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Tokyo in Black and White - Ochanomizu

I’ve been living in Tokyo for more than twenty-five years and there are a lot of places where I still haven’t been or only go to very rarely.  Ochanomizu is one these. I went there for job interviews in years gone by, and I’ve walked through it a couple of times when I’ve visited Kanda Myojin and Yushima Tenjin.  And I go through it (i.e. June 2018) every Sunday morning on my way to work, changing trains there from the Chuo line to the Sobu. But that is it, Ochanomizu is a place I just don’t have reason to go outside the station.  It was about time for me to change that.

One of the guitar shops in Ochanomizu

JR Ochanomizu station

So, on a Tuesday afternoon afternoon I headed off with my trusty Fujifilm X-T2 to enjoy a few hours around the station shooting in black and white.  It turned out to be a great day with me being very grateful for the weather - bright blue skies with a enough cumulus clouds around to keep things interesting.  It was a perfect afternoon.

The Holy Resurrection Cathedral of the Japanese Orthodox Church

Meiji University's Liberty Tower

Disk Union is just over the road from Ochanomizu station

To be honest though, the station itself isn’t that interesting.  It opened in 1904 and I guess it has been renovated a few times, but at the moment, it is showing its age.  The good news is that there is a lot of construction going on there, so hopefully in another couple of years it’ll look quite different.

The Chuo line platform of JR Ochanomizu station with construction work next to it

Guitar Street in Ochanomizu

But once you get out of the station, that is where the fun starts.  Ochanomizu has quite a few businesses and universities in it, but I think it is mostly known for Guitar Street, which is of course filled with guitar shops, about thirty of them (I didn’t count every one there, that is just a guess).  And the shops are filled with every type of guitar imaginable, every make, rare and common, new and used.

The srhine of Kanda Myojin

You can play your guitar with a smile

There are other things to see in the area as well.  One of Tokyo’s most important shrines, Kanda Myojin is within easy walking distance of the station;  Yushima Seido a confucian temple which also houses the world’s largest bronze statue of Confucius just over the river, and; the Holy Resurrection Cathedral (i.e. Japanese Orthodox Church) is there too.  It is a great place for those with a camera. There are also a few bridges over the Kanda which can be used to enjoy the view or from which to take pictures.

The world's largest bronze statue of Confucius at Yushima Seido

And once you have finished you could easily head out in any number of directions to explore Tokyo.  Akihabara is only a few hundred meters aways and if you are feeling fit, the Imperial Palace, Yasukuni shrine and even Ueno, aren’t really that far.

Yushima Seido

And for an interesting piece of trivia, Ochanomizu directly translated means “tea’s water” and apparently it was where the water for the Shogun’s tea came from.

A Marunouchi subway train entering Ochanomizu station

Liberty Tower in Ochanomizu

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