Get inked and bring home a part of Tokyo’s historically artsy neighborhood.
Tabata station is an inspiring haven of creativity for travelers to soak in the area’s rich literary and artistic history. While the station itself is small, the area around it is known for being the home of prestigious writers and artists.
Tabata’s essence is rooted in a historic rural village that was brimming with artisans, craftsmen and wordsmiths. Due to low rent prices in the early 1900s and its close proximity to the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (known today as the Tokyo University of the Arts), those roots are still apparent today.
In the mood for art
For tourists, the north side of the station is where you want to be. Just a few steps out of the north exit will drop you right at the Atrevie shopping mall where you can do some quick shopping and grab a light meal.
One of the most significant landmarks in the area is the Memorial Museum of Writers and Artists, which holds works from masters of the written word, painting, pottery and much more.
Perhaps the most notable dignitary is Ryunosuke Akutagawa, who is considered the “father of the Japanese short stories and fiction.” Akutagawa’s work inspired Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 Oscar-winning movie “Rashomon,” which was originally based on one of Akutagawa’s short stories.
For more modern-day art lovers, to the south of the station, the stone walls of Route 458 will lead you to Tabata’s Horizaru (engraving monkey) tattoo parlor where you can simply browse — or get inked and take home a lasting souvenir.
Tabata still has a quiet yet artistically resilient spirit. Even after surviving the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and being totally ravaged during World War II bombing raids, the tone of the area hasn’t changed much over the past 100 years.