Jun 19, 2016

A Day Out Indoors: How to Enjoy Tokyo Station

Tokyo's iconic train station eventually came out of its Sisyphean reform; reintroducing itself to the nation with befitting pomp and splendor. Whilst the glorious red-brick facade on the Marunouchi side takes the attention of camera lenses, it’s inside and underground that Tokyo Station comes into its own. Underneath the tracks and platforms lies a small city of shops, dining and entertainment options making Tokyo station a destination in its own right. Perfect for escaping rainy season damp, and stifling summer heat.  We look at some of the Tokyo Station highlights and how much they cost.

Kitte Marunouchi

Tokyo station's underground tentacles stretch out in search of other thrills in the area, and find them in a variety of forms. A particular highlight, and another reformed institution, is Kitte Marunouchi, a snazzy shopping center run by Japan Post (kitte means stamp). It links to Tokyo station via a short passageway and is home to the delightful Intermediatheque Museum, which houses an often ghoulish collection of unwanted items from the University of Tokyo's science labs and other departments.

Hours: Museum: 11:00 – 18:00 (until 20:00 on Thurs/Fri). Closed on Mondays.

Phone: +81 03-5777-8600

Hours: Kitte Marunouchi, 10:00 – 23:00 (varies depending on store)

Phone: 03-3216-2811

Address: JP Tower/KITTE, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Web: http://www.intermediatheque.jp/en

Web: http://jptower-kitte.jp/en/

Budget: KITTE - pricey / Intermediatheque Museum - free

Tokyo Station Hotel

Make a night of it in this storied institution, which over the years has accommodated Nobel Laureates and celebrated writers. The hotel was reformed along with Tokyo Station's red-brick facade and houses some of the most sought after rooms in the city. Expect prices to reflect this! If a night's stay is beyond your budget, you can always enjoy the hotel's establishment ambiance with a drink in its famous Bar Oak.

Hours: Bar Oak 17:00 – 24:00

Phone: +81 03-5220-111

Hotel: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005

Phone: 03-5220-111

Web: http://www.thetokyostationhotel.jp/ 

Budget: hotel rooms from around 40,000 yen / suits over 200,000 yen

Bar Oak - cocktails from 1,150 yen / draught beer 950 yen / whiskey shot from 1,250 yen

Eat on Ramen Street

The Japanese obsession with these steaming hot bowls of noodles and soup is celebrated in endearing style with this collection of small (aren't they always) ramen shops, bought together from differing regions of Japan. There are eight shops in all, all of which are popular. It's Rokurinsha though, that seems to pull in the most diners, drawn to its tsukemen-style serving of thick noodles and dipping sauce.

Address: First Avenue Tokyo Station, Yaesu South Exit, B1F, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 03-3210-077

Web: http://www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp/street/ramen

Budget: Basic bowls of ramen from 800 yen

Novelty Snacks from Tokyo Okashi Land

Japanese snack enthusiasts will have a hard time remaining calm in Tokyo Okashi Land. Here, the nation's 'big three' snack makers, Calbee, Morinaga, and Glico have put aside their rivalries in a celebration of some of their most prized snacks, with limited edition flavors and hilariously oversized versions of their classics. Calbee also has a kitchen on-site making fresh potato chips covered in your choice of chocolate or cheese sauce!

Address: First Avenue Tokyo Station, Yaesu South Exit, B1F, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Hours: 9:00 – 21:00

Phone: 03-3210-0077

Web: http://www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp/street/okashi

Budget: Calbee potato chips in soft cream and chocolate sauce 460 yen

Discover Your Inner Geek on Character Street

Located on First Avenue, Tokyo Character Street is lined with 14 stores each one specializing in popular TV characters and TV studio mascots. Enthusiasts could spend a whole day here pouring over pop-culture treats, including figure from such classics as Dragon Ball, ONE PIECE and one of the best collections of Hello Kitty anywhere in the city. For those with a more casual interest in such things, Tokyo Character Street is an easier alternative to Akihabara.

Hours: 10:00 – 20:30

Address: First Avenue Tokyo Station, Yaesu South Exit, B1F, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 03-3210-0077

Web: http://www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp/street/character

Budget: Caters to cheapos and those on a spending spree

A View To A … Train Station

A more affordable, but no less fine end to a day at Tokyo Station would be to head across the road to the Shin Marunouchi Building. On the 7th floor you'll find Marunouchi House, a stylish yet unpretentious ensemble of bars and restaurants ranging from Italian and Japanese, all the way to Pacific island paradise. It's the outdoor terrace, however, that steals the show. It's open to all patrons and, at night particularly, has a jaw-dropping view over Tokyo Station.

Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00 – 16:00, Sun & hols 11:00 -23:00.

Address: 7F Shin Marunouchi Building, 1-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 03-5218-5100

Web: http://www.marunouchi-house.com/

Budget: beers 700 yen /wines 600 yen / lunches from 1,200 yen / dinner from 1,500 yen

How would you chose to enjoy Tokyo Station?

Twitter: City_Cost_Japan


Images (cropped)

Top - Manish Prabhune Flickr License 

2nd from top - hirotomo t Flickr License 

3rd from top - IQRemix Flickr License 

Bottom - hslo Flickr License 



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