Tokyo's subway can be quite daunting, especially when you're a foreigner from a quieter, less metropolitan country. Is there a nicer way to be greeted from a busy platform than with the Astroboy theme song or a cone of posies?
Takadanobaba is a bit of a tongue twister, but thankfully, it is easier to navigate through than it is to say quickly and repeatedly. The station connects the popular Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line (baby blue) with JR Yamanote (light green) and Seibu Shinjuku (aqua). The three lines together making an accidently soothing sea of cool colors.
When traveling on the Tōzai line you will arrive at platform one on a train bound for Nishi-Fundabashi and Urayasu, or on platform 2 if your vessel is heading in the direction of Nakano and Mitaka. When you ascend from either of these platforms, you will see an Aoyama flower stall perched at the top of the stairs; conveniently placed if flying off to a date.
The walk between the Tokyo Metro platforms and the rest of the station is packed in with a few petite hole-in-the-wall snack shops. A Soba Udon shop houses hungry business men and a small onigiri counter and a pastry shop are handy for grabbing something on the go. There are also lockers which you can pay for using your PASMO or Suica Card.
Something particularly special about Takadanobaba station is that after gliding through these stores and onto a Yamanote train, the Astroboy theme song starts playing. This little diddy plays only at Takadanobaba station because the area is where the classic anime and manga series were set.
If you want to really get into the Astroboy theme as you arrive into Takadanobaba, trains in Japan do go fast enough for you to tighten your fist and stretch out your arm in front of a soaring background of buildings and this theme music;
Astro Boy,as you fly,
Strange new worlds you will spy,
Atom celled, jet propelled,
Fighting monsters high in the sky!