PrayYamanote is prayer-circling the megacity of Tokyo on the JR Yamanote Line, interceding on behalf of her people, asking the Lord God to claim this strategic city for His glory and honor. It is trusting that the Father will bring down the walls of resistance and unawareness in the manner of Jericho of long ago. It is uniting Christians and churches in prayer on behalf of this great city that influences all of Japan. Thank you for joining in this holy endeavor! May He be lifted up.
Though this guide can be used at any time by anyone, we officially meet every Tuesday morning at 10am inside Ikebukuro Station, where we start with a devotion then pray while riding the train for about one hour. If you’d like to join us, please proceed through the JR ticket gates, make your way onto any Yamanote Line platform, head to the far south end of the platform (toward signs for the Metropolitan gate), then take the stairs up to the second level. We meet right across from Beck’s Coffee Shop. If you cannot join us physically, please join us virtually via Zoom at the same time. Lastly, if you would like more regular updates or if you’d like to contact us, please visit our Facebook page.
1 TOKYO 東京
Tokyo Station is a symbol of the past and the present, with one exit leading out the old Tokyo train station, facing the Imperial Palace, and the other characterized by the glistening GranTokyo towers. This station is a hub for this nation’s financial sector and for travel, welcoming over 400,000 passengers per day who are moving on to all parts of the city and the island. Grace City Church, part of the Redeemer family of churches, meets in this area.
Pray for outreach in the business districts where churches are being planted. Pray for Grace City Church and the work they are doing in the Otemachi and Marunouchi areas.
2 KANDA 神田
One stop away from Tokyo Station, hardworking businessmen stop at local pubs here with their coworkers before heading home for the night. This area is flooded with small restaurants and bars, where many relationships, both business and personal, are forged. Though Kanda may be a place of fun and camaraderie, the roots of a drinking culture can lead to abuse and personal pain.
Pray that workers will become not physically drunk, but spiritually drunk on the new wine of God’s Holy Spirit.
3 AKIHABARA 秋葉原
Nicknamed “Electric Town,” this is a place where fantasy is idolized through technology, animation, graphic novels, memorabilia, girl/boy bands, and other avenues. This is a place where people, Japanese and foreigners alike, come to escape, sliding easily into a world that seems more desirable than their own.
Pray for those who flock to this area, that they will come to know Christ, the Light of the World. Pray for those who are shackled to addictions, that they would be set free through Jesus Christ and His love for them. Pray that sex businesses in this area would not flourish but would be shut down.
4 OKACHIMACHI 御徒町
During the Edo era, many low-ranking samurai, known as okachi, settled in this area, giving the station its name. Today, this area is characterized by many jewelers and craftsmen who echo the traditions of the okachi, but is also known for labyrinthine clusters of vendors and the Ameyoko, an outdoor market offering a vast array of products.
Pray for release from the bondage of the false spiritual beliefs and traditions that have been passed down for many generations. Pray that Christian craftsmen would be able to share their faith through their work.
5 UENO 上野
Historically, temples were placed here to guard the northeast side of the Edo castle, the direction believed to be the most susceptible to demons. Today, Ueno is the busiest commercial and entertainment center of the northeastern corner of Tokyo, holding Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo. Ueno no Mori Christ Church, JTJ Mission Seminary, and Murasaki Sports (Christian owned sporting-gear store located in the heart of Ame-Yoko) are major Christian presences.
Pray that the many hundreds of thousands of people visiting this area daily will come to realize the emptiness of their noisy lifestyle and grow hearts that seek for the true oasis of soul found in the Lord. Pray that the Christian presences here would be bold and spread light.
6 UGUISUDANI 鶯谷
Historically Uguisudani was a place where many authors and poets lived and worked. Uguisudani station has the least amount of passenger traffic of all the Yamanote stations. Today, it has become a major center for the sex industry. The east side of the station is filled with rows of infamous love hotels. Ueno Holiness Church is one of the only Christian churches in this area. Tokyo University of the Arts is also located here.
Pray for healing of the serious moral decay of this area. Pray for more transformed Christians and churches to populate this area. Pray for God’s strengthening for Ueno Holiness Church and pastor Matsumoto, that God would radiate the light of Christ in this dark area through them. Pray that students and professors studying art would find God and proclaim his name through art.
7 NIPPORI 日暮里
Along with a large number of Shinto and Buddhist religious sites, Nippori is also filled with small to mid-sized businesses, houses and apartment buildings. It is a fun place for those who can afford a few hours of slower-paced life as they stroll.
Pray that God will receive glory for His Name among the people who live in this neighborhood! Pray that people would take time to slow down and listen to God’s voice.
8 NISHI-NIPPORI 西日暮里
A vast number of Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, and graveyards are concentrated here. Elderly folks seem drawn to these religious areas, though people of all ages work and live here.
Pray that God will teach the Japanese the folly of seeking the living among the dead. Pray that those Japanese people scared of death would find hope in Jesus who gives eternal life.
9 TABATA 田端
From the early to late 1900s, many authors and artists lived here. The area is a combination of almost 50% uplands and 50% lowlands. There are several churches in this area including Tokyo New Hope Chapel, Jujo Christ Church, Koinonia Christian Church and Akabane Bible Church.
Pray that God would spread the joy of knowing Him among the locals through His churches in the area.
10 KOMAGOME 駒込
Komagome is another quiet, residential area of Tokyo known historically for its gardens and greenery. Tokyo is known for its technology, nightlife, and neon billboards but is often overlooked for its beauty. Its landscape and gardens are a place of serene beauty, sculptured and peaceful, an oasis amid the noise of the city. Unfortunately, the beauty is worshiped instead of the Creator. A tree, a man-made sculpture, and a mountain, are all seen as gods to many Japanese who praise them and worship them as a source for answering prayers. In addition, Japan Assemblies of God Central Bible Seminary is located here, where many Japanese learn about God and enter ministry.
Pray that the Creator would be worshiped instead of the beautiful things He has created. Pray for the seminary, that many students would enter and devote their lives to the Great Commission.
11 SUGAMO 巣鴨
Sugamo is another low-key stop on the Yamanote and very popular among the senior citizen crowd. This has earned it the nickname “Harajuku for grannies” (after Harajuku, further south on the line and popular with youth). Japan has the world’s oldest population with one quarter of the population over 65, and on the 4th, 14th and 24th of each month they flock to this area to offer special prayers for healing and long life.
Pray for the elderly population, that they would come to know God and find eternal life in him.
12 OTSUKA 大塚
Otsuka is mainly a residential community. It is a quiet community where people call home and return at the end of a busy day.
Pray for the people of Tokyo—real, ordinary, everyday people. Men, women, children, families, singles, who are going through life without knowledge of the rest, peace and hope found in Jesus.
13 IKEBUKURO 池袋
Approximately 2.7 million people pass through this station each day. It is one of the major city centers. Ikebukuro Station clearly divides the east and the west – the east side is more entertainment, while the west is the cultural and educational district. Rikkyo University in western Ikebukuro has an Anglican Christian background and is one of the top universities in Tokyo. There are also several Christian churches, including Tokyo Life Church.
Pray for the masses who are constantly moving through the station. Pray for harried sheep without shepherds who are lost. Pray for the college students at Rikkyo and for the ministries doing evangelism there. Pray for Tokyo Life Church and other churches in this area.
14 MEJIRO 目白
Located here are Gakushuin University – a school for children of the Imperial Court which grew to be the educational center for the elite – and Japan Women’s University – the oldest and largest of the private women’s universities in Japan. This area holds several shops and a wealthy residential area with luxury apartments and designer houses.
Pray for Gakushuin students and the ministries taking place there. Pray that wealth and status would not fulfill, but that people would yearn to know the only One who satisfies.
15 TAKADANOBABA 高田馬場
This neighborhood is a student hub with many cheap restaurants and bars! Waseda University (Japan’s top private university) is the closest major university. Beside Church Tokyo, Waseda Tsurumakicho Church, and Yamabukicho Church are in the Baba/Waseda area.
Pray for the student outreach at Waseda University and for fellowship with & discipleship for Christian students. Pray for the many churches in this area.
16 SHIN-OKUBO 新大久保
This multi-ethnic area is known for its Korean flair but is home to the largest number of various foreign residents in Tokyo. Its streets are clustered with Korean restaurants and K-Pop paraphernalia shops, drawing not only expatriates but also many who find escape in the lives of their favorite foreign idols. Okubo Baptist Church and other churches are also in this area.
Pray for the various people groups living in Shin-Okubo, that they also will be reached with the Good News of Christ. Pray for Okubo Baptist Church and others in the area. Pray that all will realize their true worth and identity in Christ.
17 SHINJUKU 新宿
Shinjuku is the busiest train station in the world! It is a major commercial and administrative center, the west side being populated with skyscrapers and the east side featuring any type of shopping, entertainment or restaurant that you can imagine. Kabukicho, the red-light district, is also on the east side. As for Christian presence, Shinjuku Shalom Church in this area holds a 24-hour house of prayer.
Pray that those who pass through here would slow down long enough to encounter the Living God. Pray for the people being taken advantage of in the red light district and also for their oppressors. Pray for Shinjuku Shalom Church and their ministry to this busy and sometimes dark area.
18 YOYOGI 代々木
Yoyogi Park is one of the largest parks in Tokyo. It is a fun place to hang out and see all kinds of entertainment. However, it also has a large homeless population. The Yoyogi National Stadium was designed for the 1964 Olympic Games. Also located here is NHK – Japan’s national public broadcasting organization.
Pray for the homeless people in Yoyogi Park and for those ministering to them. Pray that nature would speak to the Japanese of a Creator God who made heaven and earth and them! Pray that Christians within NHK would be bold in proclaiming their faith and being light in the TV industry.
19 HARAJUKU 原宿
Harajuku is known for teen culture and the fashion industry. Sunday is a day when young people dress in cos-play and want to be seen. This area also has a huge specialty coffee and culinary presence. Meiji-Jingu, one of the largest Shinto shrines in Japan, is located here. Millions of Japanese come to this shrine to celebrate the New Year.
Pray for the fashion, coffee, and restaurant industries in this area, that believers would enter those spaces and spread truth. Pray that the strongholds Meiji-Jingu has on this area would be broken. Pray that these shrines would have no meaning, causing Japanese to seek and find truth and satisfaction in God alone.
20 SHIBUYA 渋谷
Shibuya is known as one of the fashion centers of Japan and is a major nightlife area. The statue of Hachiko the dog is a favorite meeting place. The scramble crossing in front of Shibuya Station is one of the busiest cross-walks in the world, with up to 2,500 people crossing at one time. Tokyo Baptist Church (TBC) is one of the larger churches in this area.
Pray for the hearts of the young people who are seeking their fulfillment in fashion, that they would find satisfaction instead in the Lord. Pray for those at TBC ministering to the Shibuya area.
21 EBISU 恵比寿
Ebisu Station is named for the famous Yebisu Beer, which in turn is named for a Japanese god of fortune, fishermen, and honest laborers. Fashion shoppers, tourists, and photography-museum enthusiasts gravitate to this area in appreciation of the romantic European-style architecture and sophisticated culture.
Pray that those drawn to the beauty of artistic achievements will be drawn further still to see the matchless beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ.
22 MEGURO 目黒
Meguro (black-eyed) derives its name from one of five protective statues placed at strategic points on the outskirts of Edo. Each statue had eyes of a different color. These days Meguro is considered one of the more upscale and trendy areas in Tokyo with many small restaurants and boutiques. Megurogawa is the river running through this area which is famous for sakura-viewing during the spring.
Pray for God to release the Japanese people from their history of idol worship and that He would break the strongholds and allow the Japanese people to see Him as their Emperor. Pray that people would see God as Creator during sakura season (and all seasons).
23 GOTANDA 五反田
Gotanda is a busy neighborhood in the Shinagawa ward of Tokyo, Japan. The name “Gotanda” can be literally translated as “a rice paddy of half-hectare’s size” (a ‘hectare’ being 10,000 square meters). Nowadays the rice paddies have been replaced by neighborhoods and a bustling city full of shopping and restaurants.
Pray for the families of Japan! Pray for the men that they can be loving husbands and involved fathers.
24 OSAKI 大崎
In recent years Osaki has seen rapid development. The growth has been so rapid, in terms of construction, technology and business that major companies are moving to the area, making it extremely busy. The Japanese character for “busy” (忙) means to “annihilate your soul.”
Pray for the diligent businessmen that they won’t lose their souls, but will find life in Jesus.
25 SHINAGAWA 品川
Shinagawa is one of the oldest train stations in Tokyo, having opened in 1872. This station is a main southern hub for all trains coming into Tokyo from the south. The area is the fastest growing business district – very “Western” style.
Pray for God to break the bondage of overwork in this country that keeps the Japanese tired, weary and fearful of unrealized dreams. Ask the Lord to replace this with a desire for Him and His hope that is beyond this world!
26 TAKANAWA GATEWAY 高輪ゲートウェイ
Takanawa Gateway is the newest station on the Yamanote Line planned to open in spring of 2020. It was named thus because of Takanawa’s historical status of being a “gateway to Edo,” while also serving as the site for the development of an international hub in the future.
Pray that this new station would truly be a gateway for the gospel to be preached among the Japanese people in this area and throughout Tokyo.
27 TAMACHI 田町
Comfortably unpretentious, Tamachi is an area for everyday business-people and students. Small businesses and schools (including the prestigious Keio University) surround Tamachi Station, shielding relatively quiet neighborhoods nestled behind the bustling streets full of ordinary people. Here is found Tokyo Tower and the Sengakuji Temple.
Pray that believers in Tokyo will have discernment in how to reach everyday people with the gift of the Gospel of Christ. Pray for students at Keio University and other universities. Pray that light would invade darkness at Sengakuji Temple.
28 HAMAMATSUCHO 浜松町
The station is partially under and directly connected to Tokyo’s World Trade Center. Pokémon Center Tokyo, the official Pokémon store, is located here. Acty Shiodome, the fourth tallest residential building in Japan, is a 3-minute walk to the north. Two beautiful gardens grace this area.
Pray that the businessmen and women at the World Trade Center would find fulfillment in God alone, that believers working there would be bold in proclaiming their faith. Pray for Pokémon enthusiasts, Japanese and foreigners alike, that they would be satisfied by God alone.
29 SHIMBASHI 新橋
During the early years of the Meiji era Shimbashi was best known for its geisha houses and restaurants. It was also the Tokyo terminus of the first railway in Japan in 1872. Locals now know Shimbashi as the businessman’s paradise. It’s filled with office towers and packed with tiny eateries and bars, exactly the type of places that businessmen like. In many ways Shimbashi is the real Tokyo: office workers that fuel the city’s massive economy come here for work and play.
Pray that office workers will be released from the idolatry of career and seek their life goal in Christ. Pray that Christian businessmen would forge deep friendships while spending time with coworkers here.
30 YURAKUCHO 有楽町
Yurakucho, the entrance to Ginza, is the closest stop on the Yamanote line to the National Diet of Japan, the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s residence and the Sakuradamon gate of the Imperial Palace.
Pray for the current Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga. Pray for more Japanese Christians to have political influence in Japan. Pray for the few Christians who are serving in the Japanese government to be bold in their faith.