Station inside a mall: JR Tokyo Station
Happy new year, everyone!
I sincerely hope every single reader of my blog will have as many good lucks & opportunities as possible this year... and of course, wish each of you will have a chance to visit Japan & Tokyo!
Changing forever: Tokyo Station
I believe our first post in 2017 should start like your trip here, yes, from JR Tokyo Station! Over the last 10 years or so, this particular station (and neighboring areas) has drastically changed & it's still going on even today.
Thinking about the preparation work for the Summer Olympics in 2020, I'm not sure if a period is really put to this long process at sometime in the future.
Misconception about Tokyo Station
Maybe most of you expect a majority of Tokyo residents uses Tokyo Station on a daily basis, but we actually don't. Certainly it's a hub station in Tokyo, but we still have another couple of key stations like Shinjuku, Shibuya & major lines including subways.
What actually happens to us behind this fact is, even we Japanese who have lived for more than 5 or 10 years could easily get lost in this station because of complexity or temporary routes set for construction works.
So never fail to follow the signs or get a map for the station beforehand!
Ekiben for your long trip
Once you enter this station, you might be overwhelmed by its scale. I always refer it to "a station inside a shopping mall" ! Hundreds of shops easily attract your attention rather than platform you're going to.
Though you can find almost anything there from socks to tons of weird souvenirs, what interests you most might be this, "Ekiben Ya: Matsuri"
This is the store where you can find a huge variety of boxed lunch called "Ekiben". Ekiben is a special type of bento generally sold at local stations featuring their own local ingredients and traditional cuisine. Nowadays, this has become one of the powerful tools to promote their locality.
This culture has even grown bigger in the last 15 years since railway operators more actively started developing their spaces inside or around stations.
If you are planning a long train ride from Tokyo to somewhere, this is how to make your train ride much more memorable!
Thanks for reading.
Posted by 3e-Tokyo