There are quite a few architectural projects going on in Tokyo lately, including the Tokyo Sky Tree, which is already the world’s tallest broadcasting tower at 634 meters high (2,080 feet), and is already the tallest man-made structure in Japan (in earthquake country no less). The area around the Tokyo Sky Tree has become one of the new areas to explore in Tokyo.
First let’s talk about the location. The area around the tower is part of Sumida-ku, a ward in eastern Tokyo (there are 23 wards/districts). This seems to be an area without the crowds of Shinjuku or Shibuya; it was just much more quaint, more local, more like any normal neighborhood where people knew each other. That’s just the feeling I got.
I went to a small cafe in Higashi-Mukojima called KOGUMA (which means cub), which was remodeled from an old drugstore from 1927. Inside you can eat, read from the cafe’s library of Japanese and some English books and just enjoy an afternoon in a quaint little street – if you can find it! Since it was wintertime, the meal I had was a Baked Curry (1,000 Yen or US$13). I then finished the meal with a Green Tea Chiffon Cake and house-made Ginger Lemon Tea.
The street that the cafe is on had a series of old stores like the one you see below with old signage. It’s like finding a piece of old Tokyo (well, not very old… you get what I mean).
Walking along the Kiku-kawa (river) you can still see glimpses of the Tokyo Sky Tree with foliage.
More of the Sky Tree along the Sumida River with reflections of the Sky Tree on the Asahi beer headquarters building.
This is one place in Tokyo I’m definitely coming back to again.