is located at the intersection of
Omotesando Dori and Aoyama Dori
in Minato Ward, with part of the
platforms extending into Shibuya
Ward. The station was previously
known as Jingumae Station, but changed
over to the name Omotesando in 1978
with the opening of Hanzomon Line.
Station serves the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda,
Ginza , and Hanzomon Lines. Ginza
and Hanzomon Lines share the same
platforms, making Omotesando a very
convenient transfer point.
neighborhood of Omotesando
stretches with Omotesando
Avenue (Dori) from Omotesando
Station to Meiji Jingumae and Harajuku
Stations. Omotesando Avenue , called
the Champs Elysee of Tokyo, is an
upscale shopping area featuring
several international brand outlets
including Louis Vuitton, Gucci,
and Zara. The famous Japanese toy
store Kiddyland is also located
here. Architecturally, too, Omotesando
stands out. All along the tree-lined
avenue and its backstreets are several
palazzi built by the big global
fashion houses. A range of trendy
cafes, bars and restaurants can
be found in the side-streets off
Omotesando, which are crowded with
people on weekends.
on Omotesando Avenue is Omotesando
Hills, the latest of Tokyo's urban
developments. Designed by one of
Japan's leading architects, Tadao
Ando, Omotesando Hills is a shopping
and residence complex built along
the lines of Roppongi Hills. When
it was opened in 2005, it created
a lot of controversy as it was built
after demolishing the Dojunkai Aoyama
Apartments, originally constructed
in 1927 as the first public reinforced-concrete
apartments in Japan . Although most
of the charm of the original site
is lost, a small fragment of the
apartments still remains at the
East end of the complex.
in line with the zelkova trees that
line Omotesando Avenue , the buildings
of Omotesando Hills do not go above
six stories. There are six stories
below ground level as well. The
whole Omotesando Hills complex houses
over 130 shops and 38 apartments.
The shops are all high-priced stores
with a mix of all of the latest
trends and brands available to the
fashion conscience. Several fashionable
cafes and restaurants bring variety
to the place.
Memorial Museum of Art
Memorial Museum of Art is located
on the busy Omotesando Avenue .
It contains the best collection
of ukiyo-e in Tokyo , all belonging
to late Ota Seizo, a former philanthropist
and chairman of the Toho Life Insurance
Company. Ota Seizo had recognized
the importance of ukiyo-e as an
art form and dedicated himself to
its preservation. Ukiyo-e are woodblock
prints which portray images of theaters,
teahouses and geisha. These prints
first appeared during the Tokugawa
shogunate (1600-1868) when Japan
was cut off from the world. It later
influenced Impressionist painters
in Europe , which can be seen in
Toulouse-Lautrec's posters, Van
Gogh's copies of Hiroshige prints,
and Monet's portrait of his wife
in Japanese attire.
Ota Memorial Museum retains much
of the old Japanese traditions with
bamboo screens and stone pathways.
Visitors have to take off their
shoes at the entrance before entering
the museum. There is one galleried
exhibition space with tatami mats
where you can sit and view from
the correct level, and a basement
with a "Kamawanu", a shop
specializing in Japanese face cloths.
There is also a small shop that
sells catalogs and postcards.
the ukiyo-e collection at the museum
consists of over 12,000 items, only
80-100 are exhibited each month.
The exhibits rotate every month
according to different themes.
five-minute walk from Omotesando
Station is the United Nations University.
It was opened in 1975 as an autonomous
organ of the United Nations General
Assembly with the mission "to
contribute, through research and
capacity building, to efforts to
resolve the pressing global problems
that are the concern of the United
Nations, its Peoples and Member
States" [UNU Charter].
It aims to foster intellectual cooperation
among scholars, scientists, and
practitioners from around the world,
especially from the developing world.
It acts as a bridge between the
United Nations and the international
academic community and as a think-tank
for the United Nations.
building of the United Nations University
stands out for its design. It is
made of granite and is built in
the shape of a large pyramid.
across the street from United Nations
University is Aoyama Gakuin University
, one of Japan's most well-known
and reputed universities. As part
of a more comprehensive educational
institute called Aoyama Gakuin,
which includes kindergarten, elementary
school, junior/senior high school,
and women's junior college, Aoyama
Gakuin University offers quality
education to both Japanese and international
students. It offers undergraduate
programs in a variety of subjects
including literature, law, economics,
business, science and engineering.
The University's specialized graduate
programs include management, accountancy,
Children's Castle (Kodomo no Shiro)
Children's Castle, or, Kodomo no
Shiro, is a large children's house
situated next to the United Nations
University in Omotesando. Although
from the outside it looks like any
other building, it is completely
different from the inside - it is
a place that children never want
Castle has different activity rooms
for children of different age groups.
There are swimming pools, gymnasiums,
playrooms, mini-snooker tables,
as well as an area designated for
paper airplanes, complete with folding
instructions, targets and netting.
There's a play hall with slides,
rope bridges and plastic tunnels
across the room. Space has been
set aside for play with Duplo blocks,
complete with both a playhouse and
"yatai" set-ups. On the
third floor are a computer room
and an arts and crafts room with
instructors to help children with
their projects. The building also
houses a teen section with age-appropriate
games like table-tennis, a music
room with instruments children are
encouraged to play, as well as a
video room with private cubicles
where children can watch videos
after selecting them from a library
of both English and Japanese videos.
On the roof there is an outdoor
playground complete with tricycles
and wading pools for toddlers, and
the basement has a family swimming
pool. There is also a nursing/diaper-changing
station, a child wellness clinic
offering health consultations by
appointment, a restaurant, and a
fact the National Children's Castle
has everything a child could ever
want. Reasonably priced, it is well
worth spending a day at.