By Peter Lin
For those wanting to enjoy the beauty of Japan’s world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, the terrace located on the third floor of the Kotsu Kaikan department store is the perfect spot.
Kotsu Kaikan is conveniently located right next to Yurakucho Station on the Yamanote Line. It's a quick walk from several subway lines, as well as food vendors, so you may enjoy a snack while watching the trains. Once inside, take the elevator or stairs to the third floor, and follow the signs to the ‘Garden Colline’: the name for the terrace.
The terrace is the perfect break from the rush of Tokyo. There was very little noise coming from the street below and the terrace itself was very quiet, except for the sounds of the passing trains. In addition, the plants added a very pleasant scent to the air.
Simply put, the views of the Shinkansen trains cannot be beaten. The trains pass right at eye level. You can even go straight up to the railing so nothing is blocking the view. The terrace is so close it feels as though you can touch the trains. As the Tokaido Shinkansen departs from Tokyo Station every 5-10 minutes, the wait is never long for another train to pass through. Because the Shinkansen trains are not moving at their top speed, it is easier to take photos of them without fancy camera equipment. I easily spent an hour watching the trains pass, and easily could have spent much longer.
Kotsu Kaikan is the perfect spot to enjoy the Shinkansen. It's free, it's convenient, and it provides a perfect view of the trains, so remember your camera!
Kotsu Kaikan is adjacent to Yurakucho Station. For the easiest exit from the JR lines, use the Kyobashi exit. For the easiest exit from the subway, take exit D9.
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