Here's your essential list of things to do around Tokyo Station to enjoy the best of what this area has to offer. You can start by having breakfast around the station, and after some sightseeing, it'll be time for lunch. Here are some suggestions you're bound to love on how to enjoy Tokyo Station.
There's a Japanese website called 'AirKitchen' which is essentially the Airbnb of cooking classes. The site lets you book an authentic cooking class with a local Tokyoite right in their home! They happen to have some great cooking classes in the Marunouchi area (just around Tokyo Station). For anyone who really wants to take a deep dive into Japanese culture, this is as cool as it gets.
You can start your day by getting a healthy breakfast at the Tokyo Station. If you want something cheap and good, we would recommend a traditional Japanese breakfast at Yaesu Hatsufuji (やえす初藤). You can get a filling breakfast set that comes with a main dish of eggs, grilled salmon or natto, accompanied by a bowl of rice, miso soup, nori (seaweed), and vegetables. All that for just ¥500 to ¥600.
If you have more of a sweet tooth in the morning then you might want to try Kajitsuen (果実園), which specializes in pancakes, waffles, and crepes served with a mountain of fresh fruits. See the link below for full details of these two restaurants and other breakfast options at Tokyo Station.
Day or night, this is a beautiful vast street that serves as a passage to get to the outer garden of the Imperial Palace. Admire the architecture of the Tokyo Station, one of the oldest in Japan, and the greenery of that historical site before heading to the Imperial Palace's Park. You can access it directly by the Central Exit of the JR Tokyo Station.
Visit the Park Surrounding The Imperial Palace
Visiting the Kokyo Gaien (皇居外苑) is a must when you are near Tokyo Station. The park is vast and exemplifies in many ways refined Japanese aesthetics. Every pine tree you will see is carefully trimmed in a natural yet controlled balanced form. The spacing between the trees the beautiful moat that surrounds the castle, and the bridges over it, you will be struck by the peaceful beauty of the site. Don't expect to get near the Imperial Palace, however, it's situated on its own island surrounded by the canal. The Imperial family lives very reclusively and the Emperor will only address people directly from his residence during his New Year's annual message.
Eat Some Of The City's Best Ramen
Tokyo Station with its high concentration of offices is populated with busy "salaryman" and women who love to have their ramen after a long day at work! For that reason, the area is a ramen hot spot so don't miss out! We recommend a place called "Tokyo Ramen Street" (東京ラーメンストリート) within the Tokyo Station. It is an amalgamation of some of the very popular ramen joints that have locations all over Tokyo. The picture above is the "tsukemen" (dipping noodles) served at Rokurinsya (六厘舎) in Ramen Street. Rokurinsya is perhaps the most popular restaurant on that famous street.
For a guide of some great ramen places in and around Tokyo Station, please check out the link below.
The Maru Building is a very popular and iconic shopping center near the Tokyo Station. It's an excellent place to find an "eki bento" (bento lunch boxes meant to be eaten on the train while you travel). It has a variety of good restaurants and boutiques as well, so if you like shopping, it's easy to spend a good amount of time there. To find it, exit through the South Exit of the Tokyo Station and you should see the building from there.
Visit The Marunouchi Brick Square (丸の内ブリックスクエア)
This interesting brick paved area is located a 5-minute walk from the Marunouchi South Exit of the station. You'll find various boutiques and restaurants serving traditional Japanese, Chinese, Italian and French cuisine.
This is a fine art museum with changing collections of great artists from around the world. The interior is beautiful with its authentic wooden floors dating back to 1894, the year it was constructed. The Museum is open from 10 AM to 6 PM (opened until 9 PM on Friday and closed on Monday). Bring your passport and you will get a discount on your entrance fee. There is also a garden within on its premises and has many cafes and restaurants so it's a good place to relax. Located at a 5-minute walk from the Marunouchi South Exit.
For lovers of architecture, the Meiji Seimeikan might be a building worth having a look at. Designated an important cultural property by the Japanese government, it's one of the first major constructions of modern Japan that was designed entirely by Japanese architects with the influence of western architecture. You can have a look inside on weekends from 11:00 to 17:00, and on Wednesday through Friday from 16:30 to 19:30.
Location: 2-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo
Ozao is another well-known shopping center near Tokyo station. It has seven floors in total, and four of them are occupied by Maruzen, the biggest bookshop in the area. So if you like books, this is a must go. Oazo has a good many restaurants and cafes as well.
Location: 1-6-4 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo
Get An Ekiben
Tokyo Station is one of the major Shinkansen hubs in the country. Chances are you'll be leaving from it if you are traveling by the ultra-fast train Japan is famous for. For the Japanese, one must-do activity when riding a Shinkansen is to eat a bento lunch box called "ekiben". Naturally, because of the important train traffic, Tokyo Station is a paradise for this very special kind of bento. In the station, there is a famous store called Ekiben Matsuri. This is an excellent place to grab and a nice bento box for your trip! Check out the link below for more information!