Aoyama, where my shop is located, is very different from other parts of touristy area in Tokyo. Asakusa, Ginza and Shibuya are top 3 destinations for anyone visiting Tokyo, but these touristy areas are generally packed with many people and you can easily get tired of walking around in that crowd.
Aoyama, on the other hand, is very relaxed area with lots of greenery, so it is perfect place to chill out before moving onto other areas of Tokyo.
Aoyama sounds very posh to many Japanese people, mainly because many celebrities live in this area and there are many highly rated restaurants and fashionable shops scattered around in this area. You can also easily walk to Omotesando area, where are famous for upmarket boutiques and sophisticated restaurants.
Aoyama actually extends to very large area including a part of Omotesando, but I am going to introduce the east side of Aoyama today.
Here is the map
MA by So Shi Te on the map is where my shop is located and it is only 1 min walk from the Gaienmae station on Tokyo metro Ginza line. It will take only 4 minutes to walk to Aoyama 1 chome station and 8 minutes to Omotesando station from MA by So Shi Te.
To the right from MA by So Shi Te, there is a street which is written “Ginkgo tree street” on the map. That street is famous for well trimmed beautiful ginkgo trees. The best time to visit there is in autumn when the leaves turn to golden color, but I also like this street with green leaves in summer.
There are benches on the street, so you can have a rest under the shades.
There are restaurants on the other side of the pedestrian street and they have terrace seats where you can sit outside and relax watching those people passing by. One of the restaurant is Shake Shack hamburger restaurant from NY.
If you walk through the Ginkgo tree street, you will see an open field in front of you and you will also see a large building behind that field. You cannot go though the field, so you have to take the side ways onto your right or left. I personally like to go to the left to go there and take the other street on the way back (you can visit Meiji Kinenkan on your way back). That building is the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, which is described Meiji Jingu Gaien Shoutoku Memorial Picture Gallery on the map above.
If you google “Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, you will easily be able to find the literature, so I will not explain the details here, but it is basically a gallery where you can see those paintings related to the Meiji Emperor. Some of them are very interesting and I personally like the old building and the atmosphere.
Entrance fee is 500yen.
This area is generally very quiet, so the walk to this area is very relaxing and I also enjoyed visiting there the other day.
There is a Tokyo Olympic Stadium site right next to that building. It is still empty and what you can see now is only Shinjyuku skyscrapers, but the stadium will be constructed within the near future.
Other things, which should be noted on the map, are;
1. Watarium museum – Privately owned museum dedicated to modern arts and they regularly hold special exhibitions. You can, then, walk to Omotesando from the museum. You can, of course, go back to the main street (Aoyama street), but as you can see on the map, there is a narrow street right next to the Watarium museum. There are small restaurants, cafe and shops along that narrow street, so I like walking down this street to go to Omotesando.
2. Aoyama Cemetery – This is one of the largest cemeteries in Tokyo and many notable people are rested. You might find interesting to see the tombstones, which some of them are very unique and interesting. The National Art Centre is located by the cemetery, so you can visit there afterward or you can also walk to Roppongi Hills.
3. Meiji Kinenkan – this building is managed by the Meiji Shrine in Harajyuku and its main function is a wedding hall, but there are several restaurants you can dine in. The building is traditional style wooden construction, so it is also worth visiting after visiting Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery. Please check the location on the map above.
The Gaienmae station is two stops away from Shibuya station on Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and next to Omotesando station. Ginza line runs to Ginza and Asakusa as well, so on the way to other touristy areas, you can stop by for a bit of relaxing stroll.
For example, after visiting Shibuya, where is the busiest town in Tokyo, you can get off the Ginza line at Gaienmae station and walk around these areas on the map and walk to Omotesando. You can, then, hop back to the Ginza line, but alternatively you can walk to Harajyuku, where is also touristy area, and get on JR Yamanote line.
Should you have any queries, please feel free to contact us
MA by So Shi Te
2-22-15 Minamiaoyama, Minatoku,