Tokyo Station’s 100-year history
Tokyo Station is a terminal whose history represents Japan. Not just for the tourists who are using it as the starting point for their travels, the station is also always bustling with people who are heading back to their hometowns and commuters going back to the suburbs. In particular, since the area around Tokyo Station is filled with office buildings, businessmen in their smart suits are all around on a regular basis.
The station, which has had a century’s worth of history since its opening in 1914, has a proper beauty as a terminal representing the country. Suffering war damage on its dome and upper parts, 60 years passed using a design that came from an urgent restoration that differed from the current situation, but when the Marunouchi area surrounding Tokyo Station underwent reconstruction, the citizens’ demands increased for a restoration of the station to its original appearance. That restoration was completed in 2012.
The classical Western-style architecture with red brick has been designated as a National Important Cultural Property. Not just the beauty of the exterior but also the arched ceiling at the Marunouchi North ticket gate is a highlight.
There are 30 platforms in the station which makes the station No. 1 in Japan in terms of scale. Also, the Ekinaka commercial facility inside the station has a complete lineup of food stores, souvenir shops, restaurants, general goods stores, bookstores and other establishments. Among them, the station box lunch (ekiben) shop Matsuri is quite interesting.
Selling ekiben that incorporates local specialties from every region in the country, it’s a Japanese custom to travel on the train while noshing on the lunch, and at this station, there are over 170 kinds of popular ekiben from all over Japan. It’s great to buy the lunch that you like and then get on the Bullet Train. Having a view outside the window while eating is an exceptional experience.
Try walking around Tokyo Station. Since the surrounding area is a business district, there are many office workers seen regularly. But in recent years, the number of commercial buildings has also grown where you can enjoy shopping and meals. At the restaurants on the 35th and 36th floors of the landmark Maru Biru, you can enjoy some sophisticated dining while looking down on the nightscape of the beautiful Tokyo Station. Besides Japanese cuisine, there are plenty of other styles such as French, Italian, Chinese and Asian. And the streets are also wonderfully decorated with lights during the Christmas season.
Tokyo Station is still evolving and it’s not just a starting point for a trip. Sightsee, walk, taste, enjoy and then take that trip. There is more than one way to enjoy the area.