special entrance was created. It’s blocked off to the public 
unfortunately, but you can still sneak 
a peak from behind the fence!

Yurakucho Station (有楽町駅)

The elevated Yurakacho Station is a relatively busy station
with shopping, entertainment and dining nearby. 
From the station you have the ritzy shopping district Ginza 
to the South, Marunuchi business district to the North, and 
Hibiya Park to the West. Not a bad place to live if you love 
being in the center of the city!

Tokyo International Forum

A great architectural wonder can be found nearby the station. 
A modern theater/forum used for holding exhibitions among 
other events is a great place to admire the work of Rafael 
Viñoly. Plan ahead because it can become a very busy 
thoroughfare during the morning and afternoon rush. 

Shimbashi Station (新橋)

Shimbashi is one of the oldest stations once serving as a 
terminus station for the Tokaido Main Line. Nowadays 
the area is more or less a salary man town or businessman 
town. The nearby high-rise office buildings matched 
with the wealth of  cheap bars and restaurants creates an
inviting atmosphere for citizens in the land of no sleep. 

When exploring the area we advise that you take a 
brief walk through the area surrounding the station 
and try some of the smaller restaurants. They cater to a 
working businessman by offering hearty lunches at a 
cheaper price than you’ll find in other neighborhoods.

Hamamatsucho Station (浜松町駅)

Similar to Shimbashi Hamamatsucho sports a similar 
atmosphere catering to ‘Salarymen’ with bars and cheap 
Izakayas (Japanese style pub) nearby. However, for an 
interesting experience it’d be a good idea to check out the 
area during the morning rush. There’s something almost 
magical about the flow of an endless number of people 
moving in almost complete synchronicity.

Top of the Rock, Japan Style

Literally right across the street from the station you’ll 
find the World Trade Center building Observatory called 
Seaside Top. This observatory offers a 360-degree angle of 
Tokyo’s skyline from 152 meters above ground. The view 
wouldn’t be complete without a band of love seats lining 
the entire space offering the perfect setting for a twilight date.

Address: (google)
2-4-1 Hamamatsu-cho Minato-ku 105-6140

Tamachi Station (田町駅)

Our journey is nearing an end and I know you must be tired, 
but please hang on! The finish line is in sight! So far we've 
traversed 27 of the 29 stations, and explored the nearby gems 
worth getting off the train for.

Tamachi Station brings us extremely close to Tokyo 
Bay and because the weather is relatively nice we 
decided to take a stroll over to the rainbow bridge. 

It's such a beautiful day for a walk! The scenic walk 
from Tamachi to Odaiba offers amazing panoramic views 
of downtown Tokyo from set amidst the beautiful bay. The 
bridge stretches 2,618 ft. long and is pedestrian friendly. 
It’s a bit of a tough walk because of the wind from the 
passing cars but the view is well worth it!


Shinagawa Station (品川駅)

Shinagawa Station marks our last stop on the Yamanote Line, 
and the end to our hour-long loop of metropolitan Tokyo.
 One of the oldest original stations Shinagawa also boasts
 the 6th busiest foot-traffic in the JR East train service. 
The massive scale of the station is easily apparent walking 
through the towering halls while switching lines. 

Epson Aqua Park

There’s actually another aquarium in Shinagawa but we 
decided to venture to the Epson Aqua Park to marvel at 
the magnificent show! A dynamic performance from dolphins 
and other sea creatures with music, water and lights 
transforming enveloping you with love for these gentle giants.


Congratulations, you've survived 48 hours on one of the 
busiest train lines in the world! After one completes such a
journey as this, many would say that you have gained a 
profound deeper understanding of the place you've been exploring. 
However, the truth is, we barely scratched the surface! Tokyo 
is an amazingly complex and massive city and one that must be 
taken in one district at a time. Enjoy your stay in Tokyo and 
hurry and don't miss the next train!! (even though one more 
will come in 2 minutes lol)

One piece of parting advice for anyone who dares to try this 
adventure in the near future. Bring comfortable shoes and take lots of pics!

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