Time to reflect: Discovering the quieter side of the Yamanote line stops.
Nishi-Nippori is a chance to escape the flashy shopping and entertainment districts. The Nishi-Nippori JR station, on the Yamanote line, is basically an extension of its more popular neighbor to the north, Nippori station. After the Yamanote line opened in 1971, Nishi-Nippori quickly became a hub for commuters.
That being said, it is a traditional town — nothing Shibuya-esque here — but it does have its own charm. Nishi-Nippori will prove well worth the venture out of the station for those who enjoy a visit to historically significant and beautifully designed cemeteries.
There is a wooded area just outside of the station’s west exit, and you’ll find a mix of both traditional and modern Japanese-style housing within a 5-minute walk.
After that, you’ll run into cemeteries and burial mounds going all the way to Ueno station. These burial grounds contain a lot of tombs and may feel unsettling at first, but they actually make perfect sense. Nippori station (to the north) is actually where some of the most prestigious and influential figures in Japanese history, including 15 of the Tokugawa shoguns, are quietly laid to rest.
Stepping away from the platforms of Nishi-Nippori station is akin to stepping into a quiet and sentimental part of Japan’s past that can add some reflective balance to your cutting-edge Tokyo adventure.