Gotanda (五反田)is part of Shinagawa and a Yamanote Line station between Osaki and Meguro. This quiet business district has transformed from a manufacturing district to a residential and business area with several corporate headquarters for international firms in Japan. Though not especially attractive as a destination for sight-seeing, Gotanda does bring in business travelers and can be a convenient base from which to explore the city. The JR Yamanote Line, Toei Asakusa Subway Line, and Tokyo Ikegami Line all serve this neighborhood giving quick access to most parts of central Tokyo. Shinagawa Station and express trains to Haneda Airport is just 5 minutes away. Since Gotanda is less fashionable, it may be cheaper or easier to book accommodation at busy times.
Though not as famous as Kabukicho, Gotanda is host to a compact but very active red-light district. Wander just behind the mainstream business facing the east exit of the JR station on any evening. In comparison with the large chain restaurants clustered around Shinagawa and Osaki Stations, this neighborhood features more small and independent izakaya or international restaurants.
Served by Gotanda Station on the Yamanote Line, Takanawadai and Gotanda Stations on the Toei Asakusa Line, and Osaki Hirokoji and Gotanda Stations on the Tokyu Ikegami Lines.
- From Narita: Quick access for international visitors arriving in Tokyo is the Narita Express via Shinagawa Station. The Keisei Express from Narita connects to the Asakusa Line for cheaper and frequent service to Gotanda Station. Change at Aoto Station. There are frequent announcements of the change on the train in English.
- From Haneda: Take the Keikyu Line to Shinagawa, change to the Yamanote Line--two stops.
- Shiki Theater (aka CATS Theater), 141-0022 Tokyo, Shinagawa-ku, Higashi Gotanda 2-18 (8-10 minutes walk from Gotanda Station directly east along Sony Dori), ☎ +81-03-5776-6730, . Take in a Japanese touring cast of recently popular Broadway musicals. Various.
- Hatakeyama Collection, 〒108-0071 Tokyo, Minato-ku, Shirokanedai 2-20-12 (5 minutes walk from Toei Asakusa Line Takanawadai Station Exit A2), ☎ +81 03-3447-5787, . Closed Mondays: April -September: 10AM-5:00PM October - March: 10AM-4:30PM. Outstanding collection of artwork from around Northeast Asia in this small museum surrounded by manicured grounds. Excellent ceramics and items related to tea ceremony. Some exhibits change seasonally. ¥500.
- The Meguro River passes just blocks from Gotanda Station and this section is a less crowded alternative for some quick cherry blossom viewing.
- Fitness Gym ARF, 141-0031 Tokyo, Shinagawa-ku-Nishi Gotanda 8-4-13, U-Port B1F (1 minute west of Osaki Hirokoji Station), ☎ +81 03-3494-8642. This sport club operates on a ticket system so it is convenient for visitors. Rental sportswear and shoes are available. Notably, this is one gym which allows tattooed users--a rarity in Tokyo.
- TOC Building, (8 min walk down Sakaurada-dori crossing the Meguro River from Gotanda JR Yamanote Line or Toei Asakusa Line), ☎ +81 03-3494-2200, . 8AM-8PM. This wholesaler and distributor complex features a regular schedule of shopping events such as mammoth flea markets or themed shopping "fairs" such as for watches, shoes, or handbags. The ground floor and basement are a low-end retail mall. TOC is also a location for trade and promotional events. A free bus service runs every 8 minutes from in front of the Victoria Golf shop on the Nishi Gotanda side of the JR Station.
- Naitoh Shoten, Shinagawa-ku, Nishi Gotanda 5-3-5 (Follow Sakurada-dori across the river, cross Yamate dori at Book Off and turn right. Look for the large yellow sign marked in English several blocks down on your left), ☎ +81 03-3493-6565. This local liquor shop carries a good selection of domestic and imported beverages. Visitors looking for colorful and fun souvenirs might try their huge selection of decorative one-cup sake. One-cup is a brand name of cheap sake, but better quality brewers have started making these attractive 180ml packages where the cup can be saved and reused. Naitoh offers one of the larger selections in the city.
- Design Books, Higashi Gotanda 5-25-19, Tokyo Design Center 1F (On the left side of Sakurada-dori one minute east from the station.), ☎ 03-3445-1341, . M-F 11AM-7PM; Sa Su 12-6PM. Some visitors to Tokyo are interested in art and design and want to pick up some special stationary, photo books, or magazines devoted to architecture or design. This store on the first floor of the Tokyo Design Center is small but attractive and has a range of cool books and small interior items to take home. The Design Center itself is worth a look for Tokyo visitors interested in challenging architectural problems.
All of the usual chain restaurants and fast-food surround the station area including MOS Burger, McDonalds, KFC, Subway, and Curry House CoCo Ichiban.
- Chin Mar Ya, (1 minute from JR Gotanda). Lunch until late. This local fast-food chain started here and serves good, cheap, and spicy maboudofu or Szechuan-style spicy tofu. Look for the red awning on the corner directly across from the Tokyu Store. Take out also available. ¥600-1,000.
- Koya Hong Kong Dining, (Two locations: TOC Building B1 and next to Takanawadai Station). Spicy Chinese tan-tan noodles made from a sesame base with lots of sansho and chili pepper added. Good value and good atmosphere with old jazz music. Counter and table seating. Open to the sidewalk in season at Takanawadai location. ¥1,000.
- 7025 Franklin Avenue, Tokyo, Shinagawa-ku, Higashi Gotanda 3-15-18 (About five minutes walk from Gotanda Station along Sony Dori and left at the signs for Seisen University.), ☎ +81 03-3441-5028. Daily 11AM-9PM (Su until 7:30PM). Excellent burger restaurant with a bit more of an upscale decor, including a quiet and comfortable garden in this converted house. A bit pricier than some hamburger restaurants, but very good. No credit cards are accepted. ¥2,000-3,000.
- Bar Alala, Shinagawa-ku Higashi Gotanda 5-22-32 (One block from JR East Exit; left past KFC until the road merges; look for the red awning on the right.), ☎ 03-3446-0655, . 5:30PM-12; closed Sundays and holidays. Reasonably priced Spanish food and wine in a small restaurant open to the sidewalk in season.
- Bar Blast, (Less than 1 minute from JR Gotanda East Exit-Look just around the corner to the left of KFC), ☎ 03-3443-7222, . Daily 6PM-4:30AM. This basement bar is not a dive, but trying to be a little cooler than other bars in the neighborhood. See website for online reservation form. ¥500 table charge if just stopping in for a drink.
- Chegoya, 141-0022 Tokyo, Shinagawa-ku, Higashi Gotanda 1-25-19 (A few minutes walk east along the north side of Sony Dori), ☎ +81 03-3473-7821. Daily 11AM-1AM Last order Midnight. Great Korean food at a reasonable price in a crowded casual setting. Very popular after-work spot. ¥2,000-3,000.
- Ribera Steakhouse, Higashi Gotanda (5 minutes walk north up Sakurada-dori from JR Gotanda, or 2 minutes walk from Takanawadai Station on the Asakusa line. On Sakurada-dori between Takanawadai and Gotanda Stations, next to the Red Baron motorcycle shop). T-Su 6PM-11PM, closed Mondays. Reasonably priced steaks with great character. Think C&W meets pro-wrestling. Hank Williams on cassette and photos of Andre the Giant and The Rock. The walls are covered with autographed photos of K1 and other fighters eating steaks here. Look for the giant photo of Hulk Hogan tucking into a steak. Yokuzuna Akebono has been a regular here for years. ¥2,500-3000.
- sake Yoshi (sake吉), Higashi Gotanda 3-17-17 (Walk down Sony-dori, turn left just after SEV and just before Hotel Arietta. Take a right and it is a small house mid-block on the left), ☎ 03-3440-3944, . 5:30PM-11:00PM; last order 10:30; closed Sundays and holidays. This is an excellent, small izakaya run out of the remodeled childhood home of the proprietor. Great food paired with a short, but very good menu of premium sake. Reservations recommended.
- Tokyo Oyster Bar, (2 minutes walk up the right side of Sakurada-dori from Gotanda Station East Exit), ☎ +81 03-3280-3336, . 5PM-10:30PM. A wide selection of domestic and international oysters BBQ, raw, and other preparations. Order by the piece or choose dishes from the menu.
- Ne Quittez Pas, ☎ +81 03-3442-2382. Closed M; Tu-Su 12-2PM and 6PM-9PM. High-end French cuisine a short walk from Gotanda Station. 10,000 yen person and up.
- The Grafton, Tokyo, Shinagawa-ku, Nishi-Gotanda 2-26-5 Ito Building III, B1 (On the Nishi Gotanda (outside the circle) side of the Yamanote Line. Look for the nearby Tsutaya shop), ☎ +81 03-3491-9696. Though a bit out of the way this Irish pub is a good place for the standards: fish and chips, Guinness, and football.
- Central Inn Gotanda, (One block east along Sony Dori and left at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, then next corner on the right), ☎ +81 03-3447-5225, . Minimal accommodation on the seedy side of Gotanda starting from capsules up to single and twin rooms. Check the website for various stay packages such as 5AM to 10AM, or 10AM to 10AM. from ¥3,300.
- Hotel Royal Oak Gotanda (ホテルロイヤルオーク五反田), Shinagawa-ku, Nishi Gotanda 1-9-3 (Adjacent to the Tokyu Ikegami Line Tracks facing the Meguro River), ☎ 03-3492-5111 ([email protected], fax: 03-3492-5211), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 10AM. Less glamourous and a bit on the wrong side of the tracks, but cheap and accessible. Rack rates from ¥7,000 online reservations from as low as ¥3,700.
- Arietta Hotel, 141-0022 Tokyo, Higashi Gotanda 2-5-2 (5 Minutes walk along Sony-dori east of Gotanda Station), ☎ +81 03-5448-9111, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. This small hotel is aiming towards visitors interested in a boutique hotel image a step above the usual business hotel. ¥8,000-12,000.
- Toko Hotel, (Less than 1 minute from the Western Exit of JR Gotanda Station: Immediately in front of Toei-Asakusa Line Gotanda station Exit A2), ☎ +81-03-3494-1050, . checkin: 15:00. Popular with tour groups of visiting students, sports teams, etc. Single ¥9,800-10,800.
- Tokyu Stay Gotanda, 141-0022 Tokyo, Shinagawa-ku, Higashi Gotanda 1-12-2 (One minute walk along Sakurada-dori from the East Exit of JR Gotanda Station just past the karaoke Big Echo), ☎ +81 03-3280-0109, . This chain of hotels is very popular with business travelers. When the Shibuya or other branches are full (as is often the case) this is a good alternative. All rooms a have clothes washer/drier and most have a kitchenette so this is a good option for longer stays. Single ¥9,400-11,000.
The Wired Cafe in the JR Gotanda Atre has laptops for Internet access for customers.