Did you know that Tokyo is huge? I’ll be putting another post up shortly to go over all the wards/cities and break it down more in depth but I’m still gushing about Machida right now. Located in the Tama section of Tokyo, it’s west of “central” areas (including all the iconic wards you know: Shinjuku, Shibuya, etc.) so it can feel a little off the beaten path. Which is also why you’ll love it so much!
I stayed at the Best Western Rembrandt Machida my last trip (hotel availability was slim on short notice during cherry blossom season/graduation season) but it opened my eyes to why Machida is such a good choice when you want to go to Tokyo. Keep reading for my top reasons to consider staying in Machida!
It’s not that far from Shinjuku Station……
Machida is on the Odakyu line and the JR line, so there’s a large train station and also a bus station. It’s also a Romancecar stop, too, so if you’re looking to continue on the train to a different city you won’t have to go far! On the rapid express train you can make it to Shinjuku Station in about 25-30 minutes, which isn’t bad!
…………..but it’s far enough.
You’re far enough out of “central” Tokyo that you’ll see some benefits. The first being the hotel pricing is lower than, say, a tourist hot spot in Shinjuku. Second, you’ll see less of your fellow tourists. Don’t get me wrong, tourism is amazing and everyone should see the world! I won’t lie, though: the American couple letting their children run, screaming, through a cemetery while I was visiting a temple needed a talking to and I’ve (unfortunately) seen similarly terrible behavior from other foreigners, especially when there’s a higher concentration of tourists.
But back to Machida: you’ll see less tourists (which means less crowding) but there’s a good mix of locals, tourists and Air Force families from Zama. It just felt a little less crazed when I was there, which was nice to retreat back to after elbowing through throngs of other Americans trying to Instagram their cotton candy on the crowded Harajuku sidewalks (more on this soon).
There’s plenty to do!
Machida Nakamise Shopping Street! Tokyo Twins department store! Sohoin Temple! Machida Squirrel Garden! Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts! Ramen, ramen, ramen! Yakushiike Park! Machida Lumine!
Seriously, Machida Nakamise Shopping Street is amazing. There’s a regular street (mostly) closed to vehicle traffic, that you can wander for restaurants, convenience stores, fish markets, karaoke bars, arcades, cafes and shops. The tiny alley ways are where it’s at! At night they’re open and packed with tiny bars and restaurants, everything from crepes, boba and takeaway yakitori to Okinawan food, nail salons and Caribbean bars (I’ll be letting you know where to eat in Machida soon!). If you’re there on a Saturday or Sunday make sure to check out the art fair (setup near the Starbucks) and any active artist demonstrations – I got to see some really great ones while I was there!
I even had a recommendation from a bartender about a Japanese hip-hop club to check out….unfortunately for me it wasn’t advisable to show up before 1am and your girl was too tired so it never happened. Next time!
These are just a few small reasons I loved Machida, however there are so many more! I would absolutely stay there again on my next trip to Tokyo. If you’re planning a trip to Japan soon don’t forget to check out my Know Before You Go: Japan guide!
What do you look for when deciding on where to stay in somewhere like Tokyo?