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Mike Reddy is a tour leader for InsideJapan – but when he’s not leading our customers around Japan, he’s a photographer extraordinaire seeking out new ways of seeing his hometown: Tokyo. Here, he takes us on a photographic journey through Tokyo Station.
At just over 100 years old, Tokyo Station is one of the busiest stations in Japan. Tokyo is the first stop for several bullet train lines and a dozen local lines, so you’ll most likely be here at some point in your trip if you’re leaving Tokyo.
Like most of Tokyo, Tokyo station was largely destroyed during World War II. However, it was restored within the past decade, allowing you to see a nice blend of Japan past and present. Join me as I go on a walk in the nearby area and see what you can do around Tokyo Station if you have some time to spare.
Here we are just outside the Marunouchi Exit. One of my favourite things about living in Japan is the mix of old and new. Off in the distance you can see the modern skyscrapers that intertwine with the old exterior of the station.
The dome roof was part of what made this station unique in the past. In the original reconstructions, the dome roof was replaced with an angled roof, though as of recently it was completed to bring it back to its former glory.
As you can see, I had surprisingly nice weather for winter. Tokyo in general gets very little snow (about one day a year) so bundling up, heading out and enjoying the crisp, cold air makes for a nice day of getting out from under the kotatsu (Japanese heated tables – read more here) and into the city.
Heading into the nearby Kitte building, filled with dozens of shops and restaurants. Absolutely gorgeous designs throughout.
Which restaurant tickles your fancy? Most restaurants will have some plastic models of food outside of the restaurant, but did you know some of those moulds of even just a mug of beer cost around 6,000 yen ($60/£50)?
After checking out several of the shops, I set off for the roof terrace. You can get some lovely views of the Marunouchi exit and the train tracks from above.
In the warmer seasons, you could even enjoy a nice beer or cocktail when the shop outside is open.
Just make sure you follow all the rules!
Moving onto the Tokyo International Forum now. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, the Tokyo International Forum opened in 1997 and was designed in the shape of a boat. Though it’s mostly used for certain exhibitions and meeting halls, entrance is free for all. Use the elevators to get to the walkways on the higher floors and snap pictures to your heart’s content.
As you enter the building, one of the first things you’ll see is a statue of Ota Dokan, the architect of the Tokyo Imperial Palace, as well as a samurai, poet, and Buddhist monk – quite the list of accomplishments.
I’ll leave you here for now. Until the next photo walk!
Hopefully this leaves you with a few ideas of what you can get up to in the Tokyo Station area! If you’re planning a trip to Japan, we can design a custom-made itinerary just for you. Click here to get in touch with one of our travel consultants today.