One of my favourite places in Tokyo is the area from Hamamatsuchō, Daimon Street, including Zōjō-ji and further to the TV tower in Minato ward. I have written about it before: In the shadow of Tokyo Tower. Even though the weather is not that pretty today – so the sight won’t be as spectacular – I love the area nonetheless. In my opinion is much more worth a visit than Skytree and if I would live in Tokyo, I would certainly have a year pass (It is only about 8000 yen).
There is one mode of transportation, that is generally neglected in Tokyo: the bus. The ticket is incredibly cheap with just 220 yen per trip. You can reach many destinations that are a bit off the tracks of metro and JR lines. Again Suica is your convenient friend. Depending on traffic, obviously, buses can be late sometimes. Most times they are not nearly as crowded as the trains though. For first time visitors I can recommend it, because you can look out of the window and see the city while getting to your destination. It might not be the fastest way to travel, but it is certainly more entertaining than flying through the tubes.
One of these locations that are a bit far from the train system is Tokyo Tower. From Tokyo station it only takes about twenty minutes by bus, which drops you off right in front of it. It is bus number 98 and it leaves from platform one at the south side of Tokyo station. It is right around the corner of the Marunouchi south exit. And it leaves almost every fifteen minutes (iirc).
From the bus stop it is only a few steps until you reach the majestic building. It is also by far less crowded on a regular day than Skytree. Waiting times are usually way less than an hour, today there was no line at all. There are a few possibilities to pick up souvenirs, too, and a food court where you can cure a little hunger. It’s all located in the building below it. There is also a “Museum”/ Exhibition for the Manga One Piece.
The day was not very clear, so any chance to see far away sights is impossible. You can barely make out the Skytree. Even Roppongi hills, the big building in the picture below, is kind of dusty And that is only a few kilometres away. On a bright day however you could see Fuji San, which is about 100 km away. It would have been right in the middle. For some nicer pictures I suggest having a look at an earlier post of mine, although they are taken at night.
If you are afraid of heights the look down windows will be really scary for you. One of the many children confirmed that: ちょっとこわい (chotto kowai, a bit scary). But I really like seeing people as big as ants.
I will certainly go back here at least one more time as it is one of my favourite places in Japan. I still need to witness the awesome view during the day. The whole trip reminded me that I still have my Nanoblocks model to complete: It’s going to be happening during the rainy season, maybe.
If I haven’t been too busy during the last weeks, I certainly have stayed with my friends and attended another party or just made Tokyo nights my thing. It’s going to happen, there are still opportunities left. However, now I’m en route back to Ibaraki and I’m thankful for another great day.
Last but not least, we visited another shrine in Shibuya, that really needs covering, but since we were there after hours, it’s something for a next time. Here’s a sneak peek of what may be coming: Konnō Hachiman-gū.
Due to busyness in the last few weeks, there have not been updates. I apologise for this. I have already prepared a few posts that will be included as addendum during the next few weeks.