Shinagawa is the well-known area for many tourists as the stop of Tokaido Shinkansen and Keihin Kyuko that goes to Haneda Airport. On the other hand, many people probably say that Shinagawa is a relay point of transfer and no image of the place to hang out. However, Shinagawa has many attractions such as new facilities, restaurants with the old-fashioned atmosphere, and popular attractions for dating. We will introduce the attractiveness of Shinagawa this time.
What kind of city is Shinagawa?
In the Edo period (1603 - 1868), five streets extending nationwide from the Nihonbashi in Edo were developed by the shogunate. Shinagawa (around the present Kita-Shinagawa Station) along Tokaido, which is one of five streets was the closest from Edo (present Tokyo) and prospered as a post town to welcome travelers.
Before the Edo period, around the Shinagawa area was a port town and faced the sea in the past, but now the skyscrapers line up. Even after prospering as a post town, it is said that many people visited to get fresh seafood.
Japan's first railway opened between Shinbashi and Yokohama in 1872 the Meiji Era (1868 - 1912). Shinagawa developed as an industrial area by opening the railway. Then the area started to get crowded with various stores since many people gathered.
Shinagawa dramatically changed the image in recent years. The skyscrapers began to line up by the redevelopment of Konan exit from the late 1990's, and Shinagawa became one of the gateways of Tokyo since Keihin Kyuko directly connected to Haneda Airport in 1998 and Tokaido Shinkansen Shinagawa Station opened in October 2003.
Arrive at Shinagawa! How is inside the station premises?
Shinagawa Station has a free passage connecting the east and the west, and the large-scale commercial facility “Ecute Shinagawa” that has restaurants, souvenir shops, and sundries shops, opened in October 2005 inside the JR station premises.
The Shinkansen tracks are on both the north and south side of Konan exit on the east side. Keihin Kyuko has a station at Takanawa exit on the west side. You can also transfer on the same floor as JR or Ecute towards Haneda airport or Yokohama.
By the way, a new station is under construction between Shinagawa Station and next Tamachi Station of JR Yamanote Line, and the surrounding redevelopment is on a process too. The Shinagawa area is expected to develop further as the opening of the new station in the spring of 2020 and the Linear Central Shinkansen scheduled to be opened in 2027.
How to enjoy Shinagawa
Shinagawa has completely different looks of the town on the west side of the station (Takanawa Exit) and the east side of the station (Konan Exit).
Enjoy the atmosphere of old town - Takanawa area
Takanawa Exit is close to the conventional railroad lines such as JR Yamanote Line, Keihin Tohoku Line, and Keihin Kyuko Line. Many long-established hotels line up right in front of the station.
You can see the lively shopping street when you walk about 10 minutes towards Kitashinagawa Station from Shinagawa Station Takanawa Exit. Those are shopping streets called Kitashinagawa Hondori Shoten-kai (shopping association) and Kita Shinagawa Shote-gai, which continues from Kitashinagawa Station to Shinbaba Station.
A variety of events are held in each season such as festivals and Bon-dance in the shopping street along the former Tokaido where the narrow road width of the Edo period Tokaido remains, and it makes efforts to convey the atmosphere of old Shinagawa-juku (old post town) to future generations.
On the other hand, there is a quiet luxury residential area when you leave Shinagawa Station Takanawa exit and straight up between Shinagawa Prince Hotel. Although there are not many tourist attractions, it has a unique atmosphere of the venerable cityscape where used to have Daimyo mansion that the regional Loads lived.
Enjoy the waterfront and the atmosphere of the new office town - Konan area
Shinagawa Station Konan exit used to be an industrial area. The redevelopment was actively carried out in the 1990s, and Shinagawa Intercity that has office facilities, shopping facilities, restaurants, halls was completed in 1998. Atre Shinagawa also opened in 2004. Many other office buildings also opened around this period. There are many luxury hotels and good restaurants inside the buildings.
There is a big canal after leaving Konan exit and walk straight for 6-7 minutes. The green tract of land is nicely maintained along the waterside called the Takahama Canal. The place reminds us of Shinagawa once used to be an industrial area.
Famous shops in Shinagawa
There are plenty of shops for those who want to enjoy sightseeing in Shinagawa, or quick shopping and eating between in transferring. Let's introduce shops near the station where you can easily pop in.
It is a 3-minute walk from Shinagawa Station Takanawa exit. The 30-story SHINAGAWA GOOS contains hotels, restaurants, bars, and shopping spots.
The second floor is the NY style food hall/market “SHINAGAWA DINING TERRACE” where different stores gather on one floor, such as food, deli, cafe, bakery, and shops. The select shop “Kando Nippon Real Store” is the shop which collects “delicious” from countries around the world and sells selected items such as wine, beer, cheese, ham, and the drinks sticking to ingredients and recipes. The items that make everyday life graceful are perfect for souvenirs.
●3-13-3, Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
●Open 7 days a week
●Business hours vary depending on stores
Ramen, bowl dish, and curry rice are the typical foods in Japan. A food theme park where famous shops gathered is under the tracks of Keihin Kyuko Line. The location is excellent as a 1-minute walk from Shinagawa Station Takanawa exit.
There are 9 Ramen shops there. The line-ups are “Ramen of the Year” Grand Prize Winner “Nantsu-ttei," which has a record of three consecutive titles and characterized with dark black oil on Tonkotsu soup. “Tsukemen TETSU” that lets you enjoy Tsuke-men without the soup gets cold by putting heated stones in thick seafood and meat based soup using bonito, mackerel, sardine, chicken and pork bones. A popular shop “Shinsen” that makes its name famous in the country with thick Tonkotsu soup, and so on.
Other famous shops also lined up such as “Go-go Curry” which created Kanazawa curry boom in Japan, “Densetsu no Stadon-ya” that is famous for the juicy and tender pork cooked in secret garlic soy sauce. You can also buy souvenirs at “Shinatatsuya” in Shinatatsu Shinagawa.
●3-26-20, Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
●Open 7 days a week
※ Temporary closure in some of the stores.
●11:00-23:00 * Business hours vary depending on stores.
Let's try bar hopping at the bar area behind the alley in Konan exit
Although there are modern high-rise office buildings lined up at Shinagawa Station Konan exit, there is a corner where the old-fashioned atmosphere remarkably remains in front of the station. It is like a maze as the road becomes narrower if going farther. The shops serving cooked offal and the common Izakaya are there.
One minute away from Konan exit. Standing-style bar where you can enjoy classic izakaya menus such as ham cutlet, offal stew and more. As it is close to the station, it is recommended for those who want “just for one glass before getting on the Shinkansen.”
●Konan Ekimae Bldg. 1F, 2-14-10, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
●Closed on Sundays and National holidays
Yume-ya is a shop where you can casually enjoy seasonal sashimi. This shop is always crowded with businessmen on the way back from work. Homemade fish-cake and simmered yellow-tail with radish are popular besides sashimi. They provide plenty of sake matching the food.
●2-2-9, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
●Closed on Sundays and National holidays
It is quietly located behind the alley of Konan exit, and the name is “Rojiura (behind the alley).” A red lantern hung on the entrance is a landmark. The popular menu is “super spicy stewed beef tendons.” You can’t stop drinking Sake when you eat this stewed beef tendons with dipping plenty of extra spicy sauce.
●2-2-4, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
●Closed on year-end and New Year Holidays
Things to do in Shinagawa
It is a 2-minute walk from Shinagawa Station Takanawa exit. An aquarium “Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa” in Shinagawa Prince Hotel is a popular attraction for couples and families. If you hear the aquarium is in the hotel, you probably imagine a small one, but this is quite a big aquarium which 11 zones are placed on 2 floors even in the city center.
The fish peacefully swim surrounded by beautiful images and greet visitors at the entrance. This artwork changes according to the season. After passing through the “Magical Ground,” which combines various technologies and decorations with water tanks and attractions, the mysterious zone “Jellyfish Rumble” that you can enjoy jellyfish floating in the water with light and sound production waits for you.
“Little Paradise” that you can appreciate tropical fish and sharks is on the second floor. You can also enjoy watching Manta and Dwarf Sawfish which are only exhibited in the world in “Wonder Tube” the 20 meters long water tunnel. Spotted seals, penguins, South American fur seals, capybaras are also exhibited beside fish.
The most popular zone is “The stadium” where you can enjoy the dolphin performance which takes place in a circular pool of 25m in diameter. The program differs according to the season's theme and day and night, and you can enjoy dolphin's performance in a dynamic and fantastic atmosphere with the water curtains and lighting presentation.
●4-10-30, Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Inside Shinagawa Prince Hotel)
●03-5421-1111 <Voice guidance>
●Admissions: Adult 2,200yen / Elementary and junior high student 1,200yen / Toddler (4 and over) 700yen
●Open 7 days a week
●10:00-22:00 (9/1~10/31 2018) *Last admission 21:00 *Depending on the season.
It is said that Minamoto Yoritomo who started the Kamakura Shogunate in 1192 treated this shrine as the guardian of maritime traffic safety and a prayer fulfillment is the beginning of Shinagawa Shrine. This shrine is counted one of the ten shrines in Tokyo.
After passing Soryu Torii, which the dragon wrapped around the pillar (Shrine with Soryu Torii is only three in Tokyo), go up the stairs of a sharp gradient. After worshiping the main shrine, go to “Hitotsubu Manbai no Izumi (fountain).” It is said that the money luck will turn up if you wash money with water of Hitotsubu Manbai no Izumi located far from the red torii lined by numerous layers next to the main hall.
●3-7-15, Kita-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
●9:00-17:00 (Shrine Office Information)
A mansion of Mr. Hara Kunizo, known as a businessman, was opened in 1979 as an art museum. Not only permanent contemporary collections but trade shows are also held several times a year. It is also recommended to enjoy a fine building built in 1938.
After appreciating the art works relaxingly, go to “Cafe d’art” which is inside the hall. The cafe facing the inner garden of the museum makes you forget the hustle and bustle of the city, and you can enjoy tea and meals in a relaxed feeling.
●4-7-25, Kita-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
●Admissions: Adult 1,100yen / University and High school student 700yen / Elementary and junior high student 500yen *Admission required for café/shop entrance
●Closed on Mondays
*Opens if Monday is National holiday, and closed next day
*Closed for exhibition change period, year-end and New Year holidays
●11:00-17:00 (11:00-20:00 for Wednesdays except holidays, admission until 30 minutes before closing)
Where to stay in Shinagawa?
There are many accommodations around Shinagawa Station where good access to various places. This time, let us introduce the luxury hotels which everybody admires.
“Takanawa Hanakohro, Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa”
“Takanawa Hanaokohro” is the 16-room inn with a concept of “Japanese hospitality.” It is located inside Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa.
The hotel's vaunted Japanese garden is the size of about 20,000 ㎡. It was designed by Mr. Teiji Kusuoka who also worked on the new palace of Imperial Palace and so on. You can experience a tea ceremony at the tea room “Chikushin-an” in the Japanese garden during your stay.
The rooms are Japanese style rooms that emphasize the traditional Japanese habitation, and low beds and rotary chairs are installed so that overseas tourists can relax too. All 16 rooms have the name of flowers and trees of the Japanese garden such as “Camellia." The Japanese garden spreads all over the window from the B type Japanese style room, you can enjoy the views of the seasons.
Guests can use the private spa and private lounge. It is a ryokan where you can spend a luxurious moment in a way only possible in Japan.
●3-13-1, Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
“The Strings by Intercontinental Tokyo”
It is a luxury hotel on the 26th to 32nd floor (hotel entrance is 2nd floor) of Shinagawa East One Tower, which directly connected to the station and one minute on foot from Shinagawa Station Konan exit.
The atrium lobby on the 26th floor is a luxurious space blown through to six layers. There are many restaurants and bars including “China Shadow” where you can enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine, and “The Dining Room” that serves dishes combined European and Asian tastes.
Guest rooms where you can enjoy the view of Tokyo from large windows uses plenty of high-quality wood, and you can soothe your tiredness of the day in a modern space.
●26F-32F Shinagawa East One tower, 2-16-1, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
How to get to Shinagawa
Shinagawa has direct access from Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya by using Tokaido Shinkansen. It is convenient as Keihin Kyuko is directly connected from Haneda Airport. There are quite a few limousine buses from Narita Airport. It is convenient to use JR Yamanote Line from Shibuya, Shinjuku, and other stations.
Summery of Shinagawa
Shinagawa is a city where mixed up the atmosphere of a big city with tower buildings, old townscapes, and a quiet atmosphere of the high-class residential area. It has no strong image of tourism compared to Shibuya, Shinjuku or Asakusa. However, there are plenty of places to have fun as we introduced. It is a convenient city where you can go for fun using your spare time between transfer.
*The above information was last updated August 27, 2018. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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