5 of the Best Shopping and Sightseeing Spots Near Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station, a busy transport hub that is frequently used by many people, is actually surrounded by many easily accessible shopping and sightseeing attractions. Here are some of the most recommended spots that can be reached on foot from Tokyo Station.
1. Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum
A 5-minute walk from Tokyo Station's Marunouchi South Exit, this art museum is located within Mitsubishi Ichigokan, a reconstruction of the original structure which was built in 1894 as a symbol of Japan's modernization. It does not have a permanent exhibition, instead housing three different temporary exhibitions every year, all surrounding the theme of modern art from the latter half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. The admission fee differs depending on the exhibition. Café 1894 has a splendid retro atmosphere and recreates the original banking department at the time of the building's completion. The interior design, replicated as faithfully as possible, is worth seeing. It is recommended to visit it not just for lunch or dinner, but also when you're looking for a quick meal or drink.
Located within a minute's walk from Tokyo Station's Marunouchi South Exit, KITTE is a commercial facility managed by Japan Post Holdings. It takes its name from the Japanese word for the postage stamps affixed on letters and used as proof of postage payment. The building is known for its interior design, which was thought up of by Kuma Kengo, the architect in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Stadium project. It houses many shops and restaurants, and its 3rd floor is dedicated to Intermediatheque, a museum that showcases the private collection of Japan's highest educational institution, Tokyo University. Despite having no entrance fees, the exhibition exceeds all expectations, and its unique display methods are worth seeing.
3. Marunouchi Bldg. & Shin-Marunouchi Bldg.
If you walk 2 minutes from Tokyo Station's Marunouchi Central Exit, you will find Marunouchi Bldg. to your left and Shin-Marunouchi Bldg. to your right, past the road. Both of these buildings are multi-purpose facilities, with shopping and eating areas on the lower floors and offices on the upper floors. It is possible to reach the buildings from an underground passage, but it is easier to find them when outside at ground level. Don't miss the view of the red brick building of Tokyo Station from the open area on the 7th floor of Shin-Marunouchi Bldg. You can just admire the view, or buy take out from an eatery on the 7th floor and eat at the terrace.
4. The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
A 13-minute walk from Tokyo Station, the Imperial Palace is the Emperor's residence and cannot be accessed freely. Only one part, The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, is accessible to the public (closed on Monday and Friday, opening days can differ on New Year's Holidays and other occasions). The ruins of the old Edo Castle are preserved in this historical park, which is situated in the middle of the city and blooms throughout the year with more than 70 varieties of flowers. With a numbered ticket that is distributed in front of the Kikyo-mon Gate, it is possible to visit the Imperial Palace with a guide for free (some form of ID must be shown upon entry). It is recommended to reserve in advance so that you can definitely join the guided tour!
5. First Avenue Tokyo Station
This is an underground shopping area that can be reached within a minute's walk... not from the station, but from the ticket gate! In this area, you can find Tokyo Ramen Street, a place where popular ramen restaurants gather; Nippon Gourmet Road, where visitors can eat delicious dishes from all over Japan; and Tokyo Character Street, an area with many shops that sell popular anime and character goods. In addition, there's also Tokyo Okashi Land, a zone themed around snacks and sweets, and TOKYOMe+, a souvenir shop. It's an area within Tokyo Station that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways! First Avenue is especially recommended to people that want to use their time inside the train station effectively.
If you are going to Tokyo Station, it would be a pity to only pass through it! This article showcased a couple of must-see areas that can be visited in a short time. Keep this article in mind the next time you visit Tokyo Station!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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