Exploring ShinagawaThe south-central Tokyo district of Shinagawa’s main claim to fame is its major rail station, second only to Tokyo Station itself and offering Shinkansen express and secondary fast train services to a plethora of destinations across the country. The district is also a hub for Western businesses and tourism, boasting European and American-style restaurants and a sizeable hotel zone.
The hotel zone is located in the western Takanawa residential enclave, and the eastern Konan area is given over to industrial and commercial usage. Visitors should exit the station on the side of their destination as the huge mass of rail lines approaching and leaving the complex make it impossible to cross the area on foot. Due to the convenience of their locations, hotel rooms at popular destinations such as the Hotel La Foret Shinagawa and the Shinagawa Prince Hotel sell out fast.
Sights nearbyDue to the nature of the district there are few notable landmarks within walking distance, but the residential area, although slightly hilly, gives a pleasant walk. Historically, the area was once home to the country residences of Tokyo’s feudal lords, and the must-see here is the Sengaku-ji temple, famous as the burial place of the ‘47 Ronin’ of Tokugawa period fame.
- Epson Aqua StadiumA favourite with family visitors, the Aqua Stadium offers an aquarium holding hundreds of fish species and gives seal and dolphin shows as well as an old-fashioned carousel ride. It’s located just past the easily recognised Price Hotel Executive Tower.
- Hara Contemporary Art MuseumOne of the few remaining 1930s houses in Tokyo is home to this interesting museum with its exhibits showing everyday life in pre-WWII Japan. It’s a good place to stop off and rest your feet after a visit to the temple, as there’s a pleasant outdoor/indoor café serving good coffee and snacks.