Tokyo station has served as the entrance of the capital since it was opened in 1914. Let's start the journey from the station building which have been restored to its original splendid appearance. Once you exit the ticket gate of Marunouchi North or South Gate, the beautiful dome will spread above you. Also, the pillar is remained from the old age on platform 5 and 6. There are many places to see like the stained glass at the entrance of Keiyo Line and the museum of Tokyo Station Gallery with the red bricked exhibition room. Inside the station, there are places where you can have various enjoyments such as gourmet foods, general goods and souvenir areas. It may be a good idea to have a meal before going on the stroll.
The Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building
Exit from the Marunouchi Central Gate in Tokyo Station, walk along Miyuki-dori Street and pass by the Wadakura Fountain Park on the right, you will get to the Palace Plaza. This plaza used to be the residences of the samurai who served the shogun (general). After going through the plaza, there will be gates such as the Main Gate, Sakuradamo Gate, Sakashitamon Gate and the Nijubashi which leads to the Palace. Keep going forward the Uchibori street toward the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace and through the Otemon Gate is the Hyakunin-bansho where the largest numbers of keepers inside the palace used to be. You could also see the site of the Oku, the inner palace of the Edo Castle and the Ninomaru Japanese garden.
After the walk at the Imperial Palace, let's stroll the refined Marunouchi Naka-dori Street which runs north-south through the business district. For shopping and meals, the JR Tower, Marunouchi Brick Square, Shin Marunouchi Building and the Marunouchi Building are recommended. There are artworks exhibited between the trees lining by the streets, and the illuminations in the autumn to winter is a must-see. Also, at the foot of the high-rise buildings, there are buildings which you can sense the history of Marunouchi such as DN Tower 21, Meiji Seimeikan and Tokyo Ginko Kyokai Building here and there. To go around Marunouchi area, the free Marunouchi shuttle is convenient.
When you go from Marunouchi Naka-dori Street toward Eitai-Dori Street over the Tokyo station and go along the Sotobori-dori Street, you will get to the Nihonbashi area. Nihonbashi is the heart of Japan where flourished as the center of commerce and culture. There are many buildings designated as an important cultural property, and you can feel the history while walking around.
The highlight is the double arch stone bridge called Nihonbashi which was built in 1911. Furthermore, there are the main building of Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi which was selected as the metropolitan historical building, the Bank of Japan which is the central bank where issues Japanese banknotes. The main building of the Bank of Japan was completed in 1896, and it has been designated to the Important cultural properties as the modern Western-style architecture.
Photo: Bank of Japan
If you walk from the Bank of Japan toward Yaesu Gate of Tokyo Station, you will arrive to Yaesu area. There are commercial facilities such as the long-established department store of Daimaru Tokyo, and the new attraction Gran Roof. Passing the Sotobori-dori Street, the entertainment district with nostalgic atmosphere shows its face, and at night, the izakaya (taverns) overflows with business men who works nearby. If you go underground from the Yaesu Gate of Tokyo Station, the underground shopping mall spread where about 180 store of restaurants, general goods and fashion stores gather, and Yaesu Shopping Mall. Strolling the Yaechika (underground of Yaesu) consisted of several streets are also fun.
Yaesu Shopping Mall
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.