What To Do Inside the Tokyo Station

What to do inside tokyo station

Exploring Tokyo Train Station: Surprisingly A Must-Visit Destination for Shops and Restaurants

During our visit to Tokyo, it began snowing and raining simultaneously. Fortunately, we were at Tokyo Station, the sheer size of the station amazed us, especially the lively underground shopping area featuring anime and manga stores, restaurants, and food stalls. There is even a Pokemon Center inside, perfect for picking up souvenirs. Let’s go! 

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Travel Tips
  • For flights, Skyscanner is excellent for comparing the best airline deals.
  • For accommodations, our family trusts Booking.com for reasonable prices.

Where to Stay in Tokyo: Less Crowded Area

Check-in: Hotel Yaenomidori Tokyo
  • Address: 2 Chome-13-1 Hatchobori, Chuo City, Tokyo 104- 0032, Japan
  • Phone: +81 3-6263-2020
  • Feb 4-6: 3 days 2 nights
  • Price 34,916 JPY or 231 USD (with breakfast)

After admiring the majestic Mt. Fuji in Kawaguchiko, it was time to venture into the vibrant city of Tokyo. Also, check out: How to get there: Kawaguchiko Station to Tokyo Station by Train

We chose the quiet side of Tokyo by deciding to stay in Chuo City and stumbled upon a charming hotel gem. 

Where to stay in Tokyo

Outstanding Breakfast 

What makes this hotel unique is its exceptional breakfast experience – a traditional Japanese seafood feast with a meal guide to enhance your taste journey. Despite its cozy room dimensions, the minimalist design maximized the space effectively. Conveniently located a brief stroll from Tokyo Station, it was perfect for indulging in diverse dining choices, shopping, and a visit to the nearby Pokémon Center.

What to do inside tokyo station

How to get there

First Avenue Tokyo Station
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100- 0005

First Avenue Tokyo Station can be found outside the ticket gates of JR Tokyo Station. It is easy to spot, so you shouldn't miss it. Just exit through any Yaesu gate from the Shinkansen or traditional lines.

5 Things to do Inside the Massive Tokyo Station

These are my favorites inside the Tokyo Station, it's a big station but it's nice walking around here as you get entertained with different Japanese Character shops, pastry kiosks and restaurants.

What to do inside tokyo station

Find a Coin Locker: Go Hands-free

If you're spending the entire day here and you have luggage, consider using a coin locker to lighten your load. This way, you can freely explore Tokyo Station without straining yourself. The station is massive, making it easy to lose track of time and spend the whole day there.

What to do inside tokyo station
Tokyo Station's First Avenue: A Center of Japanese Culture

1. Explore First Avenue Tokyo Station

You can explore anime and manga stores, restaurants, themed cafes, and food stalls here. This is an ideal spot to purchase souvenirs of all kinds of merchandise.

Inside First Avenue Tokyo Station, you can explore different areas:

  • Tokyo Character Street
Found on Basement 1
Offers boutiques specializing in popular Japanese characters.

  • Tokyo Ramen Street
Located on Basement 1
A hub for high-quality Tokyo ramen eateries.

  • Tokyo Okashi Land
Situated on Basement 1
Provides snacks and showcases sweets from top Japanese confectionery brands.

  • Tokyo Gourmet Zone
Found on Basement 1
Features a selection of renowned upscale restaurants.

  • Nippon Gourmet Road
Located on the second floor, near the Tokyo Station Yaesu North Exit
Offers bistros, bars, and beer stalls, creating a perfect hangout spot for drinks.

  • Tokyo Gift Palette
Located on the first floor, near Tokyo Station Yaesu North Exit
Offers unique dessert souvenirs, visually appealing desserts, and even a Starbucks. Easily recognizable by its beautiful pillars and elegant ceilings.

What to do inside tokyo station

2. Go Shopping: Visit Character Shops

I may not know all the famous anime characters, but a few stores caught my attention. 
The Ghibli store was filled with adorable items from Ghibli movies, featuring the beloved character Totoro. For Lego enthusiasts, there was a dedicated Lego store. The Kirby Cafe Petit stood out too, and I wanted to dine there, but it turned out to be a walk-in, grab-and-go spot without tables and chairs.

What to do inside tokyo station
Tomica Shop for car enthusiasts.

What to do inside tokyo station
The Shinchan store brought back childhood memories of watching the TV show with my brothers, evoking a sense of nostalgia. 

What to do inside tokyo station
Jump shop for anime cards and more.

What to do inside tokyo station
Additionally, there were stores offering a mix of merchandise, including bags, toys, and various Dragon Ball Z collectibles. 

What to do inside tokyo station
Dragon Ball Z Keychain

What to do inside tokyo station
Dragon Ball Z coin purse

What to do inside tokyo station
More Dragon Ball Z souvenirs! I grew up watching this Anime series with my brother, it's nostalgic to see this here in the motherland, makes me want to collect all 7 magic balls and bring my Mum back to Earth.

What to do inside tokyo station
Finally, the Pokemon Store was relatively quiet at first, but soon became bustling with fans rushing in – I mean who doesn’t love that cutesy Pikachu, right?!

What to do inside tokyo station

Survival Tip for Japan

Deciphering a Japanese menu can be as challenging as watching anime without subtitles, so having a translation tool ready can avoid any misunderstandings. We found Google Translate to be a real game-changer. It's incredibly useful at the train station when navigating restaurant menus, and even while shopping for groceries.

What to do inside tokyo station

3. For Lunch: Indulge in Authentic Ramen

What truly captivates me about Japan is the vibrancy they infuse into their cuisine, particularly with Ramen. During our visit to Tokyo Station, we had the pleasure of savoring a delectable Ramen dish that was absolutely divine. The dish was complemented by a special sauce that elevated its flavors. The experience was heightened by a unique guide on when to add the sauce, creating a completely new and unforgettable gastronomic adventure with Ramen.

What to do inside tokyo station
At lunchtime, we visited Tokyo Ramen Street and chose Kakushinka Tokyo Ramen. They offered the smoothest traditional Iekei ramen or Tonkotsu Shoyu. 

What to do inside tokyo station

Ramen Automated Service

The era of having to explain your ramen preferences is long gone. I guess it is faster but I miss the human touch, like the confusion on their faces and I'm like "Can you make it not too soft and also not too hard" and then you both started laughing and there you go one best ramen coming right up. It's not just the good food I'm looking for but also the connection with humanity.

The broth can be customized for flavor intensity ranging from mild to bold, heaviness from light to rich, and noodle thickness from thin to thick. It's fascinating how detailed the options can be for a ramen dish - welcome to Japan the land of heavenly ramen!

What to do inside tokyo station

Kakushinka Tokyo Ramen Ramen Guide

  1. Begin by savoring the soup to appreciate its smooth taste.
  2. Wrap the noodles in seaweed for a unique combination.
  3. Indulge in the smoked pork leg chashu.
  4. Halfway through, add "Innovator Garlic Miso" for a richer flavor.
  5. For a refreshing twist, consider adding "Zesty Ginger" or "Steve Jobs Vinegar."
  6. If you prefer spiciness, top it off with the "Special Spicy Sauce."

What to do inside tokyo station
Innovator Garlic Miso was very addicting! If this basketball, this halftime seasoning is like three points to my heart, I mean mouth.

What to do inside tokyo station

Steve Jobs Vinegar

Steve Jobs Vinegar is also another favorite! I've never added vinegar to my ramen and it's mouth and mind-blowing - it was really that good.

Happy Tummy! Now we're ready to do more walking around the station.

What to do inside tokyo station

4. For Desserts: Experience delightful treats at Pickles The Frog Cafe

Our order included Berry Waffle, Banana Waffle, and Black Tea, along with two mini milk cups, resulting in a delightful surprise - Milk Tea! It was absolutely delicious. This experience convinced me to enjoy milk tea without tapioca balls, just like my brother.

What to do inside tokyo station

At Pickles The Frog Cafe, dining alone is never lonely

A special memory: I witnessed a heartwarming moment when a lady dined alone, and the staff placed a human-sized frog stuffed toy in front of her. It was a touching gesture that brought warmth to my heart. Also, with a toddler taking a nap and with the cafe's relaxing vibe it was a good break from the human traffic inside the Tokyo station.

What to do inside tokyo station
This is definitely the highlight of my day, finding delicious desserts!

What to do inside tokyo station
The Berry Waffle was heaven! Even the Banana Waffle came close to perfection. Adding in some warm Black Tea with some milk, the perfect combination for a cold rainy day.

There's also a Pickles the Frog shop close by for merchandise and souvenirs.

Budget meals inside Tokyo station

5. At Night: Satisfy your Sushi Craving

Sushi becomes more affordable at night! It's the perfect opportunity to satisfy those sushi cravings and enjoy a delicious bite. This is perfect for budget travelers as you get to try sushi on the go and still stay within your means. 
There are also sushi restaurants, including those with the conveyor belt style known as Kaitenzushi, located inside the station.

Budget meals inside Tokyo station

For Budget Meals and Merchandise 

If you’re looking for affordable meals and souvenirs, NewDays is another good option for delicious Japanese food and shopping. 

Operating Hours

Tokyo train stations do not operate 24 hours; they are open from 5 am to midnight. Be mindful of the time while exploring the station.
  • Tokyo Character Street: 10:00-20:30
  • Tokyo Ramen Street: 10:30-23:00
  • Tokyo Okashi Land: 9:00-21:00
  • Tokyo Gourmet Zone: 11:00-23:00
  • Nippon Gourmet Road: 10:00-23:00
  • Tokyo Gift Palette: 9:30-20:30

The Tokyo station is definitely worth a visit, especially when seeking shelter during heavy snow or rain. It provided everything we needed and even kept us entertained.

For more information and guide:  First AvenueTokyo Station

Have fun and be safe ^__^

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