7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station!

7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station

It may surprise you, but Tokyo Station has been registered as an important cultural heritage site by government decree since 2003! Widely praised for its architecture, it is best seen from outside at night when it is lit up. But there is a lot more to Tokyo Station’s interior than trains and platforms; it is a world unto itself with a great deal to offer the visitor. Here are just a few of its many attractions, inside and out.



 

7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station!

 

1. The Bad

What confuses many first time visitors to Tokyo station is how busy it is. As a major hub for some 14 JR and Metro lines, its extensive warren of underground passages and open shopping areas is not somewhere you want to get lost during rush hour. Allow plenty of time to orientate yourself to Tokyo station; it is not a location that can be explored in a hurry!

 

2. Shopping

7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station shopping

Having said that, Tokyo station is a wonderful place to explore the many shops. Wherever you start from, make your way to the Yaesu exit side of the station and you will find a large number of shops on First Avenue selling everything from clothes to cosmetics. The Daimaru department store is also there.

 

3. Eating

7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station Ramen Street

(flickr By Mandy)

On First Avenue you will find Ramen Street. As the name suggests, this is a collection of ramen restaurants offering a variety of dishes from the classic Tokyo style, to organic vegetarian ramen and tsukemen (dipping noodles). And if ramen doesn’t appeal, look for Kitchen Street, a maze of restaurants where you can find anything from light meals to izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) to gourmet cuisine.

 

4. Character Street

7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station tokyo character street

(flickr By DozoDomo)

Featuring over 20 official character shops and an event space called ‘Ichiban Plaza’, First Avenue’s Character street offers a wide variety of anime or other popular character products, such as Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Ghibli, Moomin, LEGO, TOMICA, Ultraman and Shonen Jump, as well as 6 shops specializing in Japanese TV networks goods.

 

5. Okashi Land

Japanese snacks (okashi) have been gaining popularity with foreign consumers in recent years, both in Japan and overseas. Okashi Land First Avenue has products from the 3 biggest okashi-brands in Japan: Glico, Morinaga, and Calbee. And what’s more, Tokyo Okashi Land also sells different versions of products from other regions of Japan, and items exclusive to Okashi Land.

 

6. Architecture

7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station kitte

But Tokyo Station is not just a place to shop and eat. The architecture itself is something to marvel at. See the two splendid domed ceilings over the north and south ticket gates on the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station. Leaving Tokyo Station by the Maranouchi south exit, you will find KITTE, the Japan Post building, with its modern shopping and dining complex. On the 2nd floor you will find the Intermediatheque museum, a breathtaking fusion of imaginative, functional architecture and museum treasures.

 

7. Art and Culture

7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum

(flickr By Takeshi Kuboki)

The Intermediatheque facility brings together objects from various disciplines with an emphasis on ‘form and function.’ Everything from Egyptian mummies to early steam engines, from preserved wildlife specimens to tribal artifacts and rare geological samples can be found in this free museum space. Also on the Maranouchi side of Tokyo Station is the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, built by British architect Josiah Conder in 1894 and housing many fine examples of both Japanese and Western Art.

 

Conclusion

Clearly Tokyo Station is not just a place you arrive at, depart from or change trains at. Nor is it simply another venue for shopping and eating out. Tokyo Station truly offers something for everybody and can be a satisfying and edifying day trip in itself, just so long as you don’t get lost!

 

7 Useful Tips to Enjoy Tokyo Station!

1. The Bad
2. Shopping
3. Eating
4. Character Street
5. Okashi Land
6. Architecture
7. Art and Culture