Living in Yurakucho: What is it Like For Foreigners?
Yurakucho, just a few minutes from Tokyo Station, is a shopping, dining, and entertainment area in Chiyoda-ku. It also serves a business district nearby Marunouchi and Otemachi, packed with small old restaurants under train tracks known as “Gado-Shita”.
Where the gates of Edo-castle once resided, Yurakucho is now a mix of modern and Showa-period restaurants and shops.
Read further to learn about Yurakucho.
Yurakucho - A modern yet nostalgic business and entertainment district
Yurakucho is located in the heart of Tokyo. While on weekdays the area is bustling with office workers, on weekends it is filled with tourists and trendy people who want to enjoy the various dining, entertainment, and shopping options it offers.
Never-changing since the Showa period, the “Gado-Shita” is a street filled with small izakaya (Japanese pubs) where office workers head to after a hard day’s work. If you’re looking for something more fancy, just walk and you will reach large shopping malls -filled with multiple restaurants- such as LUMINE, Hankyu’s Men, and Loft.
Yurakucho is also home to the historical Imperial Theater (Teikoku-gekijo), the Takarazuka Theater, and the Nissei Theater. Whenever you go, you will encounter one the most impressive performances in your life.
- From Tokyo Station, exit from the Tokyo International Forum Exit (located in the Keiyo Line area)
- From Shibuya Station, take the Yamanote Line to Yurakucho Station (24 min.), or take the Hanzomon Line to Nagatacho Station, and transfer to the Yurakucho Line to Yurakucho Station (20 min.)
- From Shinjuku Station, take the Yamanote Line to Yurakucho Station (30 min.)
Tokyo International Forum
Tokyo International Forum, with its massive glass-walls, is a venue used for various conventions, concerts, and other events. Inside, you will also see the Aida Mitsuo Museum and restaurants.
Outside in the open-space, people gather to get a bite at luxurious restaurants and food trucks (only during lunch hours). Sometimes events such as Saturday Market is held.
Right beside the venue is one of Tokyo's largest Big Camera stores, boasting eight floors with the newest electronic goods.
- Address: 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
- Directions: One-minute walk from JR Yurakucho Station, or go directly from Yurakucho Line Yurakucho Station
Imperial Theater (Teikoku-Gekijo)
Established in 1911, the Imperial Theater has been Yurakucho’s symbol of Japan’s westernization. Ever since, it has been the home for Western-style performances such as Les Miserables.
Come for the show, but stay for a meal afterwards. Connected to the theater is a basement floor filled with restaurants, occupied by people who just watched a performance.
Yurakucho is filled with other historical and beautiful theaters all just in walking distance. There is the Takarazuka Theater, home to the all-female performance group, which is right across Theater Crea and literally a minute away from Nissei Theater.
- Address: 3-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
- Directions: Direct from Exit B3 of Yurakucho Station
Less crowded than the streets of Ginza, Marunouchi Nakadori is a long, relaxed street (or rather, district) filled with high-end stores. Walk through this street for easy access to the areas of Marunouchi or Otemachi.
- Directions: One minute walk from the Marunouchi South Exit of Tokyo Station
Why foreigners live in Yurakucho
Yurakucho, and the nearby area of Marunouchi, have impressive Western-style buildings that date back from the Meiji period. Some of these establishments are the headquarters of Japan’s most successful enterprises.
If you are a history buff, or just appreciate beautiful architecture, you will have a great time living and walking around the area.
High-end Shopping and Dining Options
Classy young women enjoy shopping and eating in Yurakucho’s large department stores that have added a new dimension to the area’s business and entertainment industry. If you want to forget about price tags and shop in world-famous stores, head to Nakadori to shop to your heart’s desire.
Yurakucho is truly heaven on Earth for those who want to live a luxurious life.
Just by walking distance, you are able to reach Yurakucho Station, Tokyo Station, Otemachi Station, Nijubashi Station, and Hibiya Station.
In fact, using the underground passageway -although it may take time to get used to it- you can walk directly from Otemachi Station to Tokyo Station, then to Yurakucho Station, and then to Hibiya Station.
Thus, if you live in Yurakucho, your transportation options are endless.
But since so much areas are just by walking distance, you probably don’t even need to use a train.
In Yurakucho, it is possible to eat at authentic izakayas, but also at the finest Italian restaurants. The diverse environment makes it perfect to try something new every time you visit.
Yurakucho is full of life and things to do, from shopping to just sitting and enjoying the moment.
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