Monday, December 8, 2008

Nicholai-do and Music Instrument Street

(Nicholai Do)

This entry is a continuation of my "what to do in Akihabara other than buy anime DVDs and visit maid cafes" series. Now, granted that Ochanomizu is moving a ways outside of the Akihabara precincts, but not by much.

Nicholai-do, more commonly known as the Holy Resurrection Cathedral, is the main cathedral of the Japanese orthodox church, according to the HRC webpage. Construction of the building began in 1884 and ended in 1891, and was overseen by Archbishop Nicholas Kasatkin (now called Saint Nicholas). The main tower collapsed during the Kanto earthquake of 1923, and was replaced with a shorter tower in 1929. This is the building where the photo of Yushima and the dental school was taken from, during the construction of the cathedral.

Naturally, this is one of the many historical sites that don't allow photography indoors, so I had to make do with shooting the outside. But, the interior isn't that large, and if you've seen other orthodox churches, you know what to expect here (you can also see photos on the HRC webpage). The sky was overcast, with high winds, and a flash storm hit later in the day, so my pictures came out looking fairly gloomy.

To get here, either go to Akihabara and walk to Yushima Shrine, then cross the river and go south a couple of blocks; or, take the JR Sobu train from Akihabara to Ochanomizu station and again head south. It's no more than a 15-minute walk from Akihabara, if you want to make this part of a longer day trip.

(One of the small shops selling guitars.)

While you're in the area, head west about 2 blocks to Music Instrument Street. This 4-block stretch of street leading south from the west-most exit of the Ochanomizu station consists of little shops specializing in one kind of instrument. There were about ten places right next to each other that only carried electric guitars. One larger shop was filled with 100+ violins. Also on this street is the Meiji University complex.

(Lower floors of the main Meiji University building on campus.)

(The rest of the building.)

(Side building, turned into a smoking shelter.)

(Details of the dome.)

(More of the building.)

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