Tokyo Station, Yaesu and Kyobashi, Tokyo
Tokyo Station's redevelopment is complete, and it makes for an impressive site.
I was in the area a few months ago for a meeting actually, but it is hard not to be impressed by the results of the redevelopment.
As many tourists to Japan will pass through Tokyo station at some point, the exterior is well worth checking out.
Tokyo Station is a historic building and a massive transportation hub in the center of Tokyo between the Imperial Palace grounds and the Ginza commercial district. It is said that 3000 trains a day pass through Tokyo Station, making it the busiest station in Tokyo. Trains that pass through Tokyo Station include the local Tokyo Metro, the regional Japan Railways trains, and the the long distance, high-speed Shinkansen bullet trains.
The historic western side of the station is a building constructed in 1914. It is said the station was severely destroyed by B-29 strikes on May 25 and June 25, 1945 near the end of WWII, but the station was quickly rebuild and operational.
The trains run above street level and well below ground level. There are two level of shops and restaurants between the train platforms. The ground level is completely open to the public and includes a number of shops and restaurants. Go down a level if you have a train ticket, and there are about 10 other restaurants plus a few stores in the main concourse area. From these interconnected tunnels you can access a number of buildings in the vicinity and even several nearby stations.
One of the largest stations in Tokyo and the hub for trains to other parts of Japan. There is a bell here that is a famous meeting place for Tokyoans.
This is the central station where you catch trains to other parts of Japan.
the tokyo station is busy area and is second only to the Shinjuku Station in terms of traffic volume but the station is the most grand in design of all the Japanese Train/Subway Stations. The Tokyo train station is located in the Marunouchi business district of Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace grounds and the Ginza commercial district. The main station facade on the western side of the station is brick-built and was fashioned after Amsterdam's main station. The main station consists of 10 platforms, serving 20 tracks, raised above street level running in a north-south direction. The main concourse runs east-west below the platforms. The Shinkansen lines are on the east side of the station, along with a multi-story Daimaru department store.
Underground are the two Sôbu / Yokosuka line platforms serving four tracks (five stories below ground level) to the west of the station; the two Keiyô line platforms serving four tracks are four stories below ground some hundreds of meters to the south of the main station with moving sidewalks to serve connecting passengers. The Keiyô line serves passengers going to Tokyo Disneyland and Makuhari Messe (see my separate Keiyo Line tips).
The whole complex is linked by an extensive system of underground passageways which merge with surrounding commercial buildings and shopping centres! but the best area for shopping in a train station is still at the Shinjuku JR Station!
The architecture of Tokyo station is based on several Dutch trainstationbuildings. Also the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has similarities with this station. Don't forget to watch the ceiling of the building (see 3rd picture)
Tokyo station was built in the Taisho Era (1912 - 1926) and in the style of Amsterdam Station, it also has a hotel and an art gallery.
There are 2 main exits. The Maronouchi Exit serves Maronouchi, a business district, while the Yaesuguchi Exit gets you onto Nihombashi, a shopping and financial area.
The Marunouchi District establish itself as an important commercial centre in the mid 1920's. It was one of the few areas that survived the 1923 earthquake.
Some of the first office blocks were put up by the Mitsubishi Company and with London's Lombard Street the model, the area became known as "London Town". Sadly "London Town" was pulled down in 1960. Tokyo Station was to go too, but protest saved it.
Today, banks and insurance companies occupy many of the buildings
The Bullet Train ("Shinkansen")
Tokyo Station is a big bullet train terminal. Trains shoot in and out with phenomenal punctuality, and frequency.
For a close up look, a platform ticket (a "niujyouken" pronounced "new-jaw-ken") can be bought from the Shinkansen Ticket Office. It costs only 130 yen and will allow you on the platform for up to 2 hours.
I had thought that in the homeland of Pokemon the Pokemon Center close to Tokyo Station would be a gigantic store. But it turned out to be only the size of an average mall store. I was hoping to find there unusual merchandise not available in the US, but most of it was dolls, beanies, notepads, nothing really original. Still it was fun to visit.
This building is a refreshing change from the modern highrise buildings that adorn the Tokyo skyline. It is the original facade of Tokyo Station (restored of course!) at the Maranouchi Exit. If you go to the other exit you will get a rather more boring looking station!
It is one of the most critical and crowded train station in the city. It architecture is copied from Amsterdem cetral station.
The Tokyo Station building is worth to see. It takes after Amsterdam Central Station in Netherlands.It is the biggest terminal in Japan.