N3331 Cafe and Bar

A cafe practically on top of the train tracks

By Ilona Lin    - 2 min read

Have you ever been to a café that is surrounded closely by trains and railways? You might think: "What is so special about trains and railways anyway? I see them every day." Well, in Tokyo at an old station called Manseibashi, you can witness one of the busiest train lines in Tokyo—the JR Chuo Line—as it rushes right past you. Yet the comfort of the cafe means you can enjoy your afternoon tea without startling from the vibrations and the noises from the regular running of the railway.

N3331 has a rather unique name. “N” represents either New, Next or Nippon (Japan), and “3331” stands for a rhythmic hand clapping activity during the Edo-era which is called Ippon-Jime. It's an action that is done special after events. N3331 is a café and a bar, whose menu ranges from high-quality Japanese alcohol, special garnishes, desserts, to regular meals for lunch and dinner.

At lunch, N3331 serves a variety of different dishes, such as vegetarian curry, baked cheesecake, Japanese pickles, and others. At night, it turns into a luxurious bar serving Japanese alcohol while customers can enjoy the night view of the city as the trains pass by.

N3331 is located within the renovated Manseibashi station, which originally opened in 1912. Seventy year later, it was reopened as a mAAch ecute shopping district where you can find a variety of stores featuring clothing, handkerchiefs, Manseibashi station-related merchandise, and snacks. The selection of dried fruits and biscuits are especially useful for customers to bring home as souvenirs.

The interior design is very clean and has a minimalistic style, with major building materials being wood and glass. N3331 is built and supported by glass walls. I personally prefer staying out of the sun during daytime or sheltering in indoor places with large windows, so N3331 was the perfect place to sit down and have a cup of coffee without being exposed to the sun.

The closest you can get to a train is probably while you are riding one or waiting behind the yellow line on the platform when rushing to work. However, N3331 creates a brand-new angle of viewing trains. This, along with the affordable dishes on offer, makes it a unique place for tourists to visit.

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Ilona Lin

Ilona Lin @ilona.lin

Ilona is a travel photographer, graphic designer and a visual design student from University of Toronto. She appreciates Japan's unique culture and is exceptionally thrilled to share it's beauty through the eyes of her lens. 

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Tom Roseveare 3 years ago
Definitely one of Tokyo's secret spots!