Earlier this year, we shared news about a restaurant in Tokyo where you can dine between the train tracks of the busy Chuo Line. One of our Japanese-language reporters finally got the chance to visit the location for himself, and we’d like to share his thoughts about getting up close and personal with some trains!

Cafe & Bar N3331 is the name of the restaurant where you can experience the thrill of enjoying a meal while watching passing trains from the city’s closest vantage point. Functioning as a cafe by day and a bar by night, it was built directly on top of the platform of former Manseibashi Station, which was in active use between 1912-1943. The restaurant is also part of the new mAAch shopping center located between Ochanomizu Station and Kanda Station on the JR Chuo Line, and is only a five-minute walk from Akihabara Station.

▼ The red brick exterior of the mAAch shopping center is reminiscent of older days.


▼ Our destination was the “N3331 Cafe & Bar.”


▼ Walking up the former Manseibashi Station’s stairs, which were originally constructed over 100 years ago, was a surreal experience in itself.


When our reporter arrived at the cafe, the server took his order at the entrance before he went to find a seat. The establishment is long, narrow, and is indeed sandwiched between two rails of the JR Chuo Line, giving diners the sensation of actually relaxing on a train station platform.



The seating area is composed of two parts–a main cafe area with nothing but window-walls and an outdoor open-air terrace area. Both areas offer unparalleled views of passing trains while you feel as if you’re waiting for a train yourself. However, unlike a typical daily commute when you’re pressed for time, this place offers you the chance to enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the platform with food and drinks.

▼ The main cafe seating in the foreground and the outdoor terrace in the background


▼ Check out the Chuo Line’s distinctive orange stripes zooming by!


▼ You can’t get much closer to a moving train than this.



Now let’s move along to everyone’s favorite topic–food. Our Japanese reporter visited N3331 at approximately 3 p.m., and though the restaurant has a full menu of food and drinks, he took the server’s suggestion and ordered the daily cake set, which is only offered between the hours of 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. On this particular day the daily special was a moist, delectable sweet potato cake.

▼ The scrumptious cake set for 700 yen (US$5.71)




Upon learning that alcohol was served during the day, he also promptly ordered a beer. After all, what better way to celebrate getting up close and personal with some trains than with a cold one?

▼ Hitachino Nest Amber Ale for 800 yen ($6.52)


In fact, just as he was enjoying a sip of his amber ale, he suddenly heard the unmistakable sound of a train approaching. He quickly jumped up to stand near the glass and was amazed to see the train cars zooming by at such a short distance, close enough to see many of the passengers’ faces clearly.

▼ It looks like a scene out of a movie, actually.


▼ “Ah, I should make a habit of this!”


So what’s the bottom line? Our reporter comments that everything about his trip to N3331 was fantastic, from the food and drinks to the experience of watching passing trains up-close. He would also love to visit the restaurant later at night, since the ambiance of the bar is probably a completely different experience. Anyone feel like accompanying him on his next excursion?

Restaurant information
Address: 1-25-4 Kanda Sudacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (last order: 10:30 p.m.), Sunday & holidays 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (last order: 8:30 p.m.)

Images ©RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]