Yurakucho Superguide

Name: Yurakucho

Kind: Town/City

Location: 35°40’34.56″ N 139°45’40.29″ E

Stations: Yurakucho Station, JR + Yurakucho Metro Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? A must-see, and as a gateway to Ginza.

Updated 8/2/21

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Yurakucho is a very small tiny area in central Tokyo sandwiched in between Yurakucho Station to the west, and Ginza to the east. The area is tiny – just one major square with an array of shops, restaurants, and bldgs. around it. There’s a Bic Camera store to the northwest of the station, and just north of that, the Tokyo International Forum, which also contains = Mitsuo Aida Museum =, a calligraphy museum.

The main small central area is around 35°40’28.54″ N 139°45’43.25″ E and is to the east of Yurakucho Station. You can also cut through the station’s open passages to the west side on ground level. The Bic Camera is just to the north on the west side. Along the east side of the station at ground level is a long row of restaurants and shops. At the very north end is a Doutour coffee shop, and past it a small tunnel leading to a hidden side street lined with fabulous restaurants (see below). To the southeast end of the station on the east side is a huge LUMINE + OIOI (pronounced Marui) shopping complex. If you slip past it to the south along the tracks, you’ll come to another shopping complex called Ginza 5 Five.

To the east across the street is Ginza | Nz– another shopping complex, and beyond that to the east, the gateway to world-famous Ginza. Most of this is described below.

Tokyo Creative Travel has a very nice page about the Yurakucho area and things to do.

Access

To get to Yurakucho, hop on the Yurakucho Metro Line or Ginza Line, or the JR Yamanote Line. Yurakucho Station is just one stop south of Tokyo Station on the JR Yamanote Line. Another important point for reference is that Yurakucho is just 2 stops east of Nagatcho/Akasaka on the Yurakucho Metro Line. Nagatcho/Akasaka is well worth a look if you have time.

In the station, head for the east exit – which puts you smack in the town center facing east towards Ginza.

Area Layout

Central Tokyo facing west. The Imperial Palace is the green area above. Tokyo Station is in the center at the bottom. The Tokyo International Forum is the long small slender bldg. on the left. Yurakucho is just south (left) of that, out of frame.

Overhead view. Up is north. Yurakucho is in the center. Imperial Palace and Hibiyabori Moat is to the upper left out of view. Marunouchi is at the top out of view. Ginza and Maronnier Gate are to the lower right. The LUMINE/OIOI complex is lower center. The small central square is just above that. Upper right center is Tokyo International Forum – its long courtyard on its west side is full of great restaurants and cafés. The small bldg. just south of the pink bldg. is Tokyu Kotsu Kaikan which has the rotating Ginza Sky Lounge restaurant on top.

A small Koban (police box) with a pointed roof facing north into Ginza on the left. Yurakucho is just behind the huge LUMINE bldg. on the left. Just up the street to the right is MARRIONER GATE – the gateway to Ginza. Ginza | Nz runs up the left side of the street. Even in this huge metropolis, the streets are spotless.

LUMINE complex facing northwest. Yurkucho is just behind it. Ginza 5 Five is just below. You can pass through the 2 large bldgs. at ground level to get to Yurkucho Station.

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Yurakucho as it appeared about 20 years ago – 2001. Back then, SEIBU, not PARCO occupied the large buildings on the south side. This photo is facing northwest at sunset. The bldg. on the left no longer exists.

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Facing south back towards Yurkucho Station which is down on the right. A row of shops is on the right. The large OIOI complex is on the left, and behind that, LUMINE. Left down the street out of view is Ginza | Nz. A few blocks to the east is Ginza.

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Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan in fall.

Facing back the other way (north). Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan is the round bldg. on the right. Ginza is a few blocks to the right (east). The station is just to the left and behind the camera is the OIOI/LUMINE complex. The long slender glass bldg. behind the station is the Tokyo International Forum, and lots of restaurants, shops, and cafés including a Shake Shack and Brooklyn Roasting Company. Also note the large Bic Camera on the left. If you head straight, then left, you will come to an alleyway which leads to a side street of lots of restaurants which runs behind the Bic Camera (see below). If you head straight up this street you’ll come to the small Doutour Café, and past that, the tunnel that leads to the hidden side street with restaurants. You can also cut over to the Bic Camera from here by taking the station tunnels to the left, out of view.

Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan, ahead. The station is to the left.

Head straight, then left to find the hidden side street. Also note the tiny private Izakaya (bar) on the right.

Yurakucho Mullion + Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan

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Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan at Christmas time.

As you exit the station to the east you’ll be in a small square called Yurakucho Mullion. Here there are roughly 4 areas: 1) a row of restaurants on the left to the north, 2) Doutour and a tunnel north of that, 3) Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan on the east side of the squarejust to the west of Ginza | Nz, and 4) OIOI/LUMINE complex on the south. That’s it. At the base of the OIOI complex there are also a nice handful of restaurants to enjoy.

Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan was built in the 1970’s and it shows. The inside has a very 1970’s-ish retro vibe. There are lots of shops here, a post office, and a large grocery in the basement. On the roof is the Ginza Sky Lounge restaurant and bar.

Oddly, the tiny square is considered one of the best trainspotting places in Tokyo. Shinkansen heading both south and north via Tokyo Station run right on the tracks overhead. If you stand in the square and wait, facing west, you’ll see them:

Yurakucho Station is straight ahead, facing west. Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan is just behind the camera to the right and OIOI/LUMINE is out of view just to the left (south). If you head west through the station tunnels and turn right, you’ll come to the Bic Camera. You can also cut down the tiny alley left next to the lighted buildings on the left to get to Ginza 5 Five.

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The west side of the station looking back east at the square on the other side. The Bic Camera is on the left. Pass through the tunnels ahead to get back to the square.

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Another view of the west side facing northeast. The 2 pass-through tunnels are on the left. Ginza Sky Lounge is the round structure on the rooftop on the other side.

The new facadé on the station is complete in 2021.

The Stand coffee joint at the south end of the station on the left.

Ginza | Nz

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Just to the west of the center square + station, but before crossing Rt. 405 east into Ginza proper, you’ll find Ginza | Nz – a long row of shops + restaurants which lines 405, which runs north-south. Just to the left out of view is the 1st large gateway shopping center into GinzaMARRIONER GATE. The last tall bldg. to the south in this photo is the new Tokyu Plaza Ginza which has a great open-air roof garden + lots of restaurants. The LUMINE complex is the tall bldg. in the center. Ginza Sky Lounge is the round bldg. on top, right. Ginza | Nz runs the length of the street back south to the Koban shown in a photo previously. Turning just to the right from the photo above, you’d see the street leading back to the station to the west:

The Doutor is just up this street to the right. There is a another Doutor to the east in Ginza. Flipping around 180 degrees from this view is MARRIONER GATE to the east:

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MARRIONER GATE just to the east of Ginza | Nz and Yurakucho, facing east. Just east down this street is Ginza Six and many other Ginza attractions. Prepare to spend at least one full day walking around Ginza.

Another view at Ginza | Nz facing north.

Ginza 5 Five

Heading south past Ginza | Nz on the right you’ll come to Ginza 5 Five – a small shopping mall. Just next to that is the new Tokyu Plaza Ginza which is a must-see:

Ginza 5 Five is on the right. Tokyu Plaza Ginza is the tall black bldg. behind it. This is facing southeast.

Tokyu Plaza Ginza

At the very south end of Yurakucho is a brand new complex called Tokyu Plaza Ginza. This complex is a must see – it has an external escaltor leading into the bldg. which has endless great restaurants. There are upscale places and a really great Hawiian burger place. Also be sure to check the cool dessert place TSUJIRIHEI-HONTEN GINZA out. But the most interesting parts of the complex are the view from the huge indoor bar + café which provide incredible nightime views out over Ginza, as well as a very large open-air rooftop garden. After stopping at Ginza 5 Five, be sure to check out Tokyu Plaza Ginza just across the street.

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Entrance to Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

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View of the Hermes Bldg. from the indoor café across the street in Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

The Hidden Restaurant Side Street

At the north end of the station, just at the north end of the Bic Camera bldg. you’ll find the Tokyo International Forum. If you pass through the small tunnel next to the Doutour and turn left (west), you’ll be on this street. You can also get to it by exiting the Bic Camera bldg. at the very north side. But instead of heading straight across the street, head down the small side street just to the right which runs the length of the Forum south to north. Along this street on the right hand side are endless great restaurants of all kinds – dozens of them all neatly packed into a row. At night in Yurakucho, this stroll is a must-see. You can’t go wrong at most of these places and they are full of people every night. The south entrance to the street is around 35°40’32.52″ N 139°45’49.21″ E.

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The south tip of the Tokyo International Forum. Instead of heading left into the Forum’s courtyard, head down the hidden side street to the right. This photo is facing north.

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The Hidden Restaurant Side Street

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Ren Ren Ren Chinese Restaurant

As you come to the north end of the Forum along the hidden side street, you’ll come to a skyscraper across the street. There is an extremely good and upscale Chinese restaurant on the ground floor in the corner called Ren Ren Ren Tokyo. One of the best restaurants in the area if you want Chinese food. Also note this restaurant is just 1 block south of Tokyo Station.

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Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum

Just 1 block to the west of Ren Ren Ren, is the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum – a huge multi-floor spectacular museum, which is a must-see in the area.

Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

Just a stone’s throw 2 blocks to the west of the station is the newly-opened Tokyo Midtown Hibiya shopping complex which has a spectacular winter illumination every year. Not to be missed.

Yurakucho is a tiny little part of Tokyo but there’s a surprising amount to do within just a few blocks. That and its close proximity to a major station on the Yurakucho Line means you can get quick access to other parts of Tokyo. Yurakucho is well worth a visit for a day or night, or if you plan on seeing Ginza too, several nights. It’s a must-see in Tokyo for any traveller.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

Another view of the square facing southeast. The station is on the right. The tall bldg. in the center is the OIOI complex. MARRIONER GATE is just one block down the side street on the left.

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Facing south towards Ginza 5 Five between the OIOI bldg. on the left and LUMINE bldg. on the right. The station is to the left.

Entrance to the LUMINE complex.

Flipping back 180 degrees from the previous photo, you’ll discover this small secret elevator on the right which leads to walkways on upper floors which are fabulous photo spots.

Another view of the OIOI/ITOCiA complex facing back north. The station is straight ahead. If you turn left here and head a few blocks west, you’ll discover a hidden bike locker under the tracks. In fact, just to the left of the Uno pachinko parlor shown on the left here is a large brand new bike locker right on the sidewalk.

The bike locker under the tracks is just ahead.

Another night view in the courtyard east of the station.

Another view of Yurakucho Station and the Shinkansen.

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Looking north into Ginza.

The newly renovated corridor under the tracks. New white LEDs make the area an evening paradise.

Another view of the west side of the station.

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The area behind the Tokyo International Forum. Lots of nice restaurants on this street.

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Yurakucho Concourse – a small overpass with restaurants.

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Another view looking south towards Yurakucho Station. The OIOI is just on the left out of view.

Looking back to the south just east of the station. The station is out of view to the right. The LUMINE complex is just down the small corridor on the center left.

Another hidden side street full of restaurants.

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Under the tracks.

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The Bic Camera @ night.

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Christmas illuminations at dusk in Dec. facing back south towards the OIOI + the entrance to Yurakucho Station, which is down on the right. The small row of restaurants is on the right. The Doutor and small tunnel are just to the right behind the camera.

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One of many interesting streets in Ginza.

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View from the Forum facing back south. Bic Camera is straight ahead, the station is to the left.

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800 Degrees in the Forum courtyard.

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Brooklyn Roasting Company also in the Forum courtyard. The place for coffee in Yurakucho.

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Yet another view of the Bic Camera west of the station facing north.

The Oriental Hotel northwest of the station.

Another view facing south next to Ginza | Nz

Approaching Tokyo Station from the south. The KITTE bldg. is on the left.

Reverse view of the photo above. KITTE bldg. is on the right.

Entrance to KITTE bldg.

Tokyo Station itself above facing east. See our other blog post on it.

LINKS

Yurakucho @ Wikipedia

Yūrakuchō Station – Wikipedia

Yurakucho Line

Ginza 5 @ Tripadvisor

Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan

shakeshack.com/location/tokyo-japan-tokyo-international-forum/

Yurakucho Marui

Ginza 5 Five

MARRONNIER GATE Guide

Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

Tokyu Plaza Ginza

= Mitsuo Aida Museum =

Yurakucho’s curiosity market: Discover products from all over Japan!

https://mimt.jp/english/

Ginza

Yurakucho Building Reconstruction

https://www.franks-bbc.com/

VIDS

Tokyo International Forum

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Name: Tokyo International Forum

Kind: Venue

Where: Yurakucho, Tokyo 35°40’35.92″ N 139°45’51.03″ E

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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.

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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:

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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:

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Maronuchi Line Tokyo Station (M17)

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Yurakucho Station. Tokyo International Forum is straight ahead past the tracks. Bic Camera is on the left next to the Forum.

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The Forum has a huge lighted glass floor on its north side.

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Inside the cavernous Forum.

Restaurants/Coffee/Shops

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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.

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There is also a Shake Shack and an 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen on the patio promenade.

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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:

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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.



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There is plenty more to do in the area – don’t be afraid to wander around.

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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:


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South end of Bic Camera. Yurakucho Station is on the right.

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.

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Underneath Yurakucho Station. Ginza is straight ahead (facing east).

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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.

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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.

LINKS

Tokyo International Forum Official (this page also has a floor guide PDF).

Tokyo International Forum: Marunouchi – Where In Tokyo

JR East

Cafe Lexel

800 Degrees

Ginza-Itchome StationYurakucho Line

Yurakucho Line

VIDS

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John Daub @ TIF.

Tokyo Drew did a walkthrough of TIF in this video around 40:00.