Awajicho

Awajicho Station is located in Awajicho in the Kanda district of Chiyoda Ward of Tokyo. The station lies on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line and is connected to Shin Ochanomizu and Ogawamachi Stations by means of underground passageways.

Awajicho

Awajicho is one of the few places in Tokyo that is still home to pre-World War II Tokyo, having survived the destructions. The narrow streets with haphazardly arranged buildings and old wooden restaurants are a sight far removed from the rest of modern Tokyo.

From the Edo period (1603-1867) till the Great Earthquake in 1923, Awajicho was the city's main produce market. In 1936, a Transportation Museum was opened on the spot where the market once was. The museum was a comprehensive museum that covered all aspects of transportation air, ground, and maritime. A large collection of original vehicles and scale models, as well as materials such as documents, drawings, photographs, publications, etc. were on display. Visitors to the Museum could also learn about the mechanism and history of various transport facilities. This popular museum was closed in May 2006 in preparation for a new transportation museum which is due to open in October 2007 at Omiya, Saitama City, 30 km north of Tokyo.

Because of the produce market in Awajicho, several restaurants had sprung up in the area for the market workers. Several of these old Edo period wooden restaurants still exist, and they still serve the traditional thick broths, fresh buckwheat noodles, chicken stew and Japanese sweets in settings rarely found in the rest of Tokyo. These simple unassuming restaurants, which abound in Awajicho, are a great place to eat for those looking for something different from the upscale restaurants of Ginza or Shinjuku.

A popular such eatery in Awajicho, to which connoisseurs travel a long way to eat in, is Yabu Soba. Opened in 1880 and rebuilt after the 1923 Earthquake (it survived the World War II bombardments), this eatery has a small attractive bamboo garden surrounded by a wooden gate. Its interior is beautifully decorated with traditional tatami, old lacquer tables, and expanses of shoji screens. Waitresses are kimono-clad and orders are sung out to the chef by a lady in the corner. Yabu Soba serves the most famous soba (buckwheat noodles) in all of Tokyo, with Kamo-namban (soba with duck meat) and anago namban (soba with conger eel) being the most popular. Specialties of Yabu Soba are tendane (round patty of fried shrimp tempura ) and a seafood fritter called kaki-age , often eaten with cold soba noodles. Yabu Soba is well worth a visit, if not to eat, then to experience old traditional Tokyo. It is located a few minutes' walk from Awajicho Station.

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