Most visitors to Oimachi, located right in the middle of Shinagawa Ward and south of Shinagawa Station, never make it far from the station. This is partially because the area now functions primarily as a hub for seaside transit toward Haneda Airport and Odaiba, but it also speaks to the convenient concentration of restaurants, pubs and cafés on the nearby streets and alleyways. Renowned particularly for its dirt-cheap eats and back-to-basics boozing, the neighbourhood sprawls with thirsty corporate warriors on weekday evenings, but its proximity to the sea means it also offers plenty of value as a day trip destination.
In the Edo era, Oimachi was a minor village on the outskirts of the city, overshadowed by the Tokaido road’s Shinagawa station nearby and remote enough for the shogunate to set up an execution site in the area. Tens of thousands of convicts met their fate at these Suzugamori grounds before the Meiji government closed the site in the early 1870s. From the Meiji period onward, Oimachi developed as a seaside industrial zone until landfill work and changing times left it without either sea or factories. The neighbourhood’s slow, comfortable decline came to a sudden halt when the Rinkai line’s final section opened in 2002, with this direct access route to Odaiba spawning extensive redevelopment around the station. Still, under the occasionally glossy surface lies a town replete with nostalgic hideouts and offbeat attractions.
In addition to the Rinkai line, Oimachi Station is served by the Keihin-Tohoku and Tokyu Oimachi lines. There’s also a free shuttle bus from the station to Shinagawa Aquarium.