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Updated: February 13, 2023
Akasaka is a sophisticated mix of upscale bistros, luxury hotels and corporate headquarters. Located close to the edge of the original Edo Castle, the area is now a grown-up destination for dining and shopping, with a large share of Tokyo's Michelin-starred restaurants, and many of Tokyo's premier hotels. You can have fun here as well—explore the cobbled backstreets, discover the magic of a ninja-themed restaurant, and see the large number of fox statues at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin Temple.
Access the area from Akasaka Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. Alternatively, walk 10 minutes from Akasaka-mitsuke on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line.
From Haneda Airport: 55 minutes by train.
From Narita Airport: Around one hour 50 minutes on the limousine bus, or by train.
From Shinjuku: Take the Odakyu Line to Yoyogi-uehara and transfer to the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line to Akasaka Station. Travel time: 30 minutes.
From Tokyo: Take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line to Kokkai-gijidomae and transfer to the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line for Akasaka Station. Travel time: 25 minutes.
Sitting next to the old Edo castle, Akasaka is home to princely mansions and powerful shrines.
Built in 1909 for the Crown Prince, State Guest House Akasaka Palace is open to the public throughout the year, as long as there are no official receptions. In addition to the main building, there is a garden with a fountain, designated as a national treasure, and a Japanese-style annex, modeled after Versailles and other palaces.
The local shrines are just as impressive. Visit Hie Jinja behind The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, and wander up the staircase lined with red torii gates. With expansive grounds and ornate red and green gates and buildings, it's a popular place for traditional weddings. Akasaka Hikawa Shrine has a quieter atmosphere, shaded by trees. Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin Temple, with a large number of stone fox statues, combines Shinto and Buddhist beliefs. Many people come here to pray for prosperity in business.
Akasaka is a playground for Tokyo's rich and powerful from the worlds of politics, business and entertainment. Some of the city's most famous hotels and restaurants have been established here to cater to that elite crowd, including the luxurious Hotel New Otani Tokyo and the new Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho.
Don't miss the narrow backstreets—some of which are cobbled—lined with elegant traditional ryotei restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars and simple ramen shops. The area used to have hundreds of geisha entertainers. There are very few of them now, but you might see one or two if you're very lucky.
Families will love the ninja-themed restaurant, full of mysterious trapdoors, tricks and magic, along with inventive food. Akasaka Sacas, centering on Akasaka Biz Tower and TBS Broadcasting Center, which are directly connected to Akasaka Station, offers shopping, gourmet dining, and stage performances. Sacas Plaza also hosts various seasonal events.