Shinagawa station and the area around it is a major transportation and business hub for Tokyo. Although there are no ‘tourist sites’ actually in Shinagawa, I would say it’s a great place to base yourself for a few days in the city. Plenty of hotel choices and great connections to anywhere you’d want to visit. It’s kinda half way between Tokyo station and Shinjuku. I’ve stayed at the Shinagawa Prince a couple of times. It’s a big brash hotel complex with an aquarium, bowling, karaoke and loads of western style restaurants. But what it lacks in boutique service, it more than makes up for in its night view over the city. Try to get a high floor room in either the main or the annexe tower. Another choice would be ‘The Strings’ by intercontinental on the other side of the station.
So I thought i’d take a walk around the station area to check out if there is anything else Shinagawa has to offer the visitor.
I started on east side, (konan exit) of the station. The area has undergone a lot of development recently and it’s a nice area to sit with a coffee and people watch. Loads of Izakaya and restaurants, worth checking out the shopping centres on the first 2 floors of each of the office buildings here. Just as I was leaving a girl set up with an electric piano underneath the station exit…she was pretty good. I have since found out her name is Nahoko Miyazaki.
Getting hungry now so decided to head back through the station and out of the Takanawa Exit on the west side. Cross the road and walk through the ‘wings’ shopping centre and you’ll come to the Shinagawa Prince. But, if you’re looking for something to eat, I’d recommend doing a left as you exit the station and for about the next 100 metres underneath the railway line on your left you’ll find a dozen or so Ramen shops, each with their own speciality. I’ve tried the tonkotsu place here and it was so good. But today I felt like something a little lighter so opted for a chicken based soup Ramen with my friend going for tsukemen, here you dip the noodles into a stronger tasting broth, in this case it was flavoured with ume, (plum).
Just across the road from the Ramen shops is an out of place looking little shrine called Takayama Jinja, one of the oldest in the area. High rises have grown up around it but it stands stubborn in the midst of modern Shinagawa.
I would say definitely stay in Shinagawa because of its access to other areas of Tokyo. But take a couple of hours to wander around the local area and have some Ramen!