Explore the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line | Travel |

Accomplished in time for the 1964 Olympics, the venerable silver-colored Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line is one in all the town’s oldest. A linchpin of central Tokyo’s subway system, the road pushes through a few of Tokyo’s hottest locations and comes fully equipped with chic neighborhoods, political power zones and heritage-laden districts.

The road begins with Nakameguro Station, a cherry blossom sweet spot in southwest Tokyo. With the Meguro River on its doorstep, the world here thrives with an urbane riverside culture that features Torizawa, an upmarket yakitori bar and the Sato Sakura Museum of Tremendous Art.

One other polished location is Ebisu Station, home to Yebisu Garden Place. This contemporary design and dining success story includes the world-class Tokyo Photographic Art Museum and the sleek Museum of Yebisu Beer.

Cosmopolitan Hiroo Station lays claim to the idyllic Arisugawa no Miya Park. An Imperial donation, the park’s ponds, waterfalls and ravines make it a correct city oasis while, by the doorway, sits the ethically-minded cafe, Nem Coffee & Espresso. The outdoor fitness group Urban Heroes Tokyo also meets here within the park repeatedly for its workout, stretch and yoga sessions.

Roppongi Station serves an area almost overwhelmed by its edgy evening status. But together with Haiyuza Theater, busy since 1954, the station opens out to a few of Tokyo’s most extraordinarily modern architectural designs like Mori Art Museum and Roppongi Hills.

The high-energy planetarium of the Minato Science Museum is well accessible from Kamiyacho Station. So too the Stairway of Success, a thigh-buster resulting in Tokyo’s micro summit, Mt. Atago, and Atago Shrine which once protected its Edo period residents from fire.

Toranomon Hills Station, the road’s newest, is home to the Japan Sword Co. Founded over a century ago, the gallery is a serious player within the samurai arms and armory world. Its solid collection and expert advice make it a bulwark of bushido ambiance. 

Adding a touch of greenery to the heavyweight bureaucracy surrounding Kasumigaseki Station is Shiomizaka. Now lined with cherry blossoms, this gentle slope dates back to the Edo period and results in the relaxing South Garden of the Food regimen Front Park.

Hibiya Park is an obvious drawcard but Hibiya Station’s location also invites a visit to the grandeur of the Imperial Theatre, Japan’s first western-style theater. Established in 1911, the theater also houses the ninth-floor Idemitsu Museum of Arts.

Ginza Station’s high-end consumer appeal results in Miwa Shrine. A private project by the corporate president, the shrine sits on the highest twelfth floor of the Ginza Komatsu store, drawing inspiration from Nara Prefecture’s ancient O-miwa Shrine.

It’s hard to disclaim Higashi-ginza Station’s Kabuki-za, the spiritual home of Japan’s extravagant kabuki theater. Performances listed below are matched by wild toppings like roasted soybean powder and blue cheese and pepper at kakigori shaved ice bar, Parlor Vinefru Ginza.

Blue cheese and pepper at kakigori shaved ice bar, Parlor Vinefru Ginza.

Famous for the Tsukiji Outer Market, downtown Tsukiji Station is true by the eclectic Hongan-ji Temple with its Indian and South-East Asian motifs. The temple also features memorials to a Twentieth-century rock guitarist and the 18-dish breakfast set of Tsumugu Cafe.

Stuffed with traditional belly-filling style, the distinctive black design of hot-pot restaurant Sawacyo sits north of Hatchobori Station. From the south lies Teppozu Inari Shrine. Its 400 years of history features a fujizaka mound once used as a pilgrimage site by Edo-period Mt. Fuji cults.

The nearby Tokyo Stock Exchange makes it easy to assume Kayabacho Station being blanketed in business. A more in-depth look, though, reveals a splash of local art just like the contemporary Gallery Suchi and the exhibition space of the Japan Creative Arts Gallery.

Ningyocho Station pronounces an old-time ambiance because of traditional shopping streets like Amazake-yokocho. Just outside the station lies the just about hidden Okanno-ji, the third temple of the Edo 33 Kannon temples pilgrimage.

From Kodemmacho Station, the darkness and silence of Irumando Coffee make for a surreal cafe experience. Nearby are the stays of the old Kodemmacho Prison in addition to a memorial positioned where Yoshida Shoin, an Edo-period mental, was executed.

Irumando Coffee’s architects at Senbunnoichi Inc. didn’t forget the windows. Its design relies on the Latin term for “camera obscura” meaning a “dark room.” It’s a homage to the constructing’s former use as a camera store.

Playing to Akihabara Station’s otaku culture, maid cafe Heaven’s Gate gets a serious thumbs up for authentic cuteness. One other kind of satisfaction, complete with each day queuing, is the favored Aoshima Shokudo and their wealthy ginger shoyu ramen broth.

A brief stroll from Naka-okachimachi Station lies Tsubameyu, a conventional sento public bathhouse. A rarity for bathhouses, this Tangible Cultural Asset of the town opens early within the morning and incorporates a mini-mountain cascade created from rocks taken from Mt. Fuji.

Ueno Station has all the pieces. Shinobazu Pond’s water lilies are a sight, the Black Gate behind the Tokyo National Museum oozes feudal authority while the National Museum of Western Art constructing is one in all Tokyo’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Immersed in Tokyo’s shitamachi downtown culture, Iriya Station offers Ono Terusaki Shrine. Dedicated to a Heian period scholar famous for his daring wit, the leafy grounds feature one other fujizaka mound, this time guarded by a monkey gate that opens annually. 

Because the line begins to unwind, local living continues from Minowa Station. Several okonomiyaki savory pancake restaurants feature here, including Shidzu. Stuffed with backstreet familiarity, this family business has been doing its thing for well over 35 years.

Kozukahara Hokokusan Ekoin temple stands out at Minami-senju Station. This Edo period execution ground is home to the memorial grave of Japan’s ‘god of wrestling’ while further along, Shiori Park offers great views of the Sumida River Fireworks Festival.

Having traversed through all the pieces, the Hibiya Line closes out with Kita-senju Station. A significant transport hub, modern Tokyo is served by the substantial Marui and Lumine malls. And with the world’s Edo period and shitamachi heritage, including feudal merchant home Yokoyama-ke Jutaku and traditional shotengai shopping street Senju Honchou, there’s plenty to understand here at the top of one in all Tokyo’s most respected lines.

The Tokyo Metro Hibiya line might be explored using a Tokyo Subway 24-hour (¥800), 48-hour (¥1,200) or 72-hour (¥1,500) ticket.

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