An architectural walk along the railroad tracks from Tokyo Station to Yurakucho Station

If you are a train fan, an architectural geek, or a person interested in Tokyo’s history as a city, a stroll from Tokyo Station to Yurakucho Station is a lot of fun and highly recommended! This time, I will take you with me on my sunset walk through the city!

Tokyo Station

The reborn Tokyo Station

The starting point of my stroll along the train tracks was – of course – JR Tokyo Station. Tokyo Station, completed in 1914, is a beautiful retro building giving the surrounding futuristic city with its skyscrapers a nostalgic touch.

At the old Tokyo Station, the now ‘Marunouchi South Exit’ was the entrance and the ‘Marunouchi North Exit’ was the exit of the station.
The slope in the center of the station is a reproduction of the former emperor’s entrance! When you turn around, you’ll see that the station connects with the Imperial Palace.

The first design for Tokyo Station was created by a German architect, but what he designed was too “Japanese” and was therefore rejected. That was because Japan then was eager to “catch up” with the West. The red brick and European-style building that was finally decided on is the design of Japanese architect Tatsuno Kingo.

Tokyo Station has just been restored to its original form several years ago. You can see the new “old” part when you look at the bricks closely.
The clock in front of the Station counts the days left 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Exploring KITTE

If you want to take a glimpse of the station building from above, head to the free observation deck on the 5th floor of ‘KITTE’ department store, right next to the station.

This observation deck has the best view on Tokyo Station
You can even see the Shinkansen from the observation deck.
‘KITTE’, now a stylish commercial facility, is inside the former Tokyo Central Post Office. You can see the old postmaster’s room.

The railway viaduct

Proceeding south along the railroad tracks, you can see the arched brick viaduct. This viaduct leading to Yurakucho Station has a history of over 100 years! The arches give space to restaurants and commercial facilities that have settled under the overpass, which is very popular with local people and office workers working nearby.

The railway viaduct
Don’t these low arched ceilings make you feel calm and safe?
Actually, there is a hole behind these doors. The brick viaduct designed by the German architect mentioned above was very heavy as a construction, so he left these holes/tunnels open on purpose.

After a short walk, you arrive at Yurakucho Station. Keep walking. On the south side of Yurakucho Station, you’ll find a lot of reasonable bars and taverns where people eat and drink outside at small tables. The atmosphere here is wonderful!

This mysterious tunnel was filled with the smoke of grilled meat. Still, nobody seemed to mind. The tunnel was actually pretty crowded.

The restaurant I chose was ‘Manpuku Shokudo’, a small izakaya-style Japanese pub with posters of old movies everywhere. Taste the home-cooked dishes and snacks that go well with beer while watching people walk by. You will feel as if you had traveled back in time to old Tokyo!

A Japanese egg omelette is always a good choice
Manpuku Shokudo

How did you like my short walk? If you come to Tokyo, please visit this area and get a taste of the old Tokyo from 100 years ago!

Old movie posters

2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest station: Tokyo Station, Nijubashimae Station, Otemachi Station, Yurakucho Station

Manpuku Shokudo Restaurant

2-4-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest station: Yurakucho Station, Hibiya Station