The Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line, marked by its green symbol colour, connects Yoyogi-uehara to Kita-ayase. With direct connections thru Hon-atsugi via the Odakyu line and Karakida via the Tama line, the Chiyoda line was originally created to relieve some of the traffic from the Ginza and Hibiya lines. Although the Chiyoda line runs through the centre of the city, much like its aforementioned counterparts, it also passes through some of the best overlooked areas in central Tokyo. Be sure not to miss out on these 6 peaceful spots, all accessible from the Chiyoda line.
London Road (Yoyogi-koen)
When people hear “Yoyogi-koen station”, the first thing that comes to mind is Yoyogi Park. However, few people realise that there are many other great places to stroll in the Yoyogi-koen area. In particular, there are quite a few points of interest from the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games. Yoyogi is home to the National Yoyogi Gymnasium Stadium, a track and field complex and even some athlete’s village dormitories.
One of our favourites is London Road, a long stretch of road where Olympic buses carrying athletes would run in 1964. Visiting these nostalgic spots will only get you more excited for Tokyo 2020!
Meiji Jingu Gardens (Meiji-jingumae)
Seasoned Japan visitors tend to avoid the crowds of Meiji Jingu Shrine, one of the most popular tourist destinations in central Tokyo. Most people tend to miss out, however, on the Meiji Jingu Gardens, an area packed with a far older history than even Meiji Jingu Shrine itself!
Meiji Jingu Gardens, also known as Meiji Jingu Gyoen or the Imperial Gardens, is an area located in the inner precinct of the land that was established far before Meiji Jingu. Designed by Emperor Meiji himself for the Empress, the garden is filled with energy and is beautiful all year round, no matter what the season. If you are tired of the same old rituals at Meiji Jingu Shrine, be sure to take the extra walk to check out Meiji Jingu Garden.
Meiji Jingu Gardens
Address: 1-1 Yoyogi-kamizonocho, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Price: 500 JPY
Opening Hours: 9am - 4pm. Hours vary by season.
Duration: around 1 hour required.
Access: 10 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Meiji-jingumae station
Akasaka Palace (Akasaka)
Although it is located in the heart of central Tokyo, the Akasaka Palace looks like something straight out of a European fairytale. The majestic estate serves as the State Guest House, servicing diplomats, heads of states and other distinguished guests from abroad. Many events are held within the estate’s walls.
Free entry is allowed all year round through the front gate to see the main building and the front courtyard. However, tours of the inside of Akasaka Palace are only offered at the end of February through March, and only through advanced applications. Planning ahead to visit the Akasaka Palace is worth it, as it means walking the halls of some of the world’s most famous leaders!
Akasaka Palace State Guest House
Address: 2-1-1 Motoakasaka, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Price: Front Gate: Free. Main Building: 1000 JPY (8.80 USD) for adults, 500 JPY (4.40 USD) for junior/high school students (group discounts available)
Opening Hours: Front Gate: 10 am - 5pm (Reception closes at 4:30 pm). Main Building: Feb. 26-Mar. 30, 10 am - 5 pm (Advanced reservations required)
Duration: around 2 hours required.
Access: 22 minutes from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Akasaka station
Contact: +81 3-3-5253-2111. Reservations can be made online via the website.
Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden (Yushima)
The Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens are located on the former estate of the Iwasaki clan, who founded the Japanese powerhouse company Mitsubishi. The estate itself covers around 17,000 square metres and features a Western-style house, a Japanese-style house and a billiard house. The Western-style house was designed by famous British architect Josiah Conder.
In 1961, the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens was established as an Important Cultural Asset. Although there may not be much left of the original residence, if you are in the Yushima area it is worth a visit to get a taste of Tokyo’s early-Meiji era history.
Address: 1-3-45 Ike-no-hata, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 9am - 4:30pm.
Access: 3-minute walk from Yushima station
Contact: +81 3-3823-8340
Nezu Shrine (Nezu)
Nezu Shrine, located in Bunkyo-ku, is said to have been built close to 2000 years ago by a legendary Shinto priest. Relocated from Sendagi to Nezu in the mid-17th century, Nezu Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest shrines, created in the image of Nikko’s Toshogu Shrine.
The shrine is particularly photogenic, featuring koi ponds and rows of red torii gates. Another noteworthy attraction at Nezu Shrine is the Nezu Shrine Bunkyo Azaela Festival, held every April when the shrine’s azalea are in full bloom. This is the only time that the public has access to Nezu Shrine’s azalea gardens.
Address: 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Access: 5-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Nezu station
Contact: +81 3-3822-0753
Nekoemon Cafe (Sendagi)
The Yanaka area is a quaint area that seems to be especially influenced by one of man’s favourite furry friends. One place to get in touch with the animal lover in you is Nekoemon Cafe. Not only can you partake in a variety of cat-inspired sweets, but you can also decorate your own “maneki-neko”, or “lucky cat” in English. The “maneki-neko” is a popular good luck figure in Japan, depicting a cat “beckoning” in customers, good luck and monetary wealth for its owner.
Once you have finished at Nekoemon Cafe, be sure to head next door to Yanakado, a “manaki-neko” specialty store that offers all sorts of lucky cats for you to take home as souvenirs.
Address: 5-4-2 Yanaka, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Price: Lunch from 880 JPY (7.80 USD), Cafe from 400 JPY (3.50 USD)
Opening Hours: 11am - 7 pm. Closed Mon.
Access: 6-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line Sendagi station/ JR Nippori station
Contact: +81 3-3822-2297
The Chiyoda Line: A breath of fresh air in central Tokyo
If you want to get away from the skyscrapers and crowds of central Tokyo, be sure to hop on the Chiyoda line and take a stroll at one of the peaceful areas introduced above. Whether you are visiting one of Japan’s oldest shrines at Nezu Shrine, reliving the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in Yoyogi, or bringing in good luck at Nekoemon Cafe, the Chiyoda Line offers a breath of fresh air from the busy everyday life of central Tokyo.