Tokyo Area Guides: Ochanomizu 御茶ノ水
For the purposes of this guide we will concentrate on the area around Ochanomizu Station and south of the station. For attractions north of Ochanomizu Station and the Kanda River please see our Yushima and Kanda guide.
The street between the Hijiribashi and Ochanomizubashi exits of Ochanomizu Station, parallel to the elevated train tracks of the JR Chuo-Sobu Line, is lined with many restaurants and cafes popular with local workers. These include not just Japanese cuisine but Thai, Korean, European and Indian food.
From the JR Ochanomizu or the Chiyoda subway line Shin-Ochanomizu station, the first place to visit is the Nikolai Cathedral, just south of Hijiribashi Bridge. Nikolai Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox church completed in 1891. Look for the distinctive green onion dome. This Byzantine-style church was designed by Josiah Conder, the same architect who designed the Iwasaki-tei residence in the same vicinity.
The church is officially known as the Resurrection Cathedral of the Orthodox Church in Japan, but takes its common name from Archbishop Nikolai, who was the church's first administrator until his death in 1912. The church is open for services on Sundays. Tokyo University and a number of other colleges are here.
Meiji University Museum
Over half of all Japanese university students study in Tokyo, and Ochanomizu is home to many of them. The huge tower of Meiji University is close to Nikolai Cathedral and in the basement of the adjacent Academy Common building is the free and very interesting Meiji University Museum.
The Meiji University Museum has a very diverse collection of exhibits ranging from the history of the university itself, to archaeological remains, to a quirky section on Edo Period punishments and instruments of torture.
Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library of Manga and Subcultures
The Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library of Manga and Subcultures is another museum administered by Meiji University and named after the manga critic and graduate of Meiji - Yoshihiro Yonezawa (1953-2006), who was also instrumental in the establishment of interest in and sales of dojinshi (self-published material). The collection includes books, dojinshi, magazines and kasutori zasshi (pulp magazines). The museum is open on Monday and Friday from 2pm-8pm and on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays from noon-6pm.
sola city Conference Center
Back towards the Nikolai Cathedral and the Inouye Eye Hospital is the sola city Conference Center (Tel: 03 602 4855) used for conferences, educational fairs and parties. The sola city Plaza is an open space around the sola city complex and has winter illuminations around Christmas and New Year.
Just to the east of sola city and across the street from the Ochanomizu Hotel Juraku is the Waterras shopping and dining mall housed in two towers.
The shops include a city center supermarket, and a convenience store and lots of fine dining options: washoku (traditional Japanese food), yoshoku (Japanese-style western food), Italian, Chinese, and an izakaya. Other shops include a bakery, Mister Donut, a florist, a massage and skin care clinic, a wine bar and craft beer bar (Wiz).
Shin-Ochanomizu Station on the Chiyoda Line of the Tokyo metro has the longest escalator of any subway station in Japan and some lovely mosaics by glass artist Ikkou Itabashi representing the months of the year on its platforms.
Accommodation in Ochanomizu
The Ochanomizu area is a popular place to stay, being close to Tokyo Station, Akihabara and a number of historic sights. Yasukuni Dori marks the boundary between Ochanomizu and Jimbochi to the west and Kanda to the east.