Just south of Tokyo Station and just west of Ginza is the Tokyo International Forum – a huge modern venue for all kinds of conferences, performing arts, concerts, talks, trade shows, and other activities.
The Forum was completed in 1997 and is spectacular.
Inside there are elevated walkways, a huge cavernous interior and a few restaurants on the lower level. The Forum’s main tourist attraction is its architecture which is designed to look like a large ship and is ultra-modern.
Outside the Forum are all sorts of great restaurants, shops, and other activities. At the South end of the Forum is a large Bic Camera, and Yurakucho Station – the gateway into Ginza which is just to the east.
To get to the Forum you can either get the JR line to Tokyo Station, exit the west (Maronuchi) side and walk south on the sidewalk, or you can get off at Yurakucho Station and then head north under the train tracks, then west and 1 block north to the Forum. Both are very easy to get to and are accessibile.
You can also take the Metro Ginza Subway Line to Ginza Station and exit there, then walk a few blocks south to get to the Forum. The Ginza Station exit is just outside the north Maronuchi-side exit at Tokyo Station, roughly at 35°40’55.82″ N 139°45’57.01″ E. You can also get to the Ginza Line inside Tokyo Station but it requires a long hike through various underground corridors and stairs like this:
Ginza Metro subway line. Ginza (G09) is in the middle of the line, Shibuya on the west, and Asakusa on the east. Another alternative is to take the Maronuchi Line and exit at its Tokyo Station (M17) exit onto the surface and then walk south from Tokyo Station to the Forum:
The Forum has a huge lighted glass floor on its north side.
Inside the cavernous Forum.
In the basement of the Forum is the Cafe Lexcel, an upscale division of Doutour. There is also one in Yokohama.
On the west side of the Forum there is an outdoor patio with a line of excellent restaurants, coffee houses, and shops. Definitely worth checking out.
Brooklyn Roasting Company is not to be missed.
At the very north end of the promenade there is a JR entrance and downstairs is a New York Perfect Cheese:
Entrance to Tokyo Underground Concourse. You can actually walk underground here all the way to Tokyo Station to the north. Behind it is a Le Meré Poulard – a very upscale French restaurant. The original one is in France and also has a hotel in it. Thanks to Tokyo Drew for this tip.
There is plenty more to do in the area – don’t be afraid to wander around.
Yurakucho Station Christmas illuminations.
Bic Camera + Ginza to the East
If you walk south from the Forum + cross the street, first you’ll come to a large Bic Camera on the corner – well worth a stop:
If you then head east (left) at Yurakucho Station, you’ll come into a small area at the east exit of the station filled with department stores, such as OIOI (pronounced Marui). This is Yurakucho. To get to Ginza, head directly east for 2 blocks. The two areas are right next to each other.
Underneath Yurakucho Station. Ginza is straight ahead (facing east).
Yurakucho Station. Ginza is on the other side. The Forum is 2-3 blocks to the left (north). Under the 2 arches on the left you can cut to the other side. The area on the other side is one of the best trainspotting places in Tokyo – you can watch bullet trains come in and out in both directions.
Ginza east of Yurakucho Station.
Well that’s it for now. Enjoy your trip. There’s loads to do near Tokyo International Forum + the surrounding area.
Tokyo International Forum Official (this page also has a floor guide PDF).
John Daub @ TIF.
Tokyo Drew did a walkthrough of TIF in this video around 40:00.