Artistic heaven under the rail tracks

Close to Suehirocho Station

Tokyo's tunnels-under-rail-tracks are worth exploration.

Land is quite rare and expensive in Tokyo so it is put into good use. Any plot of land, how small it may be, is productive. This is also the case for the roads under rail tracks.

You have km of land under JR rails but they are not always put into very good use: sometimes there is just, well, nothing. In many case, you have bicycle or car parking spaces: very prosaic and useful. In Yurakucho or Kanda areas, there are many popular and cheap restaurants. In Okachimachi and Ueno, they sometimes host dusty shopping arcades.

But there is another kind of tunnels-under-rail-tracks: the artistic one! The one where you will find interesting and unique souvenirs.

Close to Suehirocho station (get the map with the link under the text), there is 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan.

It is a lovely place all white with many artist-shops.

The Hiroshima shoe-maker used kangaroo skin and recycled tyre to make snickers. They come in every color and bright and comfortable.

The accessory shop that uses only recycled elements such as key board's key or pc chips to make rings or not very discreet necklaces.

There is a hat shop and some handmade leatherwear shop. A handbag shop that uses French newspaper as materials. This is quite lovely actually.

In the tenugui shop you will find modern patterns. Totally different from what you usually finds in Raak of Soso tenugui shops.

An incredible hammock coffee shop welcomes you when you want to make a pause but even though it is not very crowed, you might need to queue quite a long time because, in a hammock, you tend to sip your coffee slowly. It does not really matter because the benches and chairs are very comfortable too.


Kanda Maach ecute, close to Manseibashi

10 minutes walk from Suehirocho, you have another rail-track to enjoy.

This one is called Maach ecute Manseibashi and has a special atmosphere with the old red bricks. It looks warm and authentic. The place has been restored recently and you can walk ancient stairs that had been hidden for a very long time. What a shame because they are beautiful. When you walk these stairs, you can't help imagining all the fancy people in kimono who walked them too 100 years ago!

For train lovers, it is a place to go because you can have a very close look to the chou-line trains longing the gallery.

Otherwise, you can sip coffee from the "obscure" coffee shop or wine from the Vineteria next to it. You will also find nice souvenirs there: Tokyo metro map folders and mugs as well as paper clock.

Trains are running above at regular intervals but, there you go, you nearly do not feel them. It is a quiet and smart place to go, a stardoor away from Akihabara area. A totally different universe.


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