A year ago, my first order of blogging business in Japan is to find where the “real” Tokyo is. I don’t intend to confuse you, I know Tokyo is such a huge capital with many branching wards and districts, but I want to be at that specific place where I can photograph myself and upload it at Facebook with a cheesy caption of “Me at Tokyo Station!”.
Sadly, the station itself during that time was nothing but a mere transit point due to the on-going restoration. With tarpaulins, bulldozers and possibly round the clock construction work, there is nothing particular to talk about Tokyo Station apart from how I often I got lost inside and often take the wrong exit.
Like many Japanese and residing foreigners, I was so excited when finally the much waited unveiling of the newly, restored, century old Tokyo Station took place last first week of October. Will it be too much to say that I am more excited to see the renovated station than the Tokyo Sky Tree?
Originally constructed in 1914 and heavily damaged during World War II, Tokyo Station’s distinctive red-brick, gothic style building offers a remarkable contrast to the high rise office buildings of Maranouchi district.
For this reason alone, much credit and admiration goes to the administration and the Japanese people for keeping this historical architecture at the same form and look even a century had passed. I guess, this offers one of the most prevailing contrasts that Tokyo or Japan in general accomplished extremely well, that is if we often look beyond the anime or maid café’s of Akihabara.
The adoration for the renovated station is overwhelming and as expected, crowd gathers outside. I never seen so many people lingering around the station vicinity before, but out of the entire crowd the one that stood out for me are the old, well-dressed gentleman, they just blend in with the aesthetics perfectly.
The red-brick Maranouchi station building is actually the location of Tokyo Station Hotel. Obviously, non-staying visitors are not allowed to loiter inside though I try to sneak in and see what’s inside.
Outside, the highlight of the Maranouchi façade is the European style dome and inside the same can be said, as you can see number of people were looking up with a camera phone in hand for a souvenir photo.
To wrap this post, here are some of the pictures inside Tokyo Station. There are still a lot of finishing touches going on inside and on the other exit points, but all in all the approximate 400,000 red-brick building is more than enough for the moment.
Don’t ask me which exit you should take of you want to go to the Imperial palace or what train platform is the Narita Express located, even after more than a year I still get lost in Tokyo Station.