Tokyo Station Superguide Part 2: Yaesu

Name: Tokyo Station

Kind: Station/Multi-use

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°40’49.41″ N 139°46’07.51″ E

Station: Tokyo Station

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Don’t miss it.

Updated 4/17/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

For general info on Tokyo Station see Part 1 of our series.

The east side of Tokyo Station is called the Yaesu side (named after the 17th century foreign Samurai Jan Joosten).

It’s the newer more modern side of the station compared with the west Marunouchi side built in the early 1900’s.

Access

For access + area layout info for the station see Part 1 of our post which has all the ways to get to Tokyo Station.

Design

The east side is one long continuous sidewalk on the outside with a large bus stop + loading area, a central entrance, the large DAIMARU depato (department store), and an elevated walkway with some shops called GRANRoof. There is also a very cheap hidden luggage store/forward place in a hidden basement at the very south end.

Underneath the east side are endless corridors, passages, and a huge shopping mall. The main street running north-south in front of the east side is called Sotobori Dori. Across the street to the east are shops, the huge Yamada Denki (an electronics shop called Concept LABi), and some very interesting side streets with lots to see + do. There are also some very nice hotels on the east side.

Just to the north of the DAIMARU depato is a very upscale hotel – the Shangri La Hotel Tokyo. You can’t find a better or more convenient hotel in Tokyo, but it will cost you dearly – close to $500/night or even more during peak tourist season in the spring. The only closer hotel is the Tokyo Station Hotel itself – inside the station.

Facing south. The station is center right. The DAIMARU building is right of that, and the Shangri La is on the far right. On the left is the Yamada Denki Concept LABi store. The street shown is Sotobori Dori. Just down to the left past Yamada are some interesting side streets that are a must-see.

At the very south end are some shops on the outside including a very nice 2-story waffle house. If you turn right and follow a small corridor past the corner, then take the nondescript elevator down, you’ll find a hidden luggage storage/delivery service with very cheap rates. This place comes in incredibly handy when going to/from the station with luggage. If you are arriving in Tokyo you can drop your luggage here overnight, then come back the next day and pick it up. They can also deliver to your hotel.

The Yaesu Central Entrance. The huge staircase + escalators lead to the underground shopping mall. The stairs on the left lead up to GRANRoof.

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The Nihombashi (north) Entrance

Just north of the Shangri La around the corner to the left is the smaller north, or Nihombashi entrance to the station. This entrance is mostly used for buses, but also has some other unique features – the Sagawa luggage delivery/storage service is here, as are a few restaurants and a large bank of coin lockers. (Nihombashi is the district just north of Tokyo Station).

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The Nihombashi Entrance.

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The large bank of coin lockers along the north side. An entrance to 1st Avenue underground mall is on the left.

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Along the Yaesu side. The bus loading area is on the left. The Yaesu Central Entrance is just to the right out of frame. Small food shops are at the far end. Just behind the camera is the DAIMARU depato:

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The roof mezzanine level which has many shops on the left side. This level also affords a spectacular view of the city to the east.

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Surprisingly, just outside is a free + large place to park bikes. And you don’t even need to lock them. Hardly anyone in Japan steals anything.

Inside

We described the vast tunnels + platforms inside the station in Part 1 so we won’t go into it again here. Suffice it to say there are 2 sides to the station and underneath are vast shop/restaurant areas with endless things to eat. It’s so vast it’s easy to get lost. You’re going to need a lot of food after spending hours walking around the place and up + down stairs.

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In one of many corridors inside Tokyo Station.

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After walking miles in the station, you will be ready to eat.

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Inside the station there are endless food options + goodies.

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Sakura Street

Just east of the station and 1 block south of the Yamada Denki building is the entrance to a small side street known simply as Sakura Street:

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If you’re visiting the station for the 1st time, this street is a must-see. But wait until after dark when the street comes alive with restaurants, cafés, pubs, and a host of other cool places to check out. There are also a few other good smaller hotels on this streets such as:

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and

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Sakura Street comes alive after dark.

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One of many parallel side streets near Sakura Street. Lots to see + do.

Head Further East

At the end of Sakura Street just 2 blocks east around 35°40’49.19″ N 139°46’20.99″ E is another major north-south street with lots to do. There’s a huge museum here (Artizon Museum), lots of skyscrapers, and a huge Takashimaya depato. The restaurant level on the top floor of the Takashimaya Annex is especially good. If you want a really good hamburger, try Brozer’s on that floor:

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Nihombashi Takashimaya Shopping Center

2-4-1 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8265
Phone +81-3-3211-4111

More Cool Stuff On the Backstreets

If you wander around the backstreets you will find a surprisingly awesome array of cool things to do + see – not just on Sakura Street, but on all of the streets. Places such as these:

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Coin Lockers

There are huge banks of paid coin lockers around the station. The largest banks are near the shinkansen entrances, along the north corridor, and along the west corridor. To learn how to use them, see Part 1. You can pay by cash, coin, or electronic Suica card. (the Japanese word for card is a Katakana loan word from English: cardo).

The lockers can come in handy when entering or leaving the country, going to other cities in Japan, or if you are just taking a day trip and don’t want to carry everything with you. They are usually totally secure.

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Large lockers. The red indicator usually means they are in use.

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Locker payment machine. The touchscreen at the top indicates how you would like to pay, and the small oval below it is the Suica card reader. After indicating payment by Suica, just slap your card on the reader and the price will be deducted from the card. You can also use bills + coins.

Prepaid IC Cards in Japan: How to Use - Japan Rail Pass

Conclusion

Well that’s it for Tokyo Station. We’ve barely scratched the surface here. The station is vast and you can easily spend days exploring it. It’s a must-see on any trip to Tokyo. Don’t miss it.

Additional Photos

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The Shangri-La Hotel.

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Across from the north entrance is this employment agency – PASONA.

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Inside the north entrance.

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The underground Yaesu Shopping Mall which is vast.

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Heading down into the Ginza Metro subway line.

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Inside the underground 1st Avenue mall.

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10 floors of electronics mayhem in Concept LABi.

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Inside Concept LABi. The wall of iPhone cases alone is gigantic.

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The view east from the roof mezzanine.

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One of many restaurants on the roof mezzanine level.

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The R.L. Waffle Café at the very south end.

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One of the Shinkansen (bullet train) entrances. Note the bank of coin lockers on the left.

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3 of the major Metro lines in Tokyo Station: Marunouchi, Chiyoda, and Tozai lines.

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There are even entire grocery stores inside the station.

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A specialty store inside DAIMARU.

Entrance to the Shangri-La Hotel. There is also an upscale Sarabeth’s above on the 2nd floor. The station is to the left, out of frame.

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Area to the east of the station.

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Area northeast of the station.

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Main entrance to Takashimaya.

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The Annex has some really great places to eat.

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Stairs on the Yaesu side leading up to GRANRoof mezzanine.

GRANRoof mezzanine.

At the south end of the Yaesu side. The hidden luggage elevator is just to the left.

Heading into the north entrance.

In the underground shopping mall.

And the ubiquitous Hello Kitty shop in the underground mall.

LINKS

The Complete Guide to Tokyo Station – LIVE JAPAN

Sagawa Luggage Service

VIDS

For many interesting vids around the station, see Part 1.

Tokyo Station Superguide Part 1: Marunouchi

Name: Tokyo Station

Kind: Station/Multi-use

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°40’49.41″ N 139°46’07.51″ E

Station: Tokyo Station

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Don’t miss it.

Updated 4/15/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Tokyo Station is Tokyo’s showplace train station + vast multiuse complex.

Renovated + expanded in 2012 the area is an entire city unto itself. In fact, there’s an entire area inside called Tokyo Station City (TSC) – most of it underground beneath and around the station. There are several subdevelopments inside such as TSC, GRANRoof (an elevated outdoor walkway), 1st Avenue underground mall, and others. A new high-rise development just northeast is being planned called Tokyo Torch, which when completed will be Japan’s tallest building. TSC also has its own YouTube channel. Check out the Tokyo Colors.2015 Teaser movie.

There are also huge food palaces, and a large street-level shopping complex with various depatos (department stores), the largest of which is DAIMARU. Inside the station in many areas, there are endless food courts and high-end restaurants + cafés.

Tokyo Station hosts a huge number of train lines and is one of the central departure points for many of Japan’s high speed Shinkansen (bullet trains – shinkansen literally means “new rapid line”). The main lines are Japan Railways (JR) lines, and other lines such as Keio, Tokyo Metro subway and others. You can get to just about any place in the Tokyo region on regular and express trains, and to other parts of Japan on shinkansen.

The station is centered in the central business district called Marunouchi (literally “Imperial Palace Grounds Circle”) in Tokyo just east of the Imperial Palace.

The area is too huge + vast to cover everything so we’ll just hit the major features and points of interest here. To truly experience the station + area, you’ll have to plan on spending a few days walking or biking around.

There are 2 sides to the station – the older but renovated brick side on the west called the Marunouchi side, and the newer, more modern east side called the Yaesu (pronounced ‘Yah-eh-soo’) side (named after one of Japan’s only foreign Samurai, Jan Joosten, or simply Yayōsu for short, from the 17th century) . There are only 2 internal passages which connect the 2 sides the Yaesu North Passage on the north side of the station, and the Yaesu Central Passage in the middle of the station. The two major shinkansen entry areas are also in the center of the station slightly towards the east side. There is also the Yokosuka-Sobu Line Rapid Line to Narita Airport on the west side.

There is actually a smaller 3rd side called the Nihombashi Entrance on the far northeast corner of the station. This entrance/exit is largely used for busses, but if you need to go north of the station, this is the exit to take. There is also a luggage delivery service and a few cafés inside along with coin lockers (see below).

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Northwest (Marunouchi) side of the station + entrance. There is also a luggage forwarding + a large tourist info office just inside.

Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi area are incredibly spectacular + clean and are the showplace of Tokyo. You won’t want to miss it for anything.

Also on the west side right in the center of the station is the incredibly luxurious and ornate Tokyo Station Hotel, which runs about $400/night.

At the very south entrance on the west side there is also a small Koban (police box). There isn’t much else on the exterior of the west side – most of the interesting points are inside, or in the surrounding area. The west side facadé was renovated in 2012, along with the ornate northwest entrance area which has soaring Victorian ceilings.

An important point of interest to note is that the quickest way to get from Tokyo Station to the west side of the city (to Shinjuku) is on an express line called the JR Chuo Line which departs Tokyo Station and only makes 5 stops on the way to Shinjuku (which is the busiest train station in Tokyo and in the world).

One word of warning: the interior of the station, its passageways, tunnels, platforms, shopping, and routes to other areas can be daunting. You can easily get lost or walk for hours underground. Sometimes it can take over an hour to get to a particular platform or train line.

In this article we’ll cover only the Marunouchi side and the western surrounding area. See Part 2 for the east Yaesu side.

Access

Nearly all lines in Tokyo lead one way or another to Tokyo Station. There are so many lines + platforms in the station it’s impossible to list them all here. Check out the JR Tokyo Station website or the TSC website for a complete list of lines + maps.

On foot or bike Tokyo Station is an easy walk from many of the other parts of the city: Akihabara and Kanda to the north, Yurakucho + Ginza to the south, Otemachi which is just to the north, or even Ueno further north. From Ueno you can even walk to Tokyo Dome City. The JR Yamanote Line runs to Kanda, Akihabara, Ueno, Nippori, and Yurakucho/Ginza.

There are also dozens of sidewalk street-level portals in the area which lead down into the station. Don’t forget that when you are walking around the streets, below you the station is everywhere.

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A station street portal.

There are 2 main streets running north-south on the west side of the station and both are interesting walks. There are endless hotels, shops, business, skyscrapers, and cafés everywhere. You can stroll around for hours and not see it all.

Shuttles

There is also a free Marunouchi Shuttle with an app, but the app is in Japanese only currently. The TSC site has a complete list of all shuttles.

Area Layout

Overhead view facing north. The station with tracks runs north-south shown right of center. The Yurakucho area (see below) at the bottom, and the Imperial Palace is in the upper left corner. The 2 parks are to the center left and lower left. Out of view to the lower right is Ginza. The Marunouchi area is to the top, center.

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The central Marunouchi (west) side of Tokyo Station. The Tokyo Station Hotel is in the center. When Tokyo Torch is completed, it will be just to the left of the skyscrapers shown above.

The south entrance on the west side. Note the turret architecture that was popular in Japan in the early 1900’s when the station was built.

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Also inside the north entrance is a central information booth.

Facing west into the Marunouchi area at the south end of the station. There is a spectacular view of the entire area from the rooftop observation deck in the KITTE building on the left. If you head left (south) from here in a few blocks you will come to Yurakucho. Marunouchi Plaza (see next) is just on the right out of frame.

Marunouchi Plaza

Outside the west side of the station is an astonishing large open air plaza called Marunouchi Plaza. It’s mostly just a walking + photo area but provides epic views of the station. There is also a small Metro subway portal here. If you head further west across the street there’s another long paved walkway leading to the Imperial Palace. In the fall the Ginko trees along this walkway turn a brilliant yellow. If you’re there in the fall, don’t miss it.

The epic vista of Marunouchi Plaza facing west. The Imperial Palace is straight ahead.

Just to the north and south of the 2nd walkway, there are 2 parks worth checking out around 35°40’57.67″ N 139°45’38.80″ E. To the south is the huge Kōkyogaien National Garden, and to the north a small concrete park with a large fountain called Wadakura Fountain Park. There are various other spectacular hotels around the area.

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Ginko trees in the fall to the west of Tokyo Station.

KITTE + Observation Deck.

At the south end of the plaza, there’s a large white bldg. called KITTE. It offers several levels of indoor shops, food, and a spectacular open-air rooftop garden affording epic views of the station. It’s a breathtaking view and not to be missed. Just enter on the north side and take the escalator up. Totally Drew has a nice vid of the deck in the vid section below. KITTE also has a nice tourist + business info office with people ready to assist you, should the need arise.

Also currently just across the street from KITTE is Tokyo’s largest  Store, in a very retro-70’s style office building at street level.

South to Yurakucho

If you head south past KITTE on side streets, in just a few blocks you’ll be in the Yurakucho/Ginza area, and you’ll pass the nice Tokyo International Forum along the way. Both Yurakucho/Ginza, and Akihabara/Kanda are easy walks from the station.

Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum

2 blocks to the southeast is a huge museum called the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum. The entire 3-story building is done in early British/American colonial brick style and is a must-see. The museum mostly offers rotating collections of paintings + other artwork. There is also a very nice café + garden.

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Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum

Food

There is endless food at and around Tokyo Station. From ramen joints to deluxe upscale resturants to food courts, you won’t be able to decide. The station is full of food stalls, shops, a central store area with shops selling sweets, delicacies, and all kinds of meals. There are also food courts in the underground tunnels at various intervals.

Perhaps the biggest food extraveganza at Tokyo Station is the food tower in the DAIMARU depato (department store), but that is on the Yaesu (east) side so we’ll save that for Part 2.

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The central shops area inside the station which includes dessert places such as TokyoMe+.

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There are also endless large complexes on the streets around the station such as M Lounge just to the northeast.

1st Avenue Underground Mall

In approximately the center of the west side inside the station near the shops is the entrance to a large underground mall called 1st Avenue. The mall is vast and has all kinds of shops, although many of them such as the Pokemon and LEGO stores seem to be targeted at kids. Still worth a quick look.

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Coin Lockers

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There are several huge banks of coin lockers inside Tokyo Station. Some are along corridors between platforms and areas, but the largest banks are on the west side across from the central shops area, and near the entrances to the shinkansen areas. You can drop your stuff in them to lighten your load, or when traveling on trains, but it will cost you. Small lockers run about $8 USD/24 hours, large ones can cost as much as $14-$19/24 hours. They also accept Tokyo’s Suica IC payment card. To use them, drop your stuff in, then lock it and take the key if there is one. If not, use the touch-screen panel to select + secure your locker. You generally pay when you return to unlock and retrieve your items. Some lockers do require you to pay in advance. Lockers can also come in handy when transporting luggage coming/going to airports or other cities. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can find dirt cheap street lockers around Tokyo as low as $4/day such as this hidden bank in Ueno:

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Otemachi to the Northwest

Just to the northwest is a small sister city area called Otemachi. It’s also part of the business district and in fact, is connected underground to Tokyo Station by long vast tunnels + walkways. You can walk in about 45 minutes, but the path underground is complex and requires you to traverse several different levels, shopping centers, stairs, escalators, and walkways. So be prepared. There are also lots of things to see and do around Otemachi including mixed-use complexes such as Otemachi One and Ootemori. But this leads us to the final topic for this post…

Hanzomon Hell

The Hanzomon Line is a Tokyo Metro subway which runs east-west near Tokyo Station and which can be accessed underground in both Tokyo Station and Otemachi Station. But this is where it gets tricky: The Hanzomon Line station is on the far side of Otemachi, but signs underground in Tokyo Station point your way there. The hard part is that many of the Hanzomon Line signs in Tokyo Station merely list the distance to the next part of the path you have to follow. Just when you think you’re there, you have to walk another 350 meters – multiple times. In fact, it’s several miles of walking on a convoluted path to get from Tokyo Station to the actual Hanzomon Line platform in Otemachi Station. So, if you decide to go this route, be prepared for serious walking. On the upside, there are a lot of interesting things along the way and lots of food courts, cafés and other places to stop and rest if need be. This walk is generally known among expats as Hanzomon Hell because it’s no quick trip even though the signs would lead you to believe otherwise. So, we’re just warning you: be prepared to walk. A lot.

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Walking from Tokyo Station to the Hanzomon Line in Otemachi underground – aka Hanzomon Hell.

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Ootemori

Conclusion

Tokyo Station/Marunouchi is one of the most spectacular areas of Tokyo and is not to be missed at any cost. If you want to see just one area of Tokyo, this is it. It’s huge, elegant, spotless, awe-inspiring, and astonishing. It’s an experience you’re not likely to forget in your lifetime. A must-see.

In Part 2, we’ll cover the eastern, more lively, Yaesu side of the station.

Additional Photos

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Another view of the KITTE building from the north.

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To the northwest side of the plaza there are several large multi-use/shopping centers. Very upscale.

tourist info office
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The JR luggage forwarding/pickup office just inside the northwest entrance. You can have your luggage forwarded from airports/hotels for a fee and pick it up here. And vice-versa when leaving. The tourist info office is on the opposite side behind the camera. There are other luggage services around the station such as Sagawa Express.

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Inside the newly rennovated northwest entrance. The main gate entrance is on the right, and the Yaesu side passage is ahead.

One of the shinkansen entrances.

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The vastness around Marunouchi that is corporate Japan.

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There are plenty of interesting things to see and do around Otemachi just a few blocks from Tokyo Station as well.

There are several street-level area maps such as this one in various places outside the station.

LINKS

Tokyo Station – Wikipedia

Tokyo Station Map

Tokyo Station City

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi7bZHckQlThRDOBLd1mfGQ/videos

Tokyo Station Shopping Guide

Complete Guide to Tokyo Station – LIVE JAPAN

Tokyo Station Area Guide

Discover Tokyo Station and our station map- Your Japan Rail Pass

The Prime Info Spot for your Sightseeing Needs: “Tokyo City i” Tourist Information Center

Narita – Tokyo: choosing your itinerary | Japan Rail Pass

JR Yamanote Line: Tokyo Station to Tamachi | Japan Rail Pass

https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/japan-stations/tokyo-station

A day out at Tokyo Station – WAttention.com

https://trulytokyo.com/daimaru-department-store/

https://www.gotokyo.org/en/spot/623/index.html

https://trulytokyo.com/daimaru-department-store/

KITTE | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

KITTE Marunouchi

https://marunouchi.jp-kitte.jp/gb/information.jsp

Tokyo Station Hotel

23 of the most popular souvenirs

https://www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp/en/

All hotels in Tokyo

TOKYO TORCH|Mitsubishi Estate Office Information

Live Tokyo Webcams

VIDS

This vid gives a gorgeous, haunting view of the station and area in 4K.

This video gives great 4K views of the malls under Tokyo Station.

Narita Airport + Narita City Superguide

Name: Narita City

Kind: Town

Location: 35°46’35.97″ N 140°19’07.47″ E

Station: JR Narita or Keisei Narita Sta.

Updated 9/25/2020!

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If you’re flying to Nartia Airport in Japan, you may want to consider staying over a few nights in Narita City just southwest of the airport.

Take the Keisei Line from the airport to Narita Station and get off.

There are 2 different lines + stations in Narita – the Keisei Line + the JR lines at the JR station. Both stations are within a few blocks of each other near the town square. Don’t get these confused with the stations at the airport. Narita City is actually a few miles southwest of the airport.

Skyliner Info Desk @ Narita International.

Hotels

There are many good hotels in Narita City but we recommend APA Narita Ekimae – it’s 1 block from the station, very clean, quiet, and reasonably priced at around $65/night. You’ll see the word Ekimae at many hotels in Japan. It means “At the station”.

Just north of the airport is also the Narita View Hotel at around $50-60/night. Well worth the money + closer to the airport. Just keep in mind this option is outside the town of Narita itself so you’ll have to take the train into town to sightsee.

There are countless other quality hotels in the area. Use one of the online booking sites, but we recommend agoda.com.

Luggage

If you take the Skyliner to/from the airport to Keisei Ueno station, there’s a very good luggage forwarding service at that station which will forward your bags the next day for $9/bag. This works in both directions – to/from the airport to your hotel.

Quick side trip @ Narita International: Nippon Origami Museum + Shop

If you’re not dead tired and are up for it, while still in the airport, check out the Nippon Origami Museum on the 3rd floor of Terminal 1. It’s an amazing little origami museum and it’s right nearby – or leave early on your return trip and check it out on your way back. Worth a stop.

Narita City

Narita City itself is a charming old small town with lots to do.

There are stations for both JR trains and Keisei lines in the same block in the town square.

Step off the train from the aiport onto a local street and you’re instanly in small town Japan.

Unless you’re flying in from Asia, it’s likely your flight was long. You can rest in Narita City overnight, before heading back to the airport to catch the NE’X or Skyliner into Tokyo.

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Before you go, be sure to check out the very helpful “Introduction of Narita City” over at the Chiba Convention Bureauand International Center (CCB-IC) site.

Just to the left of the JR Narita Station in the city square is the Narita City Tourist Information Office. There’s actually a lot to do in Narita City – including a nice museum. Also be sure to check out the impressive Narita City Hall.

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View of business district in Narita City. The edge of the city hall is the sloped green-roofed bldg. on the left center in this photo. You can also walk a few miles down the main street shown above to the south and back for some nice exercise.

Looking back north along the same street. The APA hotel is on the left. There are a variety of other good hotels right in this area: Comfort Hotel Narita, Richmond Hotel Narita, and Center Hotel Narita 2.

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Entering Narita City Square from the south. Turn right here for Narita Omotosando. The JR Narita Station is out of frame to the left.

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Narita City Square. APA Hotel is the small white bldg. in the distance to the left of the tall brown bldg. on the right.

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JR Narita Station, right. The Narita Tourism Office is just to the left in the same building. Turn right at this light and go north here to get to the main shopping area. In the 3-story bldg. on the left there is a very nice and large Family Mart. Also, just to the left in the tall Skytown Narita, there is a cultural center, and various shops and other attractions.

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Keisei Narita Station – take the Keisei Skyliner out of Narita International Airport and get off here. This is just across from the town square.

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Narita City Hall

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There’s a huge map of Narita City just next to the city hall.

Just to the northeast of Narita City Hall under the elevated Keisei tracks is Kuriyama Neighborhood Park – a very nice verdant park with benches and lots of room for kids to play. There’s also an old steam locomotive here. Well worth a look. It’s around 35°46’42.67″ N 140°19’08.71″ E

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Most hotels in Narita City are conveniently located. Easy to use convenience stores (conbini) and parking abound.

Eat like a king cheap out of conbini (convenience stores). A lot of the food is quite healthy such as cheap pre-made salads, lemon tea, and vegetable drinks. This entire meal only cost around 600¥ (about $6).

Wandering Around

You can actaully have a great time in Narita City just walking around. Pick a street and just start walking to see what you’ll discover. If you’re up for getting a Japanese Driver’s License, you can even buy a brand new Honda scooter at local dealers for as little as $900, like the one shown below.
The real attraction in Narita is the long shopping street just to the north of the town square. Nippon Wandering TV covered this street in the video shown at the end of this post. To get there go west from either station, into the city square, then turn right (north) immediately. There are all kinds of nice little shops along this street which are well worth a stroll.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Wander around.

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Narita is full of simple + charming small homes such as this one. Note the typhoon shutters on the left side.

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Narita City has plenty of old-school charm to keep you occupied – well worth a few days exploring.

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Epic train tracks heading back to Narita International. Narita City Hall is just across the street to the right, out of frame.

Naritasan Park, International Cultural Center, Shinsho-ji Temple + Great Pagoda of Peace

Less than 1 mile north of the city center is the huge Naritasan Park containing the Narita International Cultural Center, Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple, and a huge pagoda worth a look – the Great Pagoda of Peace. The park has huge gardens with walkways and is well worth a stop.

AEON Mall + MEGA Don Quijote Narita + Yamada Denki

If you’re feeling adventurous, walk one mile from Narita City Center on backstreets or just north of Naritasan Park to get to a large AEON shopping mall. There is also a street called Narita Omotesando on the way lined with lots of traditional shops + restaurants. You’ll have to map a route on foot on Google Earth from the city center to the mall. It’s not very far. The mall has a grocery, lots of shops and a nice bike shop called AEONBike. There are also buses to the mall. The mall actually has some fairly good food places as well including a Tully’s Coffee which has charge outlets for devices.

Incredibly, one of Japan’s best Don Quijote 100¥ shops is just east of the AEON mall. This store is huge. They also sell bicycles if you’re looking for one. See our short article on Japan’s 100¥ shops.

Right across the street to the north of Don Quijote in Narita is a big YAMADA Denki (i.e. electronics). Also well worth a look. There’s also a huge car parking garage just to the west of Don Quijote.

The huge MEGA Don Quijote @ Narita.

Boso no Mura Open Air Museum

About 5 miles northwest of Narita City is the Boso no Mura Open Air Museum. This quaint little outdoor museum is a recreation of a small town in the Edo period. It’s well worth a look. There’s no direct way to get to it except by motor vehicle or on foot. It’s a bit of a hike – and it will be around 10 miles round trip. If you’re up for it, take the Narita Aijiki By-Pass road from Narita northwest. The road is narrow with no sidewalks so you’ll have to be careful due to motor vehicle traffic. To get there from Narita City Center, walk north to AEON Mall first, then head west down Narita Aijiki By-Pass road. You’ll have to map the route on Google Earth or an online map site.

11 Amazing Day Trips to Take From Tokyo | Oyster.com

Boso no Mura Open Air Museum

Shisui Premium Outlets

About 6 miles south of Nartia City center is the Shisui Premium Outlets mall. This is a massive (and we mean huge) mall with hundreds of discount premium shops. It’s well worth a stop. If you don’t have motor vehicle access, your next best option is a bus, or taxi. If you don’t want to spring for those, a bike will work just fine. You could walk it on foot if you’re in shape, but you’ll have to take a slightly circular route south on Rt. 409, then west at Rt. 77, then back north on a side street. Total circular distance from Narita City is about 7 miles – so round-trip on foot would be quite a hike, but on a bicycle would be trivial. The outlet is @ 35°42’48.05″ N 140°17’38.28″ E. See the outlet’s site for a complete list of shops. Interestingly, the entire interior walkways of the complex have been mapped on Google Earth so you can also use that to get a view.

More Narita International Resources

Narita to Tokyo: Late-Night Transfer Options
https://tokyocheapo.com/travel/narita-to-tokyo-late-night-transfer/

While trains are one of the easiest ways of getting from Narita during the day, they aren’t really an option late at night. The N’EX is $36, last leaves Terminal 1 at 9:44pm depositing you at Tokyo Station just under 60 min, and Ikebukuro at 11:09pm (which should give you enough time to transfer to a connecting train for you area, if it isn’t one of those).

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/nex_round.html

N’EX Round Trip can be purchased from JR EAST Service Centers + JR Ticket Offices at Narita Terminals 1, 2·3. Purchase is not available outside Japan, we recommend buying the ticket immediately on arrival.

Note several JR Service Centers also offer hotel reservations + luggage services.
https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/customer_support/service_center_tokyo.html

Adults $60-$70. Tickets are valid 14 days. Trains operate every 30 mins + take about an hour from Narita to Tokyo station. Use Ordinary Car reserved seats on Narita Express. A one-way ticket is valid for use on one limited express.

Station Office Office Hours
Narita Airport Terminal 1 JR EAST Travel Service Center All Days 8:15-19:00

JR Ticket Office All Days 6:30-8:15, 19:00-21:45

Narita Terminal 1 Travel Center All Days 9:00-20:00
Narita Airport Terminal 2·3 JR EAST Travel Service Center All Days 8:15-20:00

JR Ticket Office All Days 6:30-8:15, 20:00-21:45
  • Tokyo Station
  • Shinjuku Station
  • Shibuya Station
  • Ikebukuro Station
  • Ueno Station
  • Hamamatsucho Station
  • Narita Airport
  • Haneda Airport
  • Sendai Station
  • Shinkansen and limited express ticket sales
  • Suica sales
  • Various other tickets

Currency exchange window/Foreign currency exchange ATMs
http://www.travelex.co.jp/JP/For-Individuals/Products-and-Services/Products-and-Services-for-Individuals/

7 Bank
https://www.sevenbank.co.jp/intlcard/index2.html

Narita Airport Transit + Stay Program + Free Guided Tours

What is the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program?

Incredibly, there are free guided tours around Narita by the Narita Airport
Transit + Stay Program
. The program connects you with locals who know the area inside and out and are willing to show you around or help you reach your destination. What a great idea.

From the website:

“The Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program helps you do just that by offering a range of both guided and self-guided tours for travelers on a budget. Our English-speaking volunteer tour guides are completely free – you only need to cover personal expenses like transportation – letting you focus on the tour and not on your wallet.

If you have a layover of several hours at Narita Airport, or if you are staying at a hotel in the Narita area and are looking for a way to spend a half-day, don’t miss the opportunity to take part in one of these Japanese cultural experiences or to see the best sights around!”.

Footnote: T-CAT As a Cheap Return Alternative

Here’s a cheap travel hack for the return trip to Narita when you’re ready to leave Japan: Use the Tokyo City Air Terminal (aka T-CAT) bus service. This little -known bus service is way out on the east side of Tokyo right in the Metro Hanzomon Line’s Suitengumae (pronounced Sweet-ten-goo-may) Station. There is also First Cabin Suitengumae capsule hotel just 3 blocks down the street from T-CAT @ around $42/night. When you’re ready to return to Narita you could take the NE’X or Skyliner back, but the T-CAT bus service will shoot you there in silent comfort for a mere $9. It also has busses to Haneda Airport.

To get to T-CAT, jump on the Metro Hanzomon Line down to Suitengumae Station, and take the City Air Terminal District Gate exit. You can also enter the station from the street. In fact, it’s only a few miles from Tokyo Station itself so you can even walk there from Tokyo Sta. – and see some sights along the way. You can also make reservations on T-CAT’s website in advance. It will save you about $12 compared to taking, say, Keisei Skyliner to Narita from Ueno.

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Hanzomon Line is indicated by the purple circle and “Z”, in this case at Otemachi Sta. just north of Tokyo Sta. Suitengumae is Hanzomon Z10 – just 2 stops east. The blue Metro system symbol is on the left.

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For T-CAT exit City Air Terminal District Gate.

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Metro Hanzomon Line map. Suitengumae is roughly in the center (Z10), shown in red, and Otemachi Sta. is just 2 stops to the east at Z08. You can also take the line all the way to its western terminus @ Shibuya, shown on the far left, or Oshiagé/SKYTREE, its eastern terminus, shown on the far right. The Mitsukoshimae stop (Z09) is in Nihombashii just to the north + stops in the basement of the Mitsukoshi Depato (department store), which is well worth a look.

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Metro Hanzomon Line’s Suitengumae entrance on Etai-Dori Ave. The Royal Park Hotel bike parking lot described below is in the upper right corner.

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Metro Hanzomon Line’s Suitengumae platform.

Bike Access to T-CAT

If you are on bike you can park your bike for up to 24 hrs. at the very nice Royal Park Hotel Nihonbashii just down the street for a few ¥. The lockers are outside on the east side, but the place is very safe + the hotel staff will even be willing to help you if you’re not staying there since it’s their bike park. You can lock your bike, jump a bus, or train, go where you need + return later for your bike. The hotel is at 35°40’54.88″ N 139°47’13.24″ E (2-1-1 Nihonbashi-Kakigara-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo). This here map shows roughly the relationship between all 3 places:

Suitengumae Station is the leftmost pin, Royal Park Hotel the center one, First Cabin Suitengumae the right one. T-CAT is in the station. Sumida River is just to the right. To the east (right) of this is Asakusa, and a little further east, Sky Tree. There is also another Royal Park Hotel in Shiodome.

Suitengumae Area Photo Enjoyment

Here are a few more photos from the area for your enjoyment + reference:

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2 more views of T-CAT @ Suitengumae Station.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Walking from Suitengumae Sta. to Tokyo Sta.

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There is also another public outdoor bike locker on this route.

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Be careful with Otemachi Sta. – it’s easy to get sucked into its labyrinth shopping malls + corridors which go on for miles inside + underground.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com
©2019 tenmintokyo.com

First Cabin Suitengumae is on the left tucked down this quiet residential side street. The main street, Etai-Dori is just to the right out of frame. Turn right on Etai-Dori and head a few blocks west to get to T-CAT.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

First Cabin Suitengumae has a nice Lawson conbini just up the street. Step outside and turn right and you’ll be facing the street that takes you to T-CAT . There’s also a postal drop box here.

Welcome, dear traveler, to First Cabin‘s futuristic sleeping pods:

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First Cabin Suitengumae‘s facilities are quite nice:

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

If you walk just a bit east on Etai-Dori Ave you cross Etai Bridge over the Sumida River, from which you can gaze at this famous view of Toyko known as Ookawabata River City:

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Etai Bridge is roughly at 35°40’33.40″ N 139°47’17.99″ E and you can walk or ride a bike across it. You can enter Ookawabata River City by crossing the Chuo-ohashi Bridge shown on the right in the distance. But to do that, you must first cross an intermediate bridge on the Nihonbashi River @ roughly 35°40’45.91″ N 139°47’02.25″ E first to get to it.

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Nihonbashi is just to the northeast of Otemachi Sta. + features the excellent Coredo multi-use complex.

Well, that’s it for now. Enjoy your trip to Narita International + Narita City!

A few more photos of Narita International:

Links

https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/

Narita City Official

https://www.ccb.or.jp/mice/e/

The Keisei Skyliner for Narita Airport

Take the Keisei Line from Narita

https://en.japantravel.com/chiba/nippon-origami-museum/13157

http://www.deepjapan.org/a/3746

Narita Travel Guide @ japan-guide.com

Covid-19: Getting from Narita + Haneda airports into Tokyo

Narita, Chiba

Narita @ WikiTravel

Narita Day Trip Itinerary @ Truly Tokyo

Narita Airport to Tokyo | Tokyo Cheapo

Narita to Ikebukuro

Narita City – A stopover to discover traditional Japan @ Kanpai!

Be Strategic About Getting to Tokyo From Narita and Haneda

Things to do in Narita @ Trip Advisor

Find the Cheapest Transport from Narita Airport to Tokyo @ Tokyo Cheapo

Narita City Tourism Assoc.

https://www.japanmeetings.org/plan-your-event/search/city-detail.html?id=15

http://www.narita-bungei-skytown.jp/

https://en.aeonmall.global/shop-narita/

https://www.donki.com/en/store/shop_detail.php?add=1&shop_id=371&pref=12

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6403.html

T-CAT

Tokyo Sta. -> Suitengumae Sta. Walking Route Map

Royal Park Hotel (agoda.com)

Royal Park Hotel

Royal Park Shiodomé

Coredo @ Nihonbashi

Private Narita Layover Tour including Sake Tasting

Phantom Narita Shinkansen

https://www.japanmeetings.org/plan-your-event/search/venue-detail.html?id=225

https://www.agoda.com/narita-view-hotel/hotel/tokyo-jp.html?checkin=2020-05-01&los=3&adults=1&rooms=1&cid=1720055&searchrequestid=f7e751a1-1f69-4eeb-9f65-7fcba116e2f8&travellerType=0&tspTypes=8,16

https://www.narita-transit-program.jp/tours/

Shisui Premium Outlets

https://aeonbike.jp/

https://www.sanbruno.ca.gov/community/sister_city.htm

VIDS