These districts, huge city three brothers, are designated as newly developed city centers to share the functions of megalopolis Tokyo and only located within a 15-minute train ride. 

 

Shinjuku

Shinjuku, a monstrous city in the world () and a never sleeping city. Go up onto the observatory of Tokyo Metropolitan Government office (), and you can get its whole image.

It is said that 3.2 million people use the station every day. It has everything from business and commercial districts to amusement centers ().

In contrast to its super modernity, there are old-fashioned bar streets just near Shinjuku station, which bring us back to old Japan just after World War ().

And also in contrast to the worldly things, there is a calm garden (⑤⑥) or a sacred shrine (). Everything is within easy reach. You can also experience Japanese things like Bushido, or samurai warrior spirit ().

 


Shibuya

Shibuya is regarded as an epicenter of fashion for youth (). Just in front of Shibuya Station is the statue of the royal dog Hachi () which used to wait here for its master’s return every day even after his death. So it has become a popular meeting spot. This moving anecdote was made into a movie starring Richard Gere. And on the other side is the scramble crossing (). Why don’t you try to cross it without bumping into others?   

Another destination is Daikanyama () that has a cityscape with elegant atmosphere which has a one hundred years old house designated as a national important cultural property (⑤⑥). And Meguro River (), one of the most famous sights of cherry blossoms is in the immediate neighborhood

 


Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro is another big city. The landmark ‘Sunshine 60’ with a height of 239.7 m used to be the tallest in Asia (). On the rooftop of a tall building is a unique aquarium where penguins are swimming overhead ().

It is an academic city. Jiyugakuen Myonichikan () is the school building designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The ivy-coated Morris Hall of Rikkyo University () is 100 years old. You may feel like a time-traveler 350 years ago when visiting Kishimojindo Temple () nearby, which is also designated as an Important Cultural Property. 

At Sugamo within five minutes from Ikebukuro are Togenuki Jizo Temple and a shopping street (). Legend has it that this Jizo has been tender to elderly women so this area is nicknamed “Grandmas' Harajuku”.