The Best 50 Things to Do in Marunouchi to Make You Fall in Love with Tokyo in 2018

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  • Marunouchi is a modern-looking district found at the very heart of Tokyo, just a stone’s throw from Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. The name Marunouchi translates as “inside the circle” and originates from its location inside the palace walls of the Edo Castle hundreds of years ago. Originally inhabited by some of the country’s wealthiest lords, the district remains a pristine, wealthy-looking area that is home to some of Japan’s largest banks and impressive modern skyscrapers. Marunouchi is easily accessible from all parts of the city. Tokyo Station is its nearest access point which is a departure point for various bullet trains, local trains, metros and buses. To make the most of your trip to Tokyo, discover the best 50 things to do in the Marunouchi area!

    Would you like to stay in Marunouchi? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

    1. Enjoy a Jazz Performance at Cotton Club

    Cotton Club

    Visiting a chic area should involve some sophisticated activities to perfect the experience. Cotton Club in Marunouchi houses affordable jazz performances which can be appreciated while sipping on a glass of champagne or enjoying a 3-course meal. Does it get much more sophisticated than that?

    The renowned Cotton Club originates in New York and brought its stylish vibes to Tokyo in 2005. Jazz lovers are sure to find something to pleasure their ears with a variety of performances taking place on almost every night of the week. Musicians from both Japan and overseas come to play at the venue including some well-known names so tables fill up quickly so be sure to book in advance.

    Booking details: Enjoy Jazz Music with Champagne or Healthy Dinner in Tokyo!

    2. Visit the Imperial Palace

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Tokyo Imperial Palace was constructed for the first time during the Meiji era in the 19th century and remains one of the capital’s pride and joys to this day. Located within walking distance of Tokyo Station, the palace can be found in beautiful gardens that are a popular sightseeing spot, especially during the cherry blossom season when the grounds overflow with beautiful white and pink blossom.

    While the Imperial Palace is a must-visit while you’re in Tokyo, it won’t take a full day to visit so it’s best to combine this trip with other activities around Tokyo. While Japan may be acclaimed for its high speed, efficient trains, the trains and metros around central Tokyo can be difficult to get the hang of and tend to be packed out with the thousands of hurried people. For a simple and relaxed way to travel around Tokyo, a bus tour is your best option. You can appreciate the views from inside the bus while getting a feel of the whole city as you whizz around town. This tour will not only take you to the Imperial Palace but also to Meiji Jingu shrine and Sensoji Temple with many other sights explained along the way.

    Booking details: Explore Meiji Jingu shrine and the Imperial Palace in Tokyo!

    3. Explore at Speed on an Electric Bike and Capture it All on Video

    Electric Bike

    While cycling is always a recommended way to travel around a city with trains as busy as Tokyo’s, it can sometimes seem like a bit too much hard work. Enter the electric bike! If you’ve never tried one out before, an electric bike looks like a normal bike but with a hidden electric mechanism that gives you a boost to make cycling around effortless.

    Finding your way safely around Tokyo on a bike on your own isn’t an easy task but you can join a half-day tour suitable for all ages and fitness levels to keep you safe and on track to see the best sights on offer both in Marunouchi and further afield. This tour not only provides you with an electric bike but also a wearable video camera so that you can record the amazing sights you see on your day out! You’ll be taken to discover the Marunouchi office area and its incredible architecture followed by a trip to Tairano Masakado’s grave who is regarded as the spiritual guardian of Tokyo. While you’re in the area, you will also visit Tokyo Imperial Palace which boasts not only the Japanese Emperor’s living quarters but also beautiful parks.

    As travelling around by electric bike is so quick and easy, there’s also time to visit Shinjuku where a traditional Japanese bento box is provided to enjoy in the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen as well as visiting the Olympic site area which is being set up for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

    Booking details: Cycle around Tokyo with an electric bike and a camera

    4. See the Best Parts of Tokyo All in One Day

    Tokyo station area

    If you’re keen to visit as much of Tokyo as possible before you head home, a full-day tour is a necessity. This is a hassle-free way of ensuring you don’t miss any of the sights Tokyo has to offer. From the traditional and spiritual to the modern and wacky, there is an infinite list of places to be discovered. Marunouchi’s biggest draw is the nearby Imperial Palace which you can visit in this tour as well as Tokyo Tower from which you can catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Asakusa and all topped off with a cruise down the Sumida River.

    This bus tour lasts a full day and includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel. You are also provided with a scrumptious Japanese lunch, with options of tempura and yakitori, and an English speaking guide so now’s the chance to ask any questions you may have about Tokyo’s history or Japanese culture.

    Booking details: Grand Tour of Tokyo Highlights with English Guide, Tokyo!

    5. Visit the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum

    Tokyo, Japan 🇯🇵

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    This beautiful museum, built in 19th-century English architecture style, has various prints and artworks from around the world and various exhibitions that are constantly changing. The museum also has a cafe and a beautiful gift shop where you can browse souvenirs.

    Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum website
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    6. Relax in the Kokyo Gaien National Garden

    This relaxing park is a great place to relax after shopping and sightseeing. It’s got views of the Imperial Palace and is home to many lovely flowers and trees. You may see people walking their dogs here as well. Take a break from busy Tokyo and take a breather in this lovely garden area.

    Kokyo Gaien National Garden website *Japanese only
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    7. Check Out Historical Art at Tokyo Station Gallery

    Over 2.3 million visitors have witnessed the wonder of this charming and unique art gallery, which features the brick walls of a train station and various genres of exhibitions. Art lovers wouldn’t want to miss this sweet gallery with local and international artists.

    Tokyo Station Gallery website
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    8. Slurp Delicious Noodles on Tokyo Ramen Street

    Love Japanese ramen? Head down to Tokyo Ramen Street for some seriously satisfying lunch! The street is located in the basement floor of First Avenue Tokyo Station and you can explore different types of this tasty noodle dish. Some varities are unique and only available there. Just buy a ticket from the vending machines, choose your favourite, and chow down!

    Tokyo Ramen Street English page
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    9. See the Marunouchi Building

    丸ビル。 #弾丸東京

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    This 37-storey skyscraper, which was completed in 2002, is something to behold. As well as being able to admire this building from the outside, there are various shops and restaurants located inside where you can dine and grab some souvenirs.

    There are various types of cuisines including Japanese, Chinese, French, and Italian, as well as cafes selling sweets and bars for the evening. It’s a great place to have dinner if you’re not in the mood for ramen and a place to explore if you’re caught in the rain.

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    10. See the Idemitsu Museum of Arts

    Another treat for museum lovers is the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, a place of constantly changing exhibitions and collections. There is a collection of Idemitsu works, after whom the museum was named, including classic Japanese art such as ukiyo-e woodblock prints, calligraphy, and East Asian ceramics. If you find yourself caught in the rain or you’re a huge fan of Japanese art, don’t miss this museum in Marunouchi.

    Idemitsu Museum of Arts website
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    11. Shop for Sweets at GRANSTA

    Sweet-toothed travellers won’t be left unsatisfied in Marunouchi! GRANSTA is a large shopping mall located inside Tokyo Station offering delicious sweets, bento lunch boxes, and delicatessen. If you’ve got cravings for some Japanese sweets, head here.

    GRANSTA website
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    12. Explore and Shop on Marunouchi Naka-Dori Street

    The main street of Marunouchi area, this wide and bustling street is perfect for shoppers. Office buildings, malls, and famous brand shops adorn this street. If you’re in Tokyo for the shopping, don’t give this area a miss.

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    13. Shop at KITTE

    KITTE is another fantastic place for shopping in Marunouchi. This six-floor building accommodates restaurants and shops and is conveniently located just four minutes from Otemachi Station, three minutes from Tokyo Station, and two minutes from Nijubashimae Station on foot.

    KITTE website
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    14. Browse and Try Authentic Japanese Tea at Ippodo

    This charming tea store is inside the Kokusai Building and is a place where you can browse authentic tea. The original store is in Kyoto, the capital of tea production in Japan, and Ippodo is known for producing high quality green tea. You can find out how these teas are brewed and grab some fantastic souvenirs here.

    Ippodo Tea Store website
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    15. See What’s On at Tokyo International Forum

    This convention and arts centre has a range of facilities and halls where there always seems to be something going on, whether it’s a concert, a fashion show, a musical, or an exhibition. There are also cafes, a doughnut shop, restaurants in this exciting building.

    Tokyo International Forum website
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    16. See Marunouchi Brick Square

    This area near Tokyo Station is constructed with red brick and features open areas where you can shop, dine, or relax in a cafe. The architecture may remind you a little of England with its western-style architecture. This is a gorgeous place to spend an afternoon and wander around the quiet hideout of the corresponding park.

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    17. Check Out the Mitsuo Aida Museum

    Mitsuo Aida was an artist who dabbled in calligraphy and poetry before developing his own style. His book, Ningen Damono, meaning “Because I’m Human” gained him a lot of popularity, and in 1996, five years after his death, a museum dedicated to him and his work was opened in the Marunouchi area.

    He expressed himself with original calligraphy works which are known to grip readers with his honest expressions. If you’re interested in Mitsuo Aida’s work or in calligraphy, give this museum a visit.

    Mitsuo Aida Museum website
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    18. Take a Break at Wadakura Fountain Park

    The elaborate water feature at this pretty park seems to represent Tokyo well: quality, beauty, and style. The fountains at Wadakura Fountain Park look great whether you visit at daytime or at night, and its central location makes it handy to visit between shopping and sightseeing.

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    19. See Meiji Seimei Kan

    #meijiseimeikan #importantculturalproperty #marunouchi #tokyo

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    This heritage building is a rental office space. The building is an impressive thing to spot during your trip to Marunouchi and is reminiscent of western architecture. Meiji Seimei Kan has been designated a National Important Cultural Property in 1997.

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    20. Eat Okonomiyaki at Kiji

    You don’t have to be in Osaka or Hiroshima to enjoy good okonomiyaki! If you’re in the mood for this delicious Japanese savoury pancake, be sure to grab lunch at Kiji, Marunouchi’s well-loved okonomiyaki restaurant.

    Okonomiyaki Kiji website
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    21. Check Out the Illuminations

    Every year from November to February, you can spot some gorgeous illumination lights that brighten the cobbled streets. The district gives it a European-style feeling, and is a great place to enjoy a Christmassy feel on a cold evening.

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    22. Spot Your Favourite Character on Tokyo Character Street

    Definitely in Japan now. #Pokemon #ToABus #Tokyo #PokemonStore

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    Collectors, children, and fans of manga and anime can’t miss this exciting Character Street! This area features 21 stores with themes of well-known characters such as Rilakkuma, Snoopy, and Hello Kitty, and from Studio Ghibli and Pokémon. It’s a great place to get souvenirs or a treat for yourself if you have a weakness for plushies or figurines.

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    23. Walk or Run Around the Imperial Palace

    The area around the Imperial Palace is just lovely on a fine day, with paths, statues, and skyscrapers creating a mixture between the old and new. See what treasures you can find with the Imperial Palace walls on one side and Marunouchi on the other.

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    24. Visit the Shin-Marunouchi Building

    季節はただただすぎてゆく。 #東京 #丸の内 #新丸の内ビル #クリスマスツリー

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    “Shin” means “new”, and you’ll spot this building close to the original Marunouchi Building. It was completed in 2007 and features a selection of shops and restaurants as well as pretty views of the surrounding city.

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    25. Browse Chocolate at Kit Kat Chocolatory

    Any fan of chocolate who has been to Japan would known that the Japanese are crazy about Kit Kats! Despite originating in England, this chocolate treat has aned a huge following in Japan and new and unusual flavours are constantly cropping up. In Marunouchi, you won’t see all of the flavours that Japan offers, but you can still grab some unique types such as cream cheese, chili, sakura, green tea, and other seasonal flavours. Due to their high quality, these make great souvenirs.

    Kit Kat Chocolatory website *Japanese only
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    26. Eat Falafel at Pita the Great

    Stomach rumbling but not in the mood for Japanese food? If you’re in the mood for falafel sandwiches and types of pita with various fillings and condiments. It’s an excellent choice if you’re vegan as well, as no animal products are used at all. This authentic Middle-Eastern treat is a perfect choice for a tasty lunch.

    Pita the Great Tabelog page
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    27. Enjoy a Cheese Tart

    Japan loves its desserts, and cheese is a popular food that is often used in sweets. If you liked creamy cheesecake in Japan, you’ll love these bite size tart treats. Bake Cheese Tart is in GRANSTA their tarts are popular for having a pleasant yet mild taste.

    Bake Cheese Tart GRANSTA website
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    28. Check Out the Permanent Exhibition at INTERMEDIATHEQUE

    The second and third floors of the JP Tower make up INTERMEDIATHEQUE, also called IMT. It is a museum stemming from the University of Tokyo, celebrating scientific and cultural achievements. For an interesting mix of science and art, give this museum a visit.

    INTERMEDIATHEQUE website
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    29. Sing Karaoke

    Thinking of spending an evening in Marunouchi or were your plans spoiled by the rain? Karaoke is a popular pastime in Japan; you can rent private rooms, order food and drink, and sing your favourite English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean songs with your friends. Karaoke establishments in Marunouchi include Sing karaoke village Yaesu mouth shop (open after 5:00pm), Big Echo (open after 6:00pm), and Karaoke-kan (open from 2:00pm).

    30. Shop for Gadgets at Bic Camera

    Tokyo is known for its cutting-edge technology, computers, and gadgets. Bic Camera is a fantastic example of a place where you can get everything from musical instruments to beauty products to computer accessories to video games. If you’re enthusiastic about electronics or you’re in need of something new, give the Bic Camera store in the Marunouchi area a visit.

    Bic Camera website *Automatic translation available
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    31. Get Scented Candles and More at Dr. Vranjes

    Dr. Vranjes is the perfect place to get delicious-smelling items such as scented candles, diffuser incense, and perfumes. Their main focus is home decor. Here, you can get nice additions to your home or some great souvenirs.

    Dr. Vranjes website
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    32. Shop and Dine at MY PLAZA

    MY PLAZA is the perfect place to see for delicious food and great shops if you are caught in the rain. It has shops including fashion brands and interior items as well as a number of stylish cafes.

    MY PLAZA website
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    33. Relax Any Time of Day at Cafe and Bar Brace

    This cafe is open and serving breakfast from 7:30am and open all day until 11:30pm where it becomes a bar. It’s an ideal place to go for a coffee (or something stronger) while you take a break from shopping and exploring.

    Cafe and Bar Brace website
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    34. Get Something to Eat at Marunouchi Oazo

    This is another shopping mall that has a huge amount of great restaurants to choose from. Marunouchi Oazo has restaurants selling udon noodle dishes, seafood, Thai food, ramen and dumplings, and soups. It’s a great place to check out if your stomach is rumbling but you’re not sure what you’d like to eat.

    Marunouchi Oazo website
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    35. See a Show at the Imperial Theater

    Named for its close proximity to the imperial palace, the theater near Marunouchi is a place to see a live show such as Shakespeare plays, musicals, and more. See what’s on while you’re in Tokyo and catch an unforgettable show! Please keep in mind that most of the performances are likely to be in Japanese.

    Imperial Theater website
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    36. Get Awesome Sweets and Souvenirs at Daimaru Tokyo

    ❁❁ * White Day Gift その① N.Y.C.SAND💝 * 大丸東京★White Day限定フレーバー 『シャンパンベリーキャラメルサンド&Wチョコレート』 * 甘酸っぱいベリーとホワイトのWチョコに、キャラメル、ほんのりと香るシャンパンがアクセントとなっていて、とっても美味しいです🍓🥂.*・゚ * かなり濃厚なので、一つで大満足💕 * 通常のパッケージよりも、限定BOXに入っていて、これまた豪華ですねっ✨ * 相変わらず人気のNYC SAND 限定フレーバーも相俟ってか 1時間並んだそうです😅 * 感謝🙏🙏🙏💗 * * #大丸東京#ニューヨークシティサンド#限定フレーバー#ホワイトデー#ホワイトデーお返し#スイーツ好き#スイーツ大好き#スイーツ部#スイーツ女子#スイーツタイム#限定物に弱い#tokyo#daimarutokyo#nycsand#whiteday#gift#sweetssweets#sweetsphoto

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    Daimaru, meaning “big circle,” is a great place to get cut cakes and sweets as well as lots of places to dine and shop. Events are also held here throughout the year.

    Daimaru Tokyo website
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    37. Browse a Great Selection of Home Goods

    Muji is a fantastic and stylish shop selling a large selection of home goods and other items such as books. It’s enormous fun to browse this ultra-modern store whether you live in Japan or not. You might find something unique to take home with you.

    Muji website *Japanese only
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    38. See the Statue of Kusunoki Masashige

    This historical landmark is located in Kakyogai-en National Park and depicts the heroic image of a samurai on a horse. Kusunoki Masashige fought in the 14th-century Genko War and is remembered as a loyal, “ideal” warrior of the time.

    Statue of Kusunoki Masashige website
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    39. Rent a Bicycle and Cycle Around the Imperial Palace Grounds

    Near the entrance of the park and a short walk from the statue is Palace Cycling, a bicycle club where you can rent bikes. The imperial palace area is wide and spacious and excellent for an easy bike ride. Keep in mind this service is only available on Sundays between 10:00am and 3:00pm.

    Palace Cycling website
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    40. Browse an Unusual Lifestyle Themed Store

    大人女子のデニムスタイルは切りっぱなしやワンピースなど、新鮮さを意識して 長めのひざ丈フレアスカートで、デニムをフェミニンに取り入れて。歩くたびにシルエットの風合いが楽しめる、切りっぱなしのディテールやラップ形が、新感覚のおしゃれを提案してくれる。ジャカード素材のストライプトップスやベストでアクセントを効かせ、シャープに。ホワイト×ネイビーで涼やかにまとめつつ、フリンジバッグやコルクヒールのサンダルで、ボヘミアンテイストを味付けして。ベスト42,120円/プレインピープル 丸の内【新国際ビル1F TEL 03・5218・2218】 トップス18,360円/ビームス ハウス【丸ビル1F TEL 03・5220・8686】 スカート70,200円/CABaN HAYAMA 丸の内店【丸の内仲通りビル1F TEL 03・3286・5105】 バッグ10,800円/トプカピ【丸ビル2F TEL 03・3216・3805】 シューズ18,900円/バークレー【丸ビル3F TEL 03・3240・0104】 #marunouchi_paper #marunouchi #maru_fashion #fashion #ootd #lookbook #outfit #summer #tokyo #マルノウチペーパー #丸の内 #marupix #東京駅 #大人女子 #デニム #サマースタイル #プレインピープル #プレインピープル丸の内 #ビームスハウス #CABaNHAYAMA #CABaNHAYAMA丸の内店 #トプカピ #バークレー #フレアスカート #ベスト #バッグ #シューズ

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    Despite its name, Plain People is a very interesting store, offering what they describe as comfortable clothes and fashion accessories as well as organic seasonings and artsy interior goods. Take a look at this unusual art-inspired shop and see what awaits you.

    Plain People website
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    41. Enjoy a Drink in a Japanese Izakaya

    日比谷 andy's shin hinomoto #日比谷#居酒屋

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    Andy’s Shin Hinomoto is a cosy izakaya pub where you can get sake and local pub food. It’s the perfect place to unwind and grab some beers after a busy day. Unlike most izakayas, the establishment is owned and run by a western man (named Andy as the name suggests) and it is therefore friendly and easy to understand for those who don’t speak Japanese.

    Shin Hinomoto Tabelog page
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    42. Get Baked Treats at VIRON

    The Japanese love their cakes and bread, and VIRON in the Marunouchi area has some great sandwiches and sweet treats on sae that you shold check out if you’re craving cakes or cookies! Brasserie VIRON is located in Tokyo Building Tokia.

    Brasserie VIRON Tabelog page
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    43. Check Out Leather Goods and Designer Brands

    Leather lovers should check out Hermes, a stylish shop featuring designer clothes and fashion accessories.

    Hermes website *Japanese only
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    44. See the Imperial Palace Gardens

    As well as being able to see a bit of the imperial palace building, you can enter the east gardens for free. It is a relaxing walk and in spring you can see some beautiful flowers and fauna.

    Imperial Palace Gardens website *Japanese only
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    45. Get a Delicious Boxed Lunch at Ekibenya Matsuri

    Despite being called “matsuri,” this isn’t a festival. It’s a place where you can get some delicious boxed lunches, perfect for if you’re about to go on a long train ride. Try a delicious, healthy, and filling Japanese lunch at a reasonable price that you can enjoy on a bullet train.

    Ekibenya Matsuri website *Japanese only
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    46. Check Out the Oedo Antique Market

    On Sundays from 9:00am to 4:00pm, Tokyo International Forum hosts the antique market, an event where you can find many treasures and rare finds. It’s great to visit just before or after the iperial gardens and you might find something really special here.

    Oedo Antique Market website
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    47. Do Some Last-Minute Shopping at Yaesu Chikagai

    Inside Tokyo Station are some more shops if you haven’t had enough! In this underground shopping area, also called Yaesu Shopping Mall, you’ll find stores such as the Body Shop, Uniqlo, Astoria, L’Occitane, LUSH, and places to eat from curries to cafes to steak.

    Yaesu Chikagai website
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    48. Have a Cocktail at Cafe Garb

    Excellent for a warm evening, Cafe Garb is a stylish bar with outdoor seating that is perfect after a long day. With outdoor seating where you can watch the world go by and a menu of excellent dishes, this is a fantastic way to end your day in Marunouchi.

    Garb Tokyo Tabelog page
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    49. Get Souvenirs at Osaka Hyakkaten

    This exciting store, named after the trendy western city Osaka, is chock full of cool souvenirs and worth a look.

    Osaka Hyakkaten website *Japanese only
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    50. Visit Yuraki Inari Shrine

    This cute little shrine, complete with a little torii gate, provides a little respite from the busy streets and shops.

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    Whether it’s your first time in Tokyo or not, Marunouchi is always worth a visit. There’s something about the impossibly high buildings in contrast with the beautiful red brick Tokyo Station that is a sight that we can never tire of. On top of the many activities, the numerous shops and restaurants in the area mean there is never a shortage of things do after you’ve had a good wander around the area.

    For more things to do in other areas, check this list out!
    Would you like to stay in Marunouchi? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

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