《English Magazin》Vol.1 The unknown Tokyo : Waseda area

みなさん、こんにちは!Beyond Borderです!

出資会社のEdifice Japan Co.,がBeyond Border Familyというバイリンガルと外国人留学生のシッティング&家庭教師サービスを開始したので、その記念企画として、在日外国人留学生にEnglish Magazinを投稿していただく事になりました!

The unknown Tokyo : Waseda Area

When one talks about Tokyo, one will think about Shinjuku and its skyscrapers, Shibuya Crossing, Asakusa, Ueno and so on.

Those places are indeed amazing and witness how pleasant and diversified Tokyo is. But keep in mind that there are almost 14 millions inhabitants in Tokyo itself. That means that fortunately this incredibly huge city is still hiding many unknown places from tourists’ eyes. Living in Japan for 8 months now, I have found some of these really nice spots to escape the sometimes quite oppressive atmosphere of the crowded central districts.
Today let’s start by hanging around Waseda area. Located in Shinjuku Ward, this area is mostly known because of the prestigious Waseda University located here. But apart from the university campuses, there are also dozens of cheap and typical Japanese restaurants and Japanese-style gardens. As they are mostly known by the neighbouring inhabitants you will be able to enjoy the view an relax without being disturbed.

Let’s present some of them : Surrounded by buildings next to Waseda University main campus you will find the Kansen-en Kôen (« Sweet spring garen »). This little Japanese garden was belonging to the Shinizu Family, a very mportant one during the Edo era (until 1867). You’ll be able to enjoy autumn leaves, warm spring or a refreshing pound during hot summer depending on the time you will visit and even thousands of tadpoles gathering around the rocks crossing the pound ! Next to the garden do not hesitate to visit and pay your respects to the peaceful Mizuinari Shinto Shrine.

Then head up to the north and follow the canal (lovely place during the cherry blossoms) and you will reach two other gardens.

The canal during late cherry blossoms timeThe canal during late cherry blossoms time

The first one is the Shin-Edogawa Garden. Much bigger than the Kansen-en garden, this spot offers a very large pond where you’ll be able to seat and enjoy the sophisticate Japanese way of designing gardens. Do not hesitate to greet the local people walking around ; they are always curious to know about where you come from and why do you visit Japan.

View of Shin-Edogawa garden main pondView of Shin-Edogawa garden main pond

An another option would be to go the Chizanso garden. This recent garden is part of a big hotel next to it but it’s perfectly fine to enter in. Even though the human-made influence is very noticeable, especially the artifical waterfall, you will be able to enjoy the view of a three-storied pagoda where many couples like to take their wedding photos.

The three-storied pagoda from the Chizanso gardenThe three-storied pagoda from the Chizanso garden.

After all these walks why wouldn’t you go around Waseda University to have lunch ? From ramen to curry through sashimi, soba, fried chicken or simply a bentô (lunch box), you’ll find whatever you want and be able to see the hundreds of students eating in a couple of minutes before rushing to their next lesson.
If you’re more into inside activies why wouldn’t you go to Eisei Bunko Museum ? Located next to Shin-Edogawa garden the museum hosts very diversified collection, from Japanese traditionnal paintings to potteries but also Chinese artifacts.

Waseda area is definitely not the most touristic area of Tokyo, but if you want to discover nice places where local Tokyoites live do not hesitate. The location of the places I’ve mentioned are written below this article. That’s all for now, but there is on principle that you should keep in mind while visiting Tokyo : Tokyo is as an iceberg, the bigger part is the hidden one.

Written Credit by Aurelien Diouf


Kansen-en garden (甘泉園公園 Kansen-en Kōen) :
〒169-0051 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 西早稲田3丁目5−10
On Google Maps: click here

Shin-Edogawa garden (新江戸川区公園 Shin Edogawa Kōen )
on Google Maps: click here

Chizanso Garden (椿山荘 庭園) :
〒112-0014 Tokyo, Bunkyo, Sekiguchi, 2 Chome−10−8
On Google Maps: click here

Eisei-Bunko Museum :
1 Chome-1-1 Mejirodai, Bunkyo, Tokyo 112-0015
On Google Maps: click here