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 6/20/2021

©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).

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

Another view of Marunouchi Plaza. In the fall the Ginko trees shown here turn a brilliant yellow in a spectacular nature show. The white bldg. on the far left was built in the 1970’s and on it’s ground floor is the largest  Store in Tokyo.

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Coin Lockers

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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:

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Another view of the KITTE building from the north.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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

tourist info office
©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

The vastness around Marunouchi that is corporate Japan.

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

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.

Another view of Marunouchi Plaza facing west.

Marunouchi Plaza facing southwest.

Imperial Palace Moat facing west.

Watch out – it’s the Roast Caramel Market.

Another view of the north entrance.

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.

Kinshicho Superguide

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Kinshicho

Kind: Town

Location: 35°41’48.26″ N 139°48’52.14″ E

Station: Kinshicho Station (Z13), Hanzomon Line, JR Chuo Line or Sobu-Chuo Line

Free Wifi: Yes

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

Worth it? Well worth a short trip

Updated 8/30/2021

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

About a mile south of Tokyo Sky Tree in east central Tokyo is the town of Kinshicho. A small town centered around the JR Kinshicho rail station, Kinshicho offers a variety of department stores, movie theaters, grocery stores, a large outdoor park, and various other restaurants and shops. The town is compact enough to see in less than a day, and is worth a short day trip. It’s also close enough to walk to from Sky Tree to the north.

Getting there

Take the Hanzomon Metro line to Kinshicho Station (Z13), or take the JR Chuo Line or Sobu-Chuo Line to Kinshicho Station and exit. There are exits on the street on the northwest side and in the basements of some of the large department stores. There is also a street-level exit on the west side of Kinshi Park at the northeast end of the town. The main JR Station sits below and underground beneath the TERMINA department store.

Area Layout

The town is roughly laid out in a grid or square less than .5 miles across. The station is in the center, with the TERMINA department store to the southwest, PARCO store complex to the southeast, AraK!T complex to the northwest and Kinshi Park to the north east (center right in this photo). To the east about a mile is the sister city of Kameido also with a JR station. On this map, Sky Tree is vivisble just a the top of the photo. The JR line tracks are visible in the lower center of the photo – just north of the main square.

TERMINA, PARCO, OIOI Department Stores

The central town area contains 3 main complexes as well as other side streets and shops. The main complexes are TERMINA, PARCO, and OIOI (pronounced “Marui”) department stores (depato in Japanese). The main east-west route at this intersection is Rt. 465. If you head west down Rt. 465, you’ll come to the fabulous Edo-Tokyo Museum, and the Hokusai Museum, both of which are located in the Ryogoku area, which also has a huge Sumo stadium.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

TERMINA

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

PARCO

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

OIOI (Marui) across the street from the JR Kinshicho Station.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

TERMINA also has a nice food court basement called FOOD GARDEN.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

In the basement of the PARCO is a SEIYU discount grocery store. There’s also a Metro subway entrance here. SEIYU has some great midnight grocery sales where you can find food cheap.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

This box of butter cookies is only around $.80 cents.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

In the basement of OIOI is this great Japan Meat which also has midnight sales.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just down the street is the Veggie House restaurant.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just to the south of the main area.

Japan Post Office

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Also in the PARCO bldg. is a very nice Japan Post office.

Courtesy Totally Drew

Tokyo Sky Tree visible from Kinshicho streets.

Kinshi Park + OLINAS Core

On the northeast part of the town is a large park called Kinshi Park, which is popular with families. The park features a spectacular view of Tokyo Sky Tree. Just to the north of the park is a large mixed-use center called OLINAS Core. There is also a free parking lot at OLINAS Core but only if you purchase over 15,00¥ worth of merch from any single shop. Interesting shops include a YAMADA Denki (electronics), a Seria 100¥ shop, a NITORI furniture shop, a Taito Game Station, and a TOHO Cinema. There is also a large baseball field, tennis courts, and gymnasium.

Kinshi Park. OLINAS Core is the glass bldg. shown here on the north end. Tokyo Sky Tree is about a mile to the north.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Kinshi Park looking south. OLINAS Core is on the left, out of view. The station is straight ahead.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Kinshicho Station on the Hanzomon Line. Also note the Yamato Transport office with the yellow-green sign on the right. The tall bldg. is the LOTTE City Hotel, which has spectacular views of Tokyo Sky Tree.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

OLINAS Core

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Inside OLINAS Core

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Also inside OLINAS Core is a Baskin Robbins (which is known in Japan simply as 31), featuring the one-of-a-kind Pikachu Thunderbolt Fruit Mix ice cream.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

As a footnote, diagonally opposite Kinshi Park is a very nice multi-level Doutour coffee shop which has a variety of quick decent food cheap.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Doutour lettuce hotdog + coffee: less than $5.

ArcaK!T + Park

To the northwest of the station is another shopping complex called ArcaK!T which has a multitude of shops + cafés as well as a very nice organic Life Grocery. There’s also a small concrete park here.

Food

There is plenty of food around Kinshicho. All the depatos have multiple floors of great restaurants, cafés, steak and noodle places – just about aything you want. Lots of great grocery stores too.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Another Doutour – in the basement of the PARCO.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Just to the left of JR Kinshicho Station is Café Le Monde. Just to the left of the café is a long shopping street.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Most of the department stores have fabulous food basements (deepchika) where you can get all kinds of specialty foods, snacks, desserts, and gifts.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Butter Pancake @ PARCO

In the PARCO department store is a nice pancake shop called simply Butter which serves stacks of a dozen pancakes with fruit, whipped cream, and other goodies:

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Crazy stacks of a dozen pancakes with fruit, butter, syrup, whipped cream, ice cream @ Butter in PARCO. Get ready to walk that 15 miles to walk it off.

Rakeru @ OIOI Kinshicho

Also in the OIOI bldg. is Rakeru. While not particularly high-end, this quaint western-style restaurant serves a variety of pancake plates with fruit, ice cream, whipped cream, and other toppings. Prices range from $6-$18. Not a bad little shop. There are loads of other nice restaurants on this floor also.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com
©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

Thai Restaurant Keawjai

Thai Restaurant Keawjai

About 2 blocks west of the town center on Rt. 465 is the really awesome Thai Restaurant Keawjai. It’s right down from the corner around 35°41’45.61″ N 139°48’42.56″ E. Head west on 465 then turn north (right) up a side street. It’s on the left. It’s 1 block south of the ArcaK!T complex. From the street you will have a clear view of Tokyo Sky Tree to the north.

There is also a nice AEON supermarket in Kinshicho not too far away.

East to Kameido

If you head east down Rt. 465 and cross the Jokojikken River at the Matsushiro Bridge, you’ll come to Kinshicho‘s sister city Kameido. We have another post on Kameido. It’s a smaller town and there’s not as much to do, but it’s less than a mile from Kinshicho so if you have time it’s worth a short hike. There is a station there but it’s only served by the Tobu Kameido Line and Chūō-Sōbu Line. There is no Metro stop. The 3 biggest features of Kameido are the atré shopping plaza, the huge Don Quijote 100¥ shop, and huge Mister Donut right across from each other.

Heading west on Rt. 465. Kameido is just ahead.

©2019-2020 tenmintokyo.com

On the way you’ll pass numerous apartment buildings, and pass through this tunnel. This photo is facing back west towards Kinshicho.

Harley Davidson Kameido

On the way you’ll also pass a very nice Harley dealer.

That’s it for now. Enjoy Kinshicho!

LINKS

https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinshich%C5%8D_Station

https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/kinshicho/index.html

https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/line_hanzomon/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobu_Kameido_Line

https://www.japanvisitor.com/tokyo/tokyo-area-guides/kinshicho

https://tokyocheapo.com/locations/east-tokyo/kinshicho/

https://kinshicho.parco.jp/en/

https://www.termina.info.e.zi.hp.transer.com/

https://www.olinas.jp/english/

https://www.google.com/search?q=Kinshicho

http://rakeru.jp/

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/attractions/kinshi-park

https://www.31ice.co.jp/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/RestaurantsNear-g1066459-d7274865-oa120-Toho_Cinemas_Kinshicho_Rakutenchi-Sumida_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

https://www15.j-server.com/LUCSUMIDA/ns/tl.cgi/https%3a//www.city.sumida.lg.jp/?SLANG=ja&TLANG=en&XMODE=0&XCHARSET=utf-8&XJSID=0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kameido_Station

VIDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peLv9IKVpGM&feature=emb_logo