Having a city within a city has not gone viral yet but the number of cities adopting this idea is increasing. In Tokyo Japan, you will find a city that has just that and this city is called Akasaka. Although being recognized for the great structures found in a specific city is nice, it tends to overshadow all the other great things that these cities have to offer and in the case of Akasaka, there is plenty more to see beyond its city within a city.
The Guide and Map to the Different Restaurants, Hotels, and the Shopping Establishments Found in Akasaka Japan
In the Edo period, Akasaka used to be a vital point of defense because of its hilly terrain. Akasaka was divided into two parts. The first part was lower Akasaka, which was formerly known as Akasaka-Mitsuke or Akasaka Guard Post, where the warriors lived. The second part was the higher ground of Akasaka where the lords lived. This division of land because of location and class influenced how Akasaka is nowadays.
Presently, the lower Akasaka is where you will find some of the great shopping and dining areas in Akasaka. Examples of such places are the Esplanade Akasaka Shopping Street, Hitotsugi-dori, and the Akasaka Misuji-dori. These locations are filled with all kinds of bars, restaurants, and cafes that will surely be on your list of places to go to in Akasaka.
The higher grounds of Akasaka, on the other hand, is intended for a different type of entertainment. While the lower grounds offer the busy nightlife and colorful street scenes in Akasaka, the higher grounds offer attractions that are perfect to sightsee in and to take a stroll at. A higher type of elegance is found in the higher grounds and it is evident in the design and landscape of this area.
Akasaka serves as a commercial and residential district found in Minato, Tokyo. Although having a pretty lively nightlife, this district is just a little north of the Roppongi district, which is also known to have a great nightlife, so visitors of this district would have options if they wish to enjoy the nightlife of Japan.
Despite the elegance that the higher grounds has over the Akasaka-Mitsuke, tourists seem to enjoy the attractions of the lower ground more. This is evident because the streets of Akasaka-Mitsuke are usually filled, both day and night. Here is a variety of attractions for both day and night that you might be interested in on your visit to this lovely district.
The first and obvious attraction is the Akasaka Sacas. This is the name of the structure also known as the “city within a city” which is supposedly the product of the urban renewal project called the Akasaka 5-chrome TBS Development Project. It is made up of 4 buildings in total, each serving a different purpose.
The first of the 4 is the TBS Broadcasting Center which has been standing in that area since the year of 1994. The Akasaka Sacas, after all, was developed by TBS so they kind of built this massive structure around the TBS Broadcasting Center. This building is constantly the site of field trips for students in the 5th year elementary to 3rd year high school, having children visit as frequently as twice a day every weekday.
The second of the 4 is the Akasaka Biz Tower. This is the building you want to go to if you are looking to eat and shop. Aside from the many restaurants, bars, and cafes to be found here, this tower also provides a wide variety of boutiques, clinics, and other stores that sell items that cater to multiple interests the tourists might have with regards to shopping. This tower is open from 11 AM to 9 PM but most restaurants stay open until 11:30 PM.
All the stores, inclusive of all dining and shopping establishments, are found in the basement, 1st, and 2nd floors. The dining area is fill with all kinds of cuisines so choosing a menu to fit your craving would not be a problem. The 3rd floor serves as a parking area that can accommodate about 83 cars. All the 39 floors that come after the 3rd-floor functions as a very stylish residential tower.
The third of the 4 buildings is the Akasaka Blitz. This can be defined as the concert area of the city within a city as it is the open space that is usually intended for live performances. This area has the capacity to hold 1500 people and regularly has concert schedules that feature artists performing Japanese rock and pop.
The fourth building that stands in the Akasaka Sacas compound is also intended to provide service to the arts but caters to a different performance art. This building is called the Akasaka ACT Theatre and it is the space provide for performances of drama, musicals, and ballet. In other words, the finer type of performance arts is held in this theater. It can hold 1300 people and if you are looking to watch any of the scheduled performances here, you can contact them through Tel. 03-3589-2277.
Getting to Akasaka Sacas is easy because it is directly connected to the Akasaka Station which can be found along the Chiyoda Subway Line. If you are coming from Shinjuku, you will need to make two trips. The first trip is a 12-minute ride from the Marunouchi Subway Line to the Kokkaigijido-mae Station. Afterward, you must transfer from the Kokkaigijido-mae station to the Chiyoda Subway Line to alight a train for Akasaka. This trip would take 2 minutes and the cost for the whole trip would be about 200 yen. If you are coming from the Tokyo Station, the routes and trains to take are the same. It would just take you less time from Tokyo because the 12-minute train from Marunouchi Subway Line to Kokkaigijido-mae Station is reduced to a 7-minute ride.
Akasaka Sacas isn’t the only urban renewal project product in Akasaka. There was another that was built even before the Akasaka Sacas was and that establishment is the Ark Hills. When it opened in the year 1986, Ark Hills was the first product of urban renewal projects in Tokyo. This place is located in between Akasaka and Roppongi districts.
Much like Sacas, the Ark Hills is also made up of multiple buildings, 3 to be exact. The first of the 3 buildings is the Suntory Hall. This hall is dedicated to the appreciation of classical music. Its acoustic and spatial designs came from the conductor named Herbert von Karajan, who specializes in the maximization of such aspects for certain buildings. Because of this participation, the area outside the hall was named Ark Karajan Plaza, in honor of the great job he did with his design of the Suntory Hall.
The second of the 3 buildings is the Ark Mori Building. The function of this particular building is to serve as a business tower of some sort. This is so because there are numerous businesses to be found spread throughout this 37 story tower. To name some businesses found here, there are the companies like Airbus, Japan External Trade Organization, and much more. Of course, there are also retail stores to be found here in the form of restaurants and some shops with different items to sell.
The last and final building to be found in this vicinity is the ANA Intercontinental Tokyo Hotel. As the name suggests, this place functions as the residential area of Ark Hills. There are more floors that are intended for bars, restaurants, cafes, and other stores compared to the Akasaka Biz Tower, having its 1st to 6th floors purposed for these services. Don’t worry about getting lost because there are maps in the building to guide any tourist to the shop they are interested in looking into.
As for accommodations, it is practically a necessity for the hotel you are staying in to be in a strategic location. There are a number of hotels that have this quality but there is 1 hotel that stands above the rest. This is the Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu.
The Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu is found in the Tokyo Prefecture, Chiyoda-ku, Nagata-Cho, Japan and staying here would make you feel like you are on a vacation on an island. It’s right in front of the Akasaka-Mitsuke Subway Station and barely half a kilometer away from the Tameike Sanno Station and the Akasaka Station. Having these options of travel instantly gives you easy access to the exits that take you to places like Ginza, Shinjuku, and even the Embassy of the United States.
The cheapest room you can get here would cost $158 and the best room here would cost you $218 but these prices are subject to change if a promo comes along. Try booking earlier too because they sometimes give discounts to those who do so. All rooms have air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and free WiFi.The staff here is highly commended by previous guests and it is also surrounded by different shopping and dining areas. Examples of such areas are the Akasaka Square Dining, Super Dining Zipangu, Bic Camera, and the Tokyu Plaza Akasaka Shopping Arcade. Considering the location and all the things you can get, staying here would grant you access to practically everything you can ask for.
The More Exotic Attractions in Akasaka: The Palace, Temple, and Ninja Café
The Akasaka Palace is a very popular tourist spot in Akasaka. It is a found in the Akasaka Goyochi located in Moto Akasaka. This place used to be an imperial residence when it was built in 1909 but in the year of 1974, its purpose changed as it became the State Guesthouse (Geihinkan). It isn’t open to the public but it is still a notable establishment in Akasaka that should be seen by the tourists because it is a splendid site.
Another unique attraction of Akasaka can be found in Moto Akasaka. It is called the Toyokawa Inari Temple and it is a Buddhist temple made to honor the Shinto fox god named Inari. Although it isn’t the main temple of the fox god, it is still a very beautiful branch of the main temple found in Toyokawa city. If you do go here, make sure to pass the Toraya shop just across the temple because they sell great Japanese sweets and green tea there to refuel you after seeing the temple.
There are a lot of themed cafes in Japan and in Akasaka, you can find a café that thrives on the ninja theme. This place is ranked 4th from the 6282 restaurants in Chiyoda. That alone should instantly make you want to try this place. Don’t be fooled by the ninja theme though, there is no ninja show done here. There are, however, performances to entertain their guests like magic tricks and things of that nature.
It is quite pricey but looking at the reviews, the customers seemed to be okay with paying such a price because of the quality of service and entertainment they get as well as the great tasting food they get to enjoy as they are entertained. If you are on the lookout for unique restaurants to try, this is a sure place to visit.
Akasaka as the Headquarters of Businesses like the Engine Making Akasaka Diesels Limited and Broadcasting Companies like the Tokyo Broadcasting System.
Akasaka is evidently a place with many personas. It is a tourist attraction, a great place to shop and discover new food, and it is also a home to big businesses like the Akasaka Diesels Limited and the TBS or Tokyo Broadcasting System.
The TBS has made its mark on Akasaka by making their headquarters a city within a city and by doing so, they successfully increased the publicity and ratings of their company. Diesel Limited, on the other hand, made its mark on Akasaka by being one of the largest two-stroke engine manufacturer in Japan and sustaining a great quality of products for about 60 decades now. It may not be apparent but the presence of these two big businesses are a sign that Akasaka how a whole untouched market it could get into because big businesses do survive and thrive in this area.
Overall, it is obvious that Akasaka has more to offer than what initially meets a tourist's eyes. With all the eating, shopping, discovering, touring, and money making you can do in this district, it wouldn’t make sense to not check it out when you get the chance to. It is yet another unique experience to have adventures in this district because the memories you will make here will surely be ones that you cannot have anywhere else.