by Kevin Jungnitsch
Those familiar with Otemachi probably know the area as a conveniently-located business district and financial center (Otemachi station is connected to five major subway lines). But hidden beneath the array of glass and steel buildings lies a variety of amenities and places worth paying a visit. In fact, Otemachi is just a short walk from the Imperial Palace—it’s no wonder the district has still managed to retain it historical and cultural roots. Otemachi offers a diverse selection of eateries that cater to a range of budgets, as well as enough shopping outlets to satisfy your splurging needs. Visitors can also brush up on their historical knowledge at the Tokyo Communications Museum, which is worth a visit on its own.
2-3-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku
‘Tei-Park’ is Japan’s only information and telecommunications museum, conveniently located about a minute’s walk from Otemachi station. The collections take visitors through the fascinating timeline of the evolution of communication. A particular section of interest is the history of telephones and how the country became a ‘keitai nation.’ Another must-see is the NHK broadcasting hall, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of Japan’s leading TV stations. It also gives an indepth look at today’s ‘digital broadcasting era’ and an exciting glimpse at what the future of TV media might look like.
B2F, 1-6-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku
After spending a morning or afternoon at the Communications Museum, visitors are bound to work up an appetite, and Bamboo is just the place to fill up on tasty Asian favorites on a budget. Situated in one of Otemachi’s retail centers, there are plenty of places to shop nearby. When stepping into the restaurant, the striking red and black interior creates a very modern and lively setting. More importantly, main dishes start at around ¥800 and drinks go from just ¥200.
Wadakura Fountain Park
Complete your outing by visiting the beautiful Wadakura Fountain Park, located just inside the outer moat of the Imperial Palace. Like its name suggests, the main attractions are the parks many fountains, which are quite a show to watch. On a clear day it is not unusual to spot salarymen and businesswomen enjoying a quiet lunch in this peaceful setting. Simply lay back on one of the park’s granite benches and take in the beauty of the dancing fountains and melange of flowers.
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