Tokyo Station is a large red brick building at the heart of the city and the city’s primary gateway to the best tourist attractions in Tokyo. The architectural masterpiece and transportation hub is where many international tourists start their journey in Japan and where thousands of people commute to work or school every day. It is also the very center of major public transport lines such as JR trains, buses and subways that takes us everywhere in Tokyo as well as all over Japan. Not just a train station, Tokyo station itself can be an attractive tourist destination with a number of interesting spots around. Spending hours, or even a whole day near Tokyo Station will enable you to get to know the transportation hub as well as the surrounding area – a beautiful area of Tokyo with its vast green surroundings that are especially lovely in the spring and autumn. Here is our list of 10 best things to do near Tokyo station!
1. Tokyo Station Gallery
Tokyo Station Gallery is a small, cozy art museum which offers a great opportunity for everyone to appreciate impressive art works and paintings in Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building, just outside of the North Exit. The gallery has a range of intriguing temporary exhibitions that regularly change, often focused on modern art. As you walk down the spiral stairs, you can take a close look at the old bricks used for the walls of the original Tokyo Station. At the museum shop, you can find a wide range of items and merchandise such as lovely mugs with the original logo on it.
Tokyo Station Gallery
10am – 6pm (※Closed on Monday)
Admission varies depending on the exhibition
KITTE is a giant shopping complex near Tokyo station located on the former site of the Tokyo Central Post Office. It is conveniently connected to Tokyo Station, Marunouchi line. It is also about a 1min walk from the Marunouchi South Gate of Tokyo Station, making it a perfect shopping spot even on rainy days. It comprises 7 floors filled with dining spots, fashion boutiques, souvenir shops and much more. Some shops specialize in dealing with local specialties and great products carefully selected from around Japan. Visiting these shops will enable you to discover incredible local specialties without traveling to the actual place. In the first basement, you can find Tokyo City i, a helpful information center offering a range of information for international tourists in multiple languages!
3. Yaesu Shopping Mall
If you want an exciting shopping experience around Tokyo Station, head to Yaesu shopping mall which is also directly connected to the station! This underground shopping hub is home to approximately 160 shops, including 60 restaurants and cafes, clothing stores, stylish boutiques, and much more. A range of helpful services such as foreign currency exchange and coin lockers are also available, which makes it attractive for (international) tourists to shop around the massive shopping mall.
4. Tokyo Ramen Street
Tokyo Station is home to a number of great dining spots, including fancy restaurants and casual cafes. Tokyo Ramen Street is literally a heaven for ramen lovers. Here you can find 8 renowned ramen shops that all offer incredible ramen experiences for everyone. Try Shoyu Chuka Soba at Chiyogami for a more a traditional ramen taste created by soy-based brown broth along with flavorful toppings. Oreshiki Jun is a perfect choice for those who want a thick pork-bone ramen. Soranoiro Nippon serves a healthy veggie ramen featuring a variety of seasonal vegetables for the noodles, broth and the toppings. Vegan and gluten-free menu is also available.
5. Imperial Palace
If you want to visit somewhere not only historic but refreshing, head to Tokyo Imperial Palace! The beautiful palace is a popular tourist attraction which has been formally used as an official residence of Japan’s imperial family since the late 19th century. Although the inner grounds of the palace are not open to the public, you can enjoy taking a refreshing stroll in the outer gardens, including the East Garden. Nijubashi Bridge is an iconic stone bridge serving as an entrance to the inner palace. You can also join the free Imperial Palace tour held daily, to enter and explore the inner grounds with professional guides.
6. Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum
If you are an art lover and interested in Japanese art, Mitsubishi Ichibankan Museum is definitely a must-visit! From JR Tokyo Station it is about a 5min walk to reach the stunning museum which has attracted numerous visitors since its opening in 2010. The red brick building is a reconstruction of the first western-style structure in the Marunouchi area originally founded and owned by Mitsubishi in 1894, when is housed a bank. The museum collection mainly includes Western artworks from the late 19th century and it holds special exhibitions throughout the year. The museum also features a nice English-style garden, where you can enjoy some refreshments. The Café 1894 is a popular place for lunch and dinner among the Japanese.
Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum
10am – 6pm (※closed on Mondays)
Admission varies depending on the exhibition
7. Marunouchi Brick Square
Marunouchi Brick Square is a popular shopping complex which opened in 2009. It can be found right next to the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, and offers an exciting shopping experience with about 40 luxury shops including famous fashion brands, great restaurants and cozy cafes. It also boasts a peaceful courtyard featuring a range of seasonal colorful flowers, a lovely fountain and benches, making it an oasis full of lush greenery in the heart of the metropolitan city. A visit to Marunouchi Brick Square can be easily combined with a visit to Tokyo Imperial Palace which is located within walking distance. The area here is a great spot to visit with a cup of coffee for a walk after enjoying lunch at the incredible restaurants!
Marunouchi Brick Square
Weekdays & Saturdays 11am – 9pm
Sundays & holidays 11am – 8pm
Weekdays & Saturdays 11am – 11pm
Sundays & holidays 11am – 10pm
8. Wadakura Fountain Park
Wadakura Fountain Park is a peaceful and lovely park north of the East Park of Tokyo Imperial Palace. It was originally built in 1961 to celebrate the royal wedding of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. In spite of the relatively small size, it is a pleasant oasis to get away from the busy city for a moment. The park is easily accessible from Tokyo Station and you will pass it on your way to Tokyo Imperial Palace. One of the highlights in the park are the various fountains exhibiting a range of water patterns which change continuously and offer an attractive view along with beautiful flowers all year round. The park is accessible 24 hrs and offers wonderful photo opps for photographers at night. The city flickering of the lights and the peaceful park are extra scenic and romantic at night.
Wadakura Fountain Park
Open 24 hours
9. National Museum of Modern Art
National Museum of Modern Art is one of the most famous art museums in Tokyo, also known by the English acronym MOMAT. The museum opened in 1952 as Japan’s first national art museum. It is located in Kitanomaru Garden, the northern part of the outer gardens of Tokyo Imperial Palace. The museum has a great collection of impressive art works and masterpieces by both modern Japanese and overseas artists from the early 20th century to the present day. Even if you are not an art-lover, this museum is still worth visiting. At the ‘room with a view’ you can enjoy some beautiful views of the Imperial Palace Gardens or enjoy a coffee at one of the restaurants/cafes. While the museum is actually closer to Takebashi Station, a walk from Tokyo Station will take you through several (historic) sights on your way like the Wadakura Fountain Park. The area is also known as one of the best places to watch the beautiful cherry blossom in spring. The nearby Chidorigafuchi Moat, where you can rent the iconic swan boats, is one of the best places to watch sakura in Tokyo.
National Museum of Modern Art
10am – 5pm (until 8pm on Friday and Saturday) (※closed on Mondays)
Admission fee ¥500 (adult), free admission for those under age 18
10. Nihonbashi Area
Our final destination is Nihonbashi, a popular tourist attraction full of exciting experiences for everyone. While it is often described as an urbanized business and shopping center in guide books, this is actually where the traditional and modern Japan co-exist in harmony. Next to the modern highrise you can find traditional Japanese shops selling goods like knives and traditional sweets since hundreds of years! Nihonbashi Bridge is a symbolic structure which was completed in the Edo Period (1603- 1868) as the starting point of Japan’s five major roads that connected the entire country. Board a cruise tour from Nihonbashi Pier, or try a great number of dining options, including traditional Japanese restaurants serving sushi or fresh eel dishes. Head to Coredo Muromachi, a shopping and entertainment hub where you can enjoy tax-free shopping and get traditional Japanese experiences such as kimono wearing class!
Most of the tourist attractions above can be found within walking distance, or even directly connected to Tokyo Station. Each of them are great places to spend an enjoyable time while you are waiting for trains, or wandering around the station. Can you easily spend a couple of hours in the area around Tokyo Station, there are many things to see and do and the contrasting scenery formed by modern highrise and the old buildings is a fascinating sight. The green scenery is also a good place to watch cherry blossom in spring or the autumn foliage in autumn. We hope you will enjoy these must visit places at the heart of Tokyo!
Japan Wonder Travel Tours
Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency offering guided tours in Japan.
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we will organize the best tours for you! If you want to explore Japan to learn more histories and backstories of the area, our knowledgeable and friendly guide will happily take you to the best spots!
Also, we can provide you with any assistance for your upcoming trip in Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions/need some help!
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Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo to try some local’s favorite street foods and sake with a friendly guide!
▶Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore the area than being with a knowledgeable guide. You can learn the history and background story of the town, and discover some hidden gems which can be difficult to find otherwise.
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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with travelling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.
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