Takadanobaba is a district full of schools and students. It was called TakaTanobaba, but through the ages, it name changed. It is quite peaceful and offers a decent amount of parks and shrines to relax. And yet, Takadanobaba is not all about relaxing. You can shop in a lot of interesting stores, play on arcade games and try to beat the masters of the retro-gaming, and finish your exhausting day in a Sento.
This station is the 15th of the Yamanote line, located between Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. You can transfer here to the Seibu-Shinjuku line, and to the Tozai subway line. Buses are also available to join the university.
Shrines & Temples
This little shrine, lost between some buildings, has such a huge Tori, which is disproportionate when compared to the shrine actual size. Here you can do the Temizuya, hand cleansing ritual in the Shinto belief.
Another small shrine. What is funny about this one is the fact that people painted in red the mouths of the guardian statues.
This also little temple is located only 100 meters away of the Shinjuku Suwa shrine. This temple is nice, especially when on a summer sunny day.
This park features the perfect background for some post-apocalyptic scenery. It has some very old swings picturing animals, but the time has taken them apart. Their paint-job is not fresh anymore. Otherwise, the park features some shadowy places which will suit you well for the hot summer days. If you lose yourself, there is a map under the park, some drink dispensers and toilets.
This little park is located at the middle of a residential area. The huge amount of trees guarantees you some fresh air and shadows. The bonus is that the park is at the top of a hill, which is a great deal, since you can take a view above the district if you get lost, which can occur quite often in Tokyo.
Don’t let you be influenced by its entrance made of full concrete since this park is lovely. Indeed it features lovely Japanese architecture, some pounds and Shintoists relics. You may encounter some cats there, since they seem to appreciate this place.
Statue of Peace
This statue picturing a young women, is located on a plaza, next to Takadanobaba’s station exit. Its story comes from the commemoration of Takadanobaba’s station rebuilding and development. It is a nice spot, and you can get free Wi-Fi here.
Mikado Game Center
If you like arcade games and retro-gaming, then this game center is made for you. Located on two floors, the 1st one displays some new arcade games, such as rhythm ones and a Star Wars simulation. Whereas the 2nd floor is full of very old school fighting games. If you find 100¥ coins left in your wallet, then don’t hesitate to head there.
This very small but free museum displays some handicraft items, one of Tokyo’s specialty, called “Kanzashi”. Those are ornaments made to decorate young women Kimonos on very important occasions. Since it is very painstaking and long to craft, very few masters are still doing it. That’s why you should take a look at this museum, since you will never see this kind of handcraft again.
Sekaiyu and Fukuyonu
You have to know that not so long ago, bathrooms were very uncommon in Japanese houses. That’s why people, to clean themselves, came to Hansens and Sentos. Nowadays, bathrooms are very common in Japanese houses and condos, and yet, loads of Hansens and Sentos are remaining in the city. Sekaiyu and Fukuyonu are located in Takadanobaba, and are indeed two authentic Sentos. You can come here to wash yourself, relax, and live the real Japanese way of life. The bonus with Fukuyonu is that it displays some laundry machines, very convenient.
Disk Union (Website)
For all the records lovers, this is for you. Disk union is located next to the Takadanobaba station, and offers a full story of CDs and old school Vinyls. You will find what you are looking for. There are real collector items, and some good deals. Don’t hesitate to go through the boxes, you may will find gold.
This 2nd handed clothes store offers some great deals, for men, kids but women. Shirts, suits, jeans, crop-tops, you will find every kind of clothes there, the hard part might be to find a convenient size, especially for tall occidentals.