By Ririka Takahashi
If you are a Todai student, you have probably taken the Keio Inokashira Line to Shibuya before. Shinsen, our dear old neighbor, is a calm and peaceful residential area located between Komaba and Shibuya. Shinsen may not stand out much compared to other stations on the Inokashira Line such as Shibuya, Shimokitazawa and Kichijoji. Nonetheless, being just next to the University of Tokyo’s Komaba campus, it is a convenient spot for Todai students to hang out around. This article will introduce various places in Shinsen, based on recommendations by various Todai students.
If you are looking for something to eat, there are many choices to choose from. If you feel like having ramen, Men no Bou Toride (麺の坊 砦) is what you are looking for. Here, you can choose the preferred thickness and hardness of your noodles. You are also allowed additional toppings, such as boiled eggs, seaweed, and bean sprouts to create your very own ramen bowl. The tonkotsu soup mixes very well with the noodles. Another restaurant that is well-known amongst Todai students is the Ryuseisaikan (龍盛菜館). About four minutes from the station, this Chinese restaurant is run by chefs from China. It is quite a big restaurant and it can fit 130 customers at once. For that reason, this Chinese restaurant is frequented by clubs and circles after their practices and events. What is outstanding about this restaurant, however, is the volume of each meal served. Both restaurants are relatively affordable – having 1000 yen would be enough to make yourself full and satisfied.
If you are looking for some art, the Shoto Museum of Art (松濤美術館) is the place for you. The Shoto Museum of Art is owned and managed by Shibuya Ward. Due to this, the entrance fee is relatively cheap, costing only 300 yen for adults. The substantial building of the museum is designed by a Japanese architect Seiichi Hirai, and has just reopened after renovation this January. The exhibition at the Shoto Museum of Art changes periodically. Currently exhibits include paintings and block-prints of Michizane Sugawara, an ancient, deified spiritual figure who was known as the god of academics. After this exhibition, in February 2015, will be an exhibition of artworks from public submissions by the residents, workers, and students of the Shibuya ward. This special exhibition is accompanied by an exhibition of artworks by a French oil painter Robert Coutelas. These exhibitions on February is being displayed free of charge. Therefore, even though you may not usually be interested in art, dropping by an art museum in the neighborhood might be a nice and refreshing way to spend your free time.
Shinsen has many interesting places of which many people, even Todai students, are unaware. When you find some spare time at Komaba, why not take a walk to Shinsen? A new discovery awaits next door.
Ririka Takahashi is a first-year PEAK student at the University of Tokyo.