August 02, 2009


Just a cursory glance at my city atlas before setting out was a hint that there was perhaps not a great deal to see in the Tamachi area, though I always try to approach each stop with an open mind in the hope that I will stumble across something that will spark my curiosity. Perhaps it was the overpowering summer heat, or perhaps I was not in a particularly inspired mood that day, but I truly struggled to find points of interest here.
As with Hamamatsucho, Tamachi station is fairly close to the sea and as you head east out of the station you head towards Shibaura an area of canals, reclaimed land with wharves facing out to Tokyo Bay. There are few signs of port activity here, however, and rather like the Docklands development in London, this part of Minato-ku seems to be given over to expensive looking apartment blocks and other high rise buildings.

You get the impression that the flats in this area are probably fairly spacious by Tokyo standards and on the higher floors you can either enjoy a view of the bay to the east, mount Fuji to the west or a cityscape to the north. Despite this, however, it's not really an area I would feel tempted to live in because, as with many more recently developed residential areas, it seems to lack character and atmosphere.

The landscape also features the monorail which heads out towards Haneda airport adding to the ultra-urban feel to the area.

Here Rainbow Bridge can be seen in the distance, but it was too hot and humid and the area not interesting enough for me to be bothered to get a closer shot.

I then headed back towards the modern station building and went to see what was on the other side of the tracks.

From what I could see it was largely an area filled with offices with apartment blocks dominating the areas a little further afield, as well being an area housing several embassies.

The nearby Sakurada Dori is home to the prestigious Keio University and from there it is a fairly short walk to Tokyo Tower.
It's not all sterile and characterless office buildings here though, as there is an ageing entertainment district in the streets off Sakurada Dori, with lots of tiny little alleys housing grotty looking old coffee shops, izakayas, bars, pachinko parlours and other less salubrious establishments.
Among the many establishments in the area is this motsu restaurant. Motsu is the Japanese word for the guts of an animal, and whilst 'Bowels' might be a fairly accurate translation of what you can actually eat here, if I were to open such a restaurant, it wouldn't be my first choice when it came to naming the place.
The verdict? Even making a concession for the fact that it was unpleasantly hot and sticky on this day, I don't think this is a part of Tokyo I'd choose to visit again unless I had a specific appointment in the area.

1 comment:

  1. My friend lives just 5 minutes from Tamachi station. I've been there several times, even walked to Tokyo tower. Nice post.