The University of Tokyo is widely recognized as the best university in Japan today. While the university has several campuses in total, in this article we will focus on the Komaba campus in Shibuya to introduce. If you look at the academic level, the University of Tokyo ranks at the top of Japan. But do you know that it is also top-rated as a tourist attraction? Let’s appreciate the historic buildings and rich nature there!
The University of Tokyo: the most famous university in Japan
Being the most prestigious university in Japan, the name “Tokyo daigaku” (“University of Tokyo” in Japanese) is very familiar to all Japanese people. The University of Tokyo is the first university in Japan, and is said to be the hardest university to enter, no matter which faculty you are aiming at. Alumnus of the University of Tokyo include a number of notable people, such as politicians and scholars, including scientists who have won the Nobel Prize.
Students who entered the university will first attend Komaba Campus
There are mainly three campuses at the University of Tokyo: Komaba campus, Hongo campus and Kashiwa campus. Each campus has its own role allocated. In terms of the research contents, researches on traditional academic fields are conducted on Hongo campus, interdisciplinary researches are conducted on Komaba campus, and researches on new disciplines are conducted on Kashiwa campus.
The campuses are divided in terms of education as well. All students of the university in the first year and the second year have to attend Komaba campus to take general education courses. For this reason, whichever faculty a student is in, Komaba campus is the first campus everyone is heading to. As there are many youngsters gathering on the campus, Komaba campus is always in the atmosphere of vigour and liveliness.
Just around the corner of the station! Easy and fast access from Tokyo station
Komaba campus of the University of Tokyo is situated near Shibuya, which is renowned as a popular place among young people. Komaba-todaimae station on Inokashira Line is the closest station to the campus. As the station is tailor-made for the campus, the campus is located right outside the station. From Tokyo Station (40 minutes by bus from Haneda airport), it takes approximately 30 minutes to Komaba-todaimae station by train. From Shibuya station, it is only a 20-minute walk to the campus. It is highly recommended to drop by the University of Tokyo, Komaba campus when you are sightseeing in Shibuya.
Everybody is welcome to visit Komaba campus
Basically, everyone can visit the campus freely, so do not worry when you see the guards at the entrance of the campus. The campus covers such a large area that there are rivers and parks on the campus. Local residents are attracted to the campus to jog and walk their dogs. Although it is in fact a campus of the university, this place has been gaining its popularity as a tourist destination for its rich greenery such as rows of ginkgo trees, the historical buildings there, and the delicious school meals.
Historical buildings of unique architecture!
The huge clock tower facing the campus entrance is the building of the Faculty of Education. It was built in 1933, and as you can tell, it has a long history. The interior of the clock tower is open to public at the event held at the end of November every year. You can climb to the top floor of the clock tower, where overlooks the whole Komaba campus. Likelihood is that you may also see Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan.
Moreover, there is a museum on Komaba campus, the first floor being an art museum and the second floor being a natural science museum. The white building of the museum was used as a library in the old days, and nowadays is a place where you can feel the history. You can go inside the museum, and appreciate the time-honoured exhibits there.
The rows of wonderful ginkgo trees: an ideal place for a walk
Having rich greenery, Komaba campus is ideal for a forest bathing. There are lots of ginkgo trees planted at the two sides of the avenue, which goes through the campus from the east to the west. Local people living in the neighborhood consider it a park and visit there to relax. Every year when autumn comes, the leaves are stunningly coloured yellow, which makes the scenery especially enchanting.
A secret spot for cherry blossom viewing in spring
There are some cherry blossom trees on the banks of the rugby field on the north of the campus. When cherry blossoms start to bloom in April, the cherry blossom trees there become the most eye-catching spot on the campus. It is a secret place to enjoy cherry blossoms in Tokyo when you are sightseeing around the University of Tokyo.
Do not miss the cafeteria when you visit Komaba campus!
Feeling a little bit hungry? From the campus entrance on the east side, do you see a plaza? It is “Communication Plaza”, and there is a cafeteria. As it offers meals mainly for students, the menu there is rich in diversity, and the food are at low prices. The cafeteria is bright with sunlight and you can enjoy a nice view there. There is also a terrace so it is perfect to enjoy your meal there on a sunny day.
Except for the one mentioned above, there are still other cafeterias on the campus. At the cafeteria on the first floor of Komaba Faculty House on the other side of “Communication Plaza”, you can enjoy authentic French cuisine. It must be a memorable experience to taste French cuisine in such an academic environment.
There is a lot to see on Komaba campus and it is open to public
When speaking of the University of Tokyo, don’t you feel a bit distant as it is a place for the top elites? Well, the fact is that Komaba campus of the university is very open to public. Being very close to Shibuya, it is super convenient to drop by when you are shopping in Shibuya. What is more, the school cooperative store offers sweets, ball pens and T-shirts printed with the logo of the University of Tokyo. How about getting some souvenirs? When you are travelling to Japan, do not forget to pay a visit to the best university of the country!