Once you’ve seen all the main tourist sites in Tokyo what can you do next? Why not try walking across the city! I recently did two walks across central Tokyo, one from Akihabara to Shinjuku, and one from Shiba area (Hamamatsucho station) to Shibuya. Both these walks are from East to West from one side of the Yamanote loop train line to the other. This map shows very roughly where I went and you can click on it for a (slightly) bigger version.
Akihabara to Shinjuku walk
Akihabara was my starting point as that is where my hotel was (Akihabara Washington Hotel). Akihabara is the electronics and manga district of Tokyo and is full of brightly lit shops, and geeky looking customers!
I headed South, walking along the canal (there are quite a few canals in Tokyo if you look for them).
It didn’t take long for me to reach the musical instrument area with many shops selling guitars and sheet music.
Beyond the musical instrument area is a second hand book street (lots of themed areas on this walk).
I went throught the North part of the Imperial Palace park and exited on the West side near to where many embassies are.
Then the walk was largely in a straight line along Shinjuku-dori, the bright lights of Shinjuku becoming visable in the distance.
And here is the end, Shinjuku, famous for its nightlife, shops, and restaurants.
In total this walk took about two and half hours at a leisurly pace. It shows that central Tokyo is quite walkable if you can be bothered.
Shiba to Shibuya walk
My second walk was again from East to West. This time I started at Hamamatsucho station in the Shiba area and walked to Shibuya. Again both areas are on the Yamanote JR line which loops central Tokyo. The first major sight on the walk was the Tokyo Tower.
Next I ended up following a not very glamerous looking expressway that was going towards Roppongi Hills.
Once the slightly scruffy looking area was out of the way I could see the new tower buildings that make up the Roppongi Hills complex.
You can go up to the top of this tall tower (Mori Tower) to get a good view across Tokyo. The rounded building to the left is the TV Asahi building which you can also visit.
After passing Roppongi Hills I continued following the raised expressway.
Going through a dark tunnel (but not as dark as the photo makes it look).
Before finally reaching Shibuya – one of Tokyo’s main shopping areas.
This walk only took a bit over one and a half hours.
If you are looking for a new way to discover Tokyo walking across it is very good for discovering how all the areas are linked. You don’t realise how close some of these areas are if you go everywhere by train.