One of the questions I often get asked about Japan is where my favourite place (although the question often infers a city rather than something more specific than that) is. I don’t have a single favourite place – it would be too hard after visiting 47 prefectures and having been to Japan so many times, but also having only made fleeting visits to many places. So rather than single out a single place, I’m going to write some posts about some of my favourites. In reality some of these have been covered in other posts already (for example, Matsumoto Castle, Tanigawa, Yuzawa, or Jonanajima), and there’s not going to be any particular order to the posts.
I enjoy walking, particularly when I’m in Japan. One of my favourite walks is to go from Ichigaya (市ヶ谷) to Ochanomizu or Akihabara. It is the area around Ichigaya that I particularly like – even if going by on the train.
Perhaps my two favourite spots along this route are at either end. First, closest to Ichigaya station is the Ichigaya Fishing Center. I’ve never really done any fishing. But if were to try it, I’d like to do it here. I’ve always loved seeing this little spot in the middle of Tokyo whether it’s when I’m walking on going by on the Chuo line which runs alongside the river. I even managed to include a picture of it in relation to my discussion in Japan: The Basics about some of the consequences of Tokyo being so short on space.
Towards the other end of the walk, I have always liked the view from close to Ochanomizu station where you can see the river and the various railway lines, including the Marunouchi underground line which makes a brief appearance outside. I included a brief mention of this in my novel Hijacking Japan as well as discussing the view of the Kanda river along this stretch between Ochanomizu and Ichigaya. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to actually have a picture of my own of this, so here is one I found on the internet for now.
As much as I love to listen to music when I go for my walks, when I did the walk most recently (January 2019) I did it without any music. Consequently, one thing that I noticed was just how quiet Tokyo’s roads had become with more cars being electric rather than petrol.