Tokyobling's Blog

Uguisudani Station – Yamanote Line

Posted in Places by tokyobling on May 26, 2014

Despite having lived in Tokyo for years and years it was only my second visit to the Uguisudani area: it is nice to have that tourist experience of something brand new in your own hometown! The name Uguisudani is perhaps the most beautiful of all the names of Yamanote line stations, “The Valley of the Bush Warbler” (Uguisu being the name of the bird known as Japanese Bush Warbler, easily the most endearing little bird in Japan).

The station is the least used of all the JR stations serviced by the Yamanote Line, at only 24 000 passengers a day. This number comes into perspective when compared to the massive 742 000 passengers a day for the JR lines at the biggest station on the Yamanote line, Shinjuku!

A long time age Uguisudani was home to a couple of small villages located at the bottom of the valley where it connected with a large lake that over the years gradually turned into a swamp and later completely drained and built over. From the valley it was an easy walk up the valley side to the upper fields, Ueno (上野).

These days the area has an unnecessarily bad reputation. A simple check on the metropolitan police incident map reveals that there are fewer incidents around the Uguisudani station area than most other Yamanote line stations (with about one incident every 10-25 days, including even minor crimes like bicycle theft), and this is in one of the safest cities on the planet overall. The North exit is located on top of the hill overlooking the valley beneath. It is popular mostly with young students, businessmen and visitors to the famous Ueno Park and Zoo. The south exit is located down in the valley on the other side of the train tracks and is used by locals of Negishi, as the old neighborhoods around the station are called.

Uguisudani is a hub for low cost hotels and backpackers hostels and as such it is very crowded with young foreigners. I don’t think there are many places in Tokyo where you can stay so centrally and conveniently for so little money. It is very poplular with Asian tourists and you will hear as much Cantonese, Malay, Tagalog and Thai on the streets these days as you will hear Japanese, at least in the peak tourist seasons.

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3 Responses

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  1. Anas Azhar said, on May 26, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Reblogged this on JoUrnal to sUccess.

    Like

  2. Jim said, on November 5, 2014 at 5:09 am

    Interesting – I didn’t realise that there were quite a few backpacker hostels or other budget accommodation there. I, too, love the name Uguisudani, as it sounds very poetic, but I’ve never got off at the station. My main impression of Uguisudani is the very large collection of love hotels alongside the railway tracks on both sides of the station!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 12:58 am

      Isn’t the name just great? Easily my favorite name of all the Yamanote line stations. Yes, in Tokyo the area is mostly (if not exclusively) known for the love hotels. (^-^;)

      Like


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