Posts Tagged ‘Akihabara’

Staying in the Akihabara Washington Hotel, Tokyo

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

During a recent visit to Tokyo I stayed at the Akihabara Washington Hotel for 8 nights. Here are my photos and a small amount of information about the hotel.

The hotel is in Akihabara on the East side of central Tokyo. It is a three minute walk from the JR Yamanote line – this is the line that circles central Tokyo and goes to many of the main places of interest. Also from Akihabara station is the Chuo Sobu line, which can get you to Shinjuku in a more direct way than the Yamanote line.

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This is what the double room looked like from the inside. The decoration is modern and functional. There is a free LAN internet connection if your bring your laptop.

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In the bathroom they had one of those heated mirrors that prevents steam from forming on the central part of it after you have had a bath or shower.

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The TV is compact – it needs to be as the room is quite small.

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And the fridge is even smaller. It is only one carton deep, however you can still cram a fair bit in. Here I’ve got several drinks, sushi, rice balls and yogurt squeezed inside. Instead of a traditional hanging ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, the one here is magnetic, so it sticks on the door.

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In the hotel room was a pamphlet advertising a special ‘train set’ room which they have in the hotel. The English text says ‘Railway Diorama & Railway View’. As well as getting a train set in your room, you also get a good view of the train tracks which run near the station! I’ve no idea what this room costs, but if you are into that kind of thing this could be the hotel for you!

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Here’s the view out of the window. This room was on one of the upper floors.

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Here is the ground floor lobby which just contains the lifts. The reception is on the 2nd or 3rd floor. In the lift you have to press your room key to the card reader panel and then it takes you to the correct floor. You can’t access any floors other than the common floors, and the one you have a key for.

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And finally here is a view of the hotel building from the front at night.

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If you want to compare prices for this hotel you can look at the Akihabara Washington Hotel on HotelsCombined.com*.

Can you walk across Tokyo in a day?

Friday, January 21st, 2011

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.

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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!

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I headed South, walking along the canal (there are quite a few canals in Tokyo if you look for them).

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It didn’t take long for me to reach the musical instrument area with many shops selling guitars and sheet music.

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Beyond the musical instrument area is a second hand book street (lots of themed areas on this walk).

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I went throught the North part of the Imperial Palace park and exited on the West side near to where many embassies are.

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Then the walk was largely in a straight line along Shinjuku-dori, the bright lights of Shinjuku becoming visable in the distance.

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And here is the end, Shinjuku, famous for its nightlife, shops, and restaurants.

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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.

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Next I ended up following a not very glamerous looking expressway that was going towards Roppongi Hills.

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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.

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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.

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After passing Roppongi Hills I continued following the raised expressway.

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Going through a dark tunnel (but not as dark as the photo makes it look).

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Before finally reaching Shibuya – one of Tokyo’s main shopping areas.

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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.