Kamiyacho Area

 

tokyoTower

Kamiya-cho? Why would anyone want to get off the train at Kamiya-cho? Actually, from Kamiya-cho Station, we can walk to that incongruously orange replica of the EiffelTower and a temple with long avenues of stone Jizo figures.

Our first stop is Tokyo Tower – a landmark you can see from anywhere in the city. From the observation deck, there’s a 360 degree panoramic view.

Day or night, we'll see a seriously beautiful 360 degree panoramic view from the top of Tokyo Tower.
Day or night, there’s a seriously beautiful 360 degree panoramic view from the top of Tokyo Tower.
TokyoTowerKoi
Koi nobori carp flags fly for Boys’ Day.
Every weekend and on special days, Tokyo Tower is lit up in different colors from 8-10 at night. Schedule for the current month here: http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/lightup/
Every weekend and on special days, Tokyo Tower is lit up in different colors from 8:oo -10:00 at night. Schedule for the current month here.

Now let’s continue on to Zojoji Temple.

No fewer than seven Tokygawa shoguns are buried in the private graveyard at this magnificent temple.
No fewer than seven Tokugawa shoguns are buried in the private graveyard at this magnificent temple. the graveyard is only open on special holidays, but you can sneak a peek over the wall from the side with the Jizo figures.
There are hundreds of Jizo figures at Zojoji, and its especially beautiful in the spring.
I never get tired of seeing the long avenues of stone Jizo figures, dressed in red bibs and caps and holding pinwheels.
These little guys make me a little melancholy, because they're for the spirits of lost children, but they are so lovingly clothed and cared for by the families that put them there, they're cheery as well.
These little guys make me a little melancholy, because they are dedicated to the souls of lost children, but the ones at Zojo-ji are so lovingly clothed and cared for by the families that put them there, they’re cheery as well. Their pinwheels send prayers to heaven on every breeze.

KAMIYACHO AREA MAPS

Let’s not leave the Kamiyacho area without eating. Two of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo are within walking distance:

Tofu-ya Ukai is a destination in itself – constructed like a daimyo’s palace, a lunch or dinner reservation gets you a lovely private tatami room with a view of the Japanese garden that sprawls through the central courtyard of the restaurant. Tofu is the retaurant’s specialty – they make their own, fresh every day – but the menus are kaiseki style, not vegetarian. It’s a set menu, with a progression of 9-10 small dishes made with fresh seasonal ingredients, cooked in different ways. Reservations are necessary.

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Each course is as beautiful and delicious as this one, which features black sesame tofu, simmered vegetables with miso dressing, and a little sweet potato surprise wrapped in a bamboo leaf.
TofuyaUkai
All the rooms are private, and each has a window framing a view of the beautiful garden.

My other fave in this neighborhood is Restaurant New Asia (or Shin Ah Hanten, as it’s known by locals). It’s Chinese, but it’s Japanese Chinese. Although it’s authentic Shanghai style cuisine, it’s made with fantastically fresh Japanese ingredients with a lighter touch. Their specialty is shurumpo (Shanghai style pork dumplings) and they’re by far the best dumplings I’ve ever had, anywhere.

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My ideal Shin A feast: Shanghai Pork Dumplings (front); Lily buds with beef (left); Chili Sauce Shrimp surrounded by Garlic Sauteed Pea Leaf (right)

MAP

Nearby destinations: Ginza, Japan Traditional Craft Center, Odaiba, Oedo Onsen, Roppongi, Sengaku-ji, Zojo-ji Temple

Read a novel set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of one of Hoshi’s customers…read more

 

 

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