Spot in Central Tokyo

Tokyo Station [東京駅]

Tokyo station, Marunouchi side
Tokyo station, Marunouchi side

Tokyo station, Yaesu side
Tokyo station, Yaesu side

Tokyo Station is the central station in Tokyo, not only that, it is the center of all JR lines in Japan.

The starting station of all Shinkansen is here.
And many other lines start from here or pass through here.

It is crowded with tens of thousands of commuters in the morning and in the evening, additionally many businessmen, shoppers, and tourists visit here all through the day.

The first railway in Japan was opened between Shinbashi (2 km south of Tokyo station) and Yokohama in 1872.
And the railway to the north was opened in 1883 and the terminal station was Ueno (4 km north of Tokyo station).

Meiji government was decided to build a connecting line between Shinbashi and Ueno, then new central station was placed at the middle point.
It was current Tokyo station.

Dome of Tokyo station
Dome of Tokyo station

Tokyo station in the evening
Tokyo station in the evening

The location is near Imperial Palace (Kôkyo).
So, the main Western-style building was built so as to face each other in 1914.

The original building was destroyed in air raid in 1945, but current building was rebuilt in 1947.

Since 1960s, rebuilding new station had been discussed.
But, the red brick building was designated as a national important cultural property in 2003.
Then, the building was repaired and restored to the original style from 2007 to 2012.

Tokyo Station City

Structure of the station

A ticket office in Tokyo station
A ticket office in Tokyo station

Concourse of Tokyo station
Concourse of Tokyo station

The ticket offices and gates are on the west side and east side.

Most platforms are on the second floor.
Passengers go up to the platforms using escalator or stairs.
Only the platforms of Yokosuka-Sobu Line and Keiyo Line are under the ground.

On the first floor, there are many Ekiben (lunch box) shops and souvenir shops.

Platform of Tokaido Line in Tokyo station
Platform of Tokaido Line

Platform of Tokaido Shinkansen in Tokyo station
Platform of Tokaido Shinkansen

Tokyo station has the most platforms in Japan.
Long trains arrive at and depart from the platforms constantly.

The track numbers of the platform are the following.

1, 2 Chuo Line (for Shinjuku, Hachioji, Takao)
3 Keihin-Tohoku Line (for Akihabara, Ueno, Omiya)
4 Yamanote Line (for Akihabara, Ueno, Ikebukuro)
5 Yamanote Line (for Shinbashi, Shinagawa, Shibuya)
6 Keihin-Tohoku Line (for Shinbashi, Shinagawa, Yokohama)
7, 8 Utsunomiya-Takasaki Line (for Ueno, Omiya, Utsunomiya, Takasaki)
9, 10 Tokaido Line (for Yokohama, Odawara, Atami)

14 to 19 : Tokaido Shinkansen (for Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Hakata)
20 to 23 : Tohoku, Joestu, Hokuriku, Yamagata, Akita & Hokkaido Shinkansen (for Sendai, Niigata, Nagano, Kanazawa, Hakodate)

Sobu Underground Platforms
1, 2 Yokosuka Line (for Yokohama, Kamakura)
3, 4 Sobu Line (for Chiba, Narita Airport)

Keiyo Underground Platforms
1 to 4 Keiyo Line (for Maihama {Tokyo Disneyland}, Chiba)

Marunouchi side of the station

Buildings in Marunouchi
Buildings in Marunouchi

Buildings in Marunouchi in the evening
Buildings in Marunouchi in the evening

Marunouchi (丸の内) is the district on the western area of Tokyo station.

The red brick station building is on this side.

There is the moat of Imperial Palace about 400 meters west of Tokyo station, and Marunouchi is the area between the station and Imperial Palace.

This area has many tall buildings of big companies and a business district is formed.
The north end of the district is Otemachi (大手町) and the south end is Hibiya (日比谷), and the distance from north to south is about 1 km.

Some buildings has various shops, restaurants and cafes.
When you visit Imperial Palace from Tokyo station, it is an idea to stop by this district.

Yaesu side of the station

First Avenue Tokyo Station
First Avenue Tokyo Station

A street of underground mall
A street of underground mall

Yaesu (八重洲) is the district on the eastern area of Tokyo station.

There are Nihonbashi (日本橋) area about 300 meters east and Ginza (銀座) area about 700 meters south of Yaesu.

In the basement of Yaesu side of Tokyo station, there is an underground mall First Avenue Tokyo Station (東京駅一番街, "Tôkyô-eki Ichibangai" in Japanese).

It has about 100 shops and restaurants.
But there are unique Tokyo Character Street and Tokyo Ramen Street.

The former has about 30 shops with popular Japanese mascot characters such as Hello Kitty, Ultraman, Pokemon, etc.

The latter has some popular ramen restaurants.

First Avenue Tokyo Station

There is also an underground mall Yaesu Shopping Mall (八重洲地下街, "Yaesu Chikagai" in Japanese).

It is wider than First Avenue Tokyo Station and there are many shops within about 200 meters under main roads.
And it is connected with First Avenue Tokyo Station.

Yaesu Shopping Mall

Express bus terminal is on the Yaesu side.
There is Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu in the basement of a commercial complex Tokyo Midtown Yaesu near Tokyo station, and it is one of main bus terminals in Tokyo.

Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu Tokyo Midtown Yaesu

How to get here

From Narita Airport

  • By JR limited express "Narita Express", about 1 hour.
  • By JR rapid train, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • By Express bus "Airport Limousine", about 1 hour and 20-50 minutes.

From Haneda Airport

  • By Tokyo Monorail, about 20 to 23 minutes to Hamamatsucho station of JR Yamanote Line.
    Then, about 6 minutes by Yamanote Line.
  • By Keikyu Railway Line, about 19 minutes to Shinagawa station by the limited express.
    Then, about 11 minutes by Yamanote Line.
  • By Express bus "Airport Limousine", about 1 hour.

By Shinkansen

  • By Tokaido-Shinkansen, about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Shin-Osaka, 2 hours and 25 minutes from Kyoto, and 1 hours 45 minutes from Nagoya.
  • By Tohoku-Shinkansen, about 1 hours and 50 minutes from Sendai, 2 hours and 30 minutes from Morioka.

Other Tourist Attractions in Tokyo Metropolis (Special Wards)

Imperial Palace (Kôkyo) Hibiya Park National Diet Building National Theater Nihonbashi Ginza Kabuki-za theater Art Aquarium Tokyo Samurai Kembu Tsukishima Tsukiji Market Nippon Budokan arena Yasukuni Shrine Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery

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