Day Trips in Tokyo

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A city as monstrous as Tokyo can also create powerful urges to make periodic escapes.

Kunitachi City, which is west of Tokyo on the JR Chuo Line and takes roughly 30 minutes to reach from Shinjuku Station, is a pleasant college town home to Hitotsubashi University, a small prestigious national university best known for economics. Many of its buildings are lovely bricks buildings from the Meiji Era and a stroll through the campus is worthwhile. The broad streets and spacious blocks are attributable to its postwar period as a US military base. Currently undergoing renovation, Kunitachi Station is one of the oldest stations standing and is home in summer to swarms of dive-bombing tsubame (swallows). North of the station is residential land; the majority of businesses and the university are to the south, most along the Daigaku-doori (University Street) that heads due south from the station and the roundabout. Crowds descend upon Kunitachi during the cherry blossom season in late March and early April, because Daigaku-doori is lined with cherry blossoms for over 1km. of its length. The city is popular for its greenery, space (thus rent is a bit high and many expensive foreign cars are on the roads), and refusal to join the national juukinet database of government-held personal information. It lacks the crowding of many other stops along the Chuo Line, but the proper city of Tachikawa is just one station west on the JR Chuo Line and can be reached by bus as well.

November 04, 2006 new by el_glick

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