The Yamanote line is the perfect way for TTDIT to help you get your bearings and learn how to navigate around Tokyo. With 29 stations connected in a loop, the “Yamanote sen” connects all major urban centers in less than 40 minutes. From built-up west- Shinjuku’s modernism to Ikebukuro’s quaint little shops and from Shibuya's new trends to Ueno’s National museum, zoo and park, exploring Tokyo will be as easy as 1-2-3 with the TTDIT on the “green-circle” Yamanote line
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Ueno is also home to some of Tokyo's finest cultural sites, including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, and the National Museum of Nature and Science, as well as a major public concert hall. Many Buddhist temples are in the area, including the Bentendo temple dedicated to goddess Benzaiten, on an island in Shinobazu Pond.
The Kan'ei-ji, a major temple of the Tokugawa shoguns, stood in this area, and its pagoda is now within the grounds of the Ueno Zoo. Nearby is the Ueno Tōshōgū, a Shinto shrine to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Near the Tokyo National Museum there is The International Library of Children's Literature. Just south of the station is the Ameya-yokochō, a street market district that evolved out of an open-air black market that sprung up after World War II. Just east is the Ueno motorcycle district, with English-speaking staff available in some stores.
Ueno is part of the historical Shitamachi (literally "low city") district of Japan, a working class area rather than where the aristocrats and rich merchants lived. Today the immediate area, due to its close proximity to a major transportation hub, retains high land value but just a short walk away to the east or north reveals some of the less glitzy architecture of Tokyo.
Akihabara is a major shopping area for electronic, computer, anime, games and otaku goods, including new and used items. New items are mostly to be found on the main street, Chūōdōri, with many kinds of used items found in the back streets of Soto Kanda 3-chōme. New parts for PC-building are readily available from a variety of stores. Tools, electrical parts, wires, microsized cameras and similar items are found in the cramped passageways of Soto Kanda 1-chōme (near the station).
Foreign tourists tend to visit the big name shops like Laox or other speciality shops near the station, though there is more variety and lower prices at locales a little further away. Akihabara gained some fame through being home to one of the first stores devoted to personal robots and robotics.
The area was just out of Sujikai-gomon city gate (present Mansei bridge) which was one of the city gates (Mitsuke) of old Edo (Tokyo). It was the gateway from inner Edo to northern and northwestern Japan and Kan’ei-ji temple in Ueno. Many dealers, craftsmen and relatively lower class samurai lived there.
- Tokyo Imperial Palace
- Marunouchi Building
- Shin-Marunouchi Building
- Tokyo International Forum
- Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum
Tokyo Imperial Palace (皇居 Kôkyo, literally, "Imperial Residence") is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda area of Tokyo close to Tokyo Station and contains several buildings including the main palace (宮殿 Kyûden), the private residences of the imperial family, an archive, museum and administrative offices.
The Tokyo International Forum (東京国際フォーラム Tôkyô Kokusai Fôramu) is a multi-purpose center in Tokyo, Japan.One of its halls seats 5,000. In addition to seven other halls, it includes exhibition space, a lobby, restaurants, shops, and other facilities.
Many companies are headquartered in Shinagawa. Isuzu, an auto manufacturer; JTB Corporation, a major travel agency; MOS Burger (in the ThinkPark Tower, Ōsaki); Lawson (East Tower of Gate City Ohsaki in Ōsaki), Namco Bandai Holdings; Namco Bandai Games; Banpresto; Rakuten, Honda brand Acura; NSK Ltd., a bearing maker; Imagica, a media post-production company; and Pola Cosmetics all have their headquarters within Shinagawa Ward. Marza Animation Planet also has its headquarters in Shinagawa.
Japan Airlines (JAL), the head office of its subsidiary JAL Hotels, and registered offices of JAL Express and JALways are located in the Tennōzu Isle area. In addition, Jalux, a subsidiary, has its head office in the I·S Building. GEOS, an English language school company, once had its headquarters in Shinagawa.
This area is known as one of the fashion centers of Japan, particularly for young people, and as a major nightlife area.
One of the best-known stories concerning Shibuya is the story of Hachikō, a dog who waited on his late master at Shibuya Station every day from 1923 to 1935, eventually becoming a national celebrity for his loyalty. A statue of Hachikō was built adjacent to the station, and the surrounding Hachikō Square is now the most popular meeting point in the area.
Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing. It is located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachikō exit and stops vehicles in all directions to allow pedestrians to inundate the entire intersection. The statue of Hachikō, a dog, between the station and the intersection, is a common meeting place and almost always crowded.
Three large TV screens mounted on nearby buildings overlook the crossing, as well as many advertising signs. The Starbucks store overlooking the crossing is also one of the busiest in the world. Its heavy traffic and inundation of advertising has led to it being compared to the Times Square intersection in New York City. Tokyo-based architecture professor Julian Worrall has said Shibuya Crossing is "a great example of what Tokyo does best when it’s not trying."
Shibuya Crossing is often featured in movies and television shows which take place in Tokyo, such as Lost in Translation, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Resident Evil: Afterlife and Retribution, as well as on domestic and international news broadcasts.
While widely recognised as the district of Harajuku nowadays, it was formerly referred to as Onden, a low-lying area close to Meiji Street and Old Shibuya River (Onden River. Currently a promenade (Old Shibuya River promenade) also known now as ‘Cat Street.’) Up until 1965, the town name ‘Harajuku’ referred to the northern end of Omotesando, the tableland around Aoyama, currently known as Jingu-mae block 2, a large area of Jingu-mae block 3, and the tableland extending behind Togo Shrine in Jingu-mae block 1. On the other hand, the area from Harajuku station to the area surrounding Takeshita Street was called ‘Takeshita-cho’. After 1965, this whole area in the Japanese addressing system was unified to ‘Jingu-mae’ and the name ‘Harajuku’ was abolished.
Although the area immediately surrounding Shinjuku Station is home to hotels, department stores, specialist electronic and camera shops, cinemas, restaurants, and bars, the rest of the city is a mix of residential with commercial areas concentrated around railway stations.
Notable areas of Shinjuku include:
-Ichigaya: A commercial area in eastern Shinjuku, site of the Ministry of Defense.
-Golden Gai: An area of tiny shanty-style bars and clubs. Musicians, artists, journalists, actors and directors gather here, and the ramshackle walls of the bars are literally plastered with film posters.
-Kabukichō: A red-light district well known for its bars, restaurants, and sex-related establishments.
-Nishi-Shinjuku: Home to Tokyo's largest concentration of skyscrapers. Several of the tallest buildings in Tokyo are located in this area, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, KDDI Building and Park Tower. Located west of Shinjuku Station.
-Shin-Ōkubo: Tokyo's historic ethnic Korean neighborhood.
-Shinjuku Gyoen is a large park, 58.3 hectares, 3.5 km in circumference, blending Japanese traditional, English Landscape and French Formal style gardens.
-Shinjuku Ni-chōme: Tokyo's best-known gay district.
-Takadanobaba and Waseda: The area between Waseda University, one of the most prestigious private universities in Japan, and Takadanobaba Station is a major residential and nightlife area for students.
-Yotsuya: An upscale residential and commercial district; the Arakichō area is well known for its many small restaurants, bars, and izakaya.
Adjacent to Sunshine City, on Meiji-Dori is the Toyota Amlux Building which houses the Toyota showroom. Otome Road, a leading shopping area for otaku products aimed at women, is located nearby. Marui and Don Quijote also have department stores in the area. The principal electronics retailer in Ikebukuro is Bic Camera. There is a small pleasure district located in Nishi-Ikebukuro, similar to Shinjuku's Kabukichō.
The kanji for Ikebukuro literally means pond bag. Outside the west exit of Ikebukuro station near an entrance to the Fukutoshin Line is a small plaque explaining how the area used to have multiple lakes, hence the name.
There is a small statue of an owl located near the center of the city called Ikefukurô-zô (いけふくろう像), meaning lake owl statue. It is a play on words from the alternative meaning of "fukuro" as "owl". The owl statue has become a famous meeting place along the lines of the statue of Hachikō located outside of Shibuya Station.
Ikebukuro is the setting of the Japanese manga and TV drama Ikebukuro West Gate Park. It is also the setting of the Japanese light novel series, anime, and manga, Durarara!!.
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