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Akihabara, Tokyo – July 2017

Following on my thread of airbnb apartments with train views, here's a beautiful apartment in Akihabara with a good view of the Chuo Main Line and the Sobu Main Line. It's, as to be expected in Japan, a small studio-style apartment which comfortably fit 3 of us and, thanks to being in close proximity to Akihabara and some great restaurants, never left us inconvenienced!

Of course, I could stay in a pig pen, as long as the balcony had something to look at...

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Yes, Platnium Fish Cafe (previously known as N3331 Bar and Cafe) in Maach Ecute on the old Manseibashi Train Station is just there... on that platform on the curve next to the building!

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That's better... check that view out! Right up front is the Chuo Main Line, and up the back in amongst the buildings of Akihabara is the Sobu Main Line. I must admit though, there's a lot of standard passenger traffic over limited expresses. But then again, you do get some cool movements. We arrived on a Thursday night and the next morning ~0700 a Super Azusa consist dead-headed west and then another (or maybe the same) returned east. I didn't have my camera ready and this didn't happen on Saturday or Sunday morning! A little sad as they're slated for the recycle center once the new model comes out.

Either way, it's still a fantastic location to sit back with a few tinnies from 7/11 and you'll get enough Limited Express Shiosai or Ayame on the Sobu Main Line as well.

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Sheesh... I need to work on my angles! I promise the track is level.

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An Azusa consist also takes the Sobu Main Line on a single inbound AM service and outbound PM service, getting people to and from Chiba.

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Anyway, I can only recommend this place if you need quick access to Akihabara and like trains! It's also an easy commute from Narita; just take the Skyliner to Nippori and transfer to the Yamanote Line clockwise.

2Sep/150

Akihabara Washington Hotel

This is the first post of my most recent trip to Japan. It was the first time I'd been there in Summer and I was not expecting the weather to be so damn nice. Yes, humid, slightly, but not quite tropical-humid... somewhere half-way towards out-back humid.

Anyway, the trip started in Tokyo. I usually stay on the west-side of the Yamanote Line, but this time I stayed east. Akihabara to be exact. The good thing about the east side? The Shinkansen lines run on this side, terminating at Tokyo Station.

Akihabara is north of Tokyo, so only the 'northward' Shinkansen run through. Well, the north-west-ward also run through too now. Fortunately, the shinkansen tracks are all above ground until just after Akihabara station, so there are several vantage points if you search for them.

One vantage point is the Akihabara Washington Hotel. It is actually so well known for it that they have an actual room dedicated to trains; including a model railway! (Note the single bed.)

Checking in

When booking the hotel, I left a comment requesting a room that could see the Shinkansen. I received an email response saying that this was not a problem. Upon check-in, I neglected to remind them and was first given a room staring into another office building to the south.

I returned to the counter and politely asked if my comment still existed and if there was any chance of a room looking over the tracks. The receptionists kindly oblidged... although I did hear a snicker between the two girls that the "gaikokujin ha densha wo mitai, heya kara." I couldn't tell if it was my bad Japanese or if I was a train nerd.

Room with a view

Second time lucky! The room had a great view of the Kanda River and a shrine on the opposite bank. To the right were the Shinkansen tracks heading to Tokyo. There is also an elevated flyover of the Ueno-Tokyo Line.

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From here ... it's going to just be pictures. There's a vending machine on every floor... so a few beers and a bit of train watching was had.

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Stay here, it's awesome. Just remember to check that your room has a view!