I love Tokyo Station. This is the epicenter of transportation for not just the city, but to connect to all parts of the country. However, it can be a daunting place and easy to get lost. At some point in your Japan journey you will find yourself at Tokyo Station, and probably in need of a break. Read on for the best spots to chill and take in the views of this Tokyo icon, epitomized in the classic Marunouchi Building.
The Marunouchi Building, a Historic Icon of the City
Built in 1914, the red brick facade of the Marunouchi building bridges the gap of East and West, old and new. This elegant, European-style building is situated amidst both towering glass skyscrapers and the more traditional Imperial Palace.
The building was bombed heavily, but restored over the years and designated an important cultural property of Japan in 2012. To really enjoy the architecture of the historic Tokyo Station building from the inside, be sure to exit through either the Marunouchi North or South exits. These ticket gates open out into the North and South domes of the building. Look up to see the beautiful restored plaster reliefs with sculptures of the animals of the Chinese zodiac.
In order to appreciate the exterior of the building and its location, exit through the Marunouchi South Exit and cross the street to the fashionable Kitte shopping center. On the roof of the Kitte building is a free rooftop garden with the best views of the Marunochi building, the network of train tracks, and the city beyond. See website.
Rest, Dine and Shop in Marunouchi Brick Square
For some respite within the bustle of Tokyo Station, head to Marunouchi Brick Square. Within a cluster of European red brick buildings is a lush, green garden complete with fountains and statues. Unlike many other sights in Japan, there are plenty of benches to stop and admire the serenity. With plenty of upscale restaurants and a Starbucks, this is also a great place for dining or caffeine. If you want a dose of culture, check out the Ichigokan Museum, located within the square. To feel like you are stepping back in time, have a drink or a meal at the classic Cafe 1894. Visit the official website here.
Lights and Delights Near Tokyo Station
Another great place to take a break is Wadakura Fountain Park, especially at night. This oasis is on the edge of the Kyoko Gaien National Garden, a short walk from Tokyo Station, and consists of an elaborate network of fountains and water features. It’s impressive at any time of day but gets even better at night when the water is illuminated with lights. Read more here.
After this much-needed break in the heart of the city, you’re probably hungry, and perhaps you’d like to do a little shopping. Make your way back to the station for First Street Tokyo Station, the next part of our Tokyo Station exploration.
This article was first published by Japan Journeys. Check Japan Journeys for deeper and unique insights into visiting Japan, including wellness, travel, cuisine and more. Follow on Instagram @japanjourneys.jp, and on Facebook at this link!