Tokyo Suggestions

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seat54

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I am off to Japan next week, will be staying in Tokyo near Shinbashi station, any suggestions as to what to go see there would be appreciated.

Will be there for a wedding but thought I would do some trips, I have been on Nozomi Shinkansen before from Osaka, but never really travelled in the Tokyo suburbs.

Thanks
 
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upnorth71

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Depends on what you are looking for. Is the main purpose of your visit train watching/photography/riding, or some tourism thrown in? As far as railways, are you interested in subways, suburban trains, intercity trains, shinkansen, or rural routes? EMU's or DMU's, freight? JR trains or the many private operators? The diversity of the railway scene is such that you have to focus a bit.

As for Shinbashi, that's quite a bit inside the city. To get a good introduction to the layout of the city, why don't you go to the observation floor of the World Trade Center in nearby Hamamatsucho. The Tokaido/Yamanote/Keihin Tohoku Line as well as the Tokyo Monorail is also visible below.

http://www.t3.rim.or.jp/~kuri/panorama/pano9703e.html
http://www.wtcbldg.co.jp/wtcb/facility/seaside/pdf/seaside_en.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUehVIXkFfE
 

stut

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You're not staying at the Shiodome Villa Fontaine, are you? I had a good stay there (right overlooking the Tokaido Shinkansen too) a few years ago.

Anyway, the Yurikamome line over the Rainbow Bridge is fun, and if you have time for a trip out, the Odakyu Electric Railway do excursions from Shinjuku to Hakone, on their famous Romancecar (with souvenir bento!) You can then get a rack railway up the mountain, a cable car down, and a ride on a cheesy pirate ship.

Heading north, you can try some of the other Shinkansen, including double-decker units, up through Ueno to Ochonomiya (change for Nikko).

The new (private) high-speed Narita service is rather good, too - much better than the N'EX. And don't forget the monorail to Haneda.

Shinjuku station at rush hour is a sight to behold - like a choreographed ballet of commuters. And look out for the "less air conditioned" carriages on the metro, for those who don't like to be blast chilled and desiccated everywhere.

If you're not on a JR pass, do get a Suica card, it will make your life much easier.
 

ert47

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The Geek in me would suggest Harajuku ;)

Go there on a Sunday!! Cosplayers (if you're into that), Yankii gatherings at the entrance to Yoyogi Park, and live band performances just outside the Park. - then you can always go to the Shrine :)

You can get nice views from the top of the Government building in Shinjuku and atop of Tokyo Tower! (in Asakasa-something - cant remember the name of the station though) And on good days you can see Mt Fuji :D

Take a trip down to Odaiba across the Rainbow Bridge on the Yurikamone Line (guided rail train thing), visit Tokyo Beach, the big Shoping center, Fuji TV studios and the Toyota Car center

With trains, take a trip on the Yamanote Line and make note of all the tunes playing at each stop!

Other things - visit Yoshinoya (Gyuudon is epic), McDonalds (Mega Mac!!) and Wendys (Triple burger - thing - cant actually remember the name of it).


Make sure you pick up a Suica/Passmo Card when you're there - its like the oyster card. Or if you go to the Embassy website, there should be something about a travel pass for the Shinkansen :)
 

NY Yankee

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Check out the Ginza shopping area at night. Please take many pics of Shinkansen and post them here. It would be appreciated.
 

seat54

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Thanks for all the suggestions, I am going to a wedding so staying with the rest of the "English" in Shinbashi Atagoyama Tokyu Inn which is close to Shinbashi.

I went to school in Hiroshima for a couple of years when my parents were living there, so I can safely say I have seen most of the south so I am thinking going North on the double deckers and then possibly that rack railway and just seeing the variety they have.

Thanks for the advise on the pass, was looking at the JREast site but never saw this so I will have a further search.

I shall post what I can when I am there, having to work as well so I am taking the laptop with me.:|

 

ert47

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Thanks for all the suggestions, I am going to a wedding so staying with the rest of the "English" in Shinbashi Atagoyama Tokyu Inn which is close to Shinbashi.

I went to school in Hiroshima for a couple of years when my parents were living there, so I can safely say I have seen most of the south so I am thinking going North on the double deckers and then possibly that rack railway and just seeing the variety they have.

Thanks for the advise on the pass, was looking at the JREast site but never saw this so I will have a further search.

I shall post what I can when I am there, having to work as well so I am taking the laptop with me.:|


You should pop to Nikko, tis a very beautiful mountain retreat a few hours away from Asakusa by train and if you want to go to a real beach, head to Kamakura - there is a giant Buddah statue there with an interesting story :) There should be trains direct from Shimbashi - I think you can get a double decker train there, but you will need to get a Green Ticket (1st Class)
 

upnorth71

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I am thinking going North on the double deckers and then possibly that rack railway and just seeing the variety they have.

That would be the E1 and E4 type shinkansen trainsets, I presume? You can catch them on services on the Joetsu (Max Toki, Max Tanigawa) and Tohoku (Nasuno, Max Yamabiko) Shinkansen lines. Even if you stay in Tokyo, buying a platform ticket to see the shinkansen at Tokyo Station is a worthwhile diversion. Also, for a coffee break with views of passing shinkansen, here are two spots:

Starbucks at Tokyo Station, you can see departures and arrivals of JR East shinkansen trains:
http://www.starbucks.co.jp/en/searc...tore_type_3=&search_by_address_flg=&x=53&y=14

Likely even better, the Mcdonalds Akihabara Station store:
http://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/shop/map/map.php?strcode=13895
*it's the one across from the big Yodobashi Camera store. Has a second floor, get a window seat facing the tracks:
http://www.tabitetsu.jp/gallery/today/132/

Which rack railway are you referring to? As far as I know, there is only one in operation, the Oigawa Rlwy in Shizuoka Prefecture.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
seat54, I don't know the extent of your railway interests, but on the more hardcore, enthusiast end of things, there are three locations in Tokyo I can recommend. For seeing operations and scheduling in action, the two following:

Chofu station on the Keio Main Line, a flat junction station (nothing special in the UK, but rare in Japan nowadays). This is due to be grade separated.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UEwng1cAh8&feature=related

Hikifune Station, on the Tobu Isezaki Line, also a junction station with run- throughs on the Tokyo Metro, which is a staple of Japanese urban railways. You can also see the operation of a pattern diagram schedule here, as well as simultaneous departures. Good variety of rolling stock:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ3Kt9Grq-8&hd=1

For just watching trains pass by close-up, the grade crossing just outside Shinagawa Station, you can see Keihin Kyuko trains cross the JR Tokaido Line on a truss bridge with sharp curves thrown in:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_jSfiKHogo&feature=related
 

seat54

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Cheers for all the suggestions, seems like I'm going to be quite busy.
I feel a new camera purchase coming on.
 
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