The District East to Tokyo Station
Yaesu is a district located at the east exit of Tokyo Station, in Chuo ward. Leaning on the upscale streets of Nihonbashi and Ginza, Yaesu’s area has undergone important renovations and several modern high-rises have been built there in the 2020s.
In 2023 and after several years of work, Tokyo Station’s east exit, called Yaesu Guchi, is freed from scaffolding at long last. On a broader scale, the whole district of Yaesu is finally starting to show some interesting sides to tourists visiting the capital.
The area encompassing a couple of streets was named after the Japanese pronunciation of Jan Joosten van Lodensteijn (1556 – 1623)’s name, alias Yayosu, a Dutch navigator and merchant who arrived in Japan at the beginning of the Edo period (1603 – 1868). He was granted a residence in this part of the feudal capital in exchange for his services, at a time when Japan was tightly closed to the world and ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate.
Yaesu Exit’s 3 gates (north, central and south) give an easy walking access to Nihonbashi district in the north-east, and to Ginza and Kyobashi in the south.
The south exit is characterized by a new walkway, the Yaesu GRANROOF, leading to the newly established buildings, such as:
- The neighboring Tokyo Midtown Yaesu and Yanmar Tokyo complexes, located just in front, and,
- The Torch Tower, located near the north exit and that is to be the tallest skyscraper of Japan when its construction is finished in 2027.
Tokyo Midtown Yaesu
The 240 meters high glass tower is home to miscellaneous shops and restaurants, for a few hours stroll indoor and while waiting for a train 🚅. The interior displays a tasteful layout, modern and sophisticated.
Up to floor 5F, visitors can find various rest areas is spacious volumes and all with a view on the outside, making the watching of the area from an elevated viewpoint an attraction per se. In front of the station, one can see:
- Railway tracks, including the Shinkansen’s;
- The domes above the red bricks of the western side of Tokyo Station;
- Marunouchi’s skyscrapers, and,
- In the horizon on a clear weather day, the view extends on the traditional roofing of the Imperial Palace and up to the buildings of Shinjuku.
Facing north-east, the Tokyo SkyTree is reaching for the sky and one can see the famous Golden Flame by Philippe Starck, the symbol of Asahi Group headquarters on the bank of the Sumida river, in the vicinity of Senso-ji temple. Upper floors of the tower are dedicated to offices, above which the Italian luxury brand Bulgari opened its 1rst hotel 🏨 in Tokyo in April 2023.
The ground floor and the basement floor are both occupied by the brand new Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu. This major bus station is served by regional lines, including night buses that allow to reach Kyoto or Osaka early the next morning when departing the night before.
Tokyo Midtown Yaesu is directly accessible from Tokyo Station’s underground walkways network, which also homes plenty of shops (Tokyo Character Street) and restaurants (Tokyo Ramen 🍜 Street) via the Yaesu Underground Shopping Center connection.
Yanmar Tokyo is the latest business unit of the Japanese company in the capital, and mainly an office building. 3 of its floors are nonetheless opened to the public who can visit an exhibition themed on the company’s values.
The Yanmar brand is specialized in manufacturing diesel engines for professionals and its Tokyo’s quarters highlight the agriculture sector. That is why a red tractor is displayed in the street, as well as digital pictures showing the economic and historic importance of rice cultivation in Japan. The highlight of the building is its atrium, called Hanasaka Square, decorated with an abundance of sakura 🌸 flowers garlands made of paper.
Walking toward Nihombashi
The discovery of Yaesu district on foot is particularly enjoyable when walking in the small streets going to Nihombashi, such as the Sakura-dori street, which, as its name implies, is lined with dozens of cherry trees. Each year in early spring, their abundant blossoming creates a pale pink canopy above cars 🚙 and pedestrians. In summer, the new green leaves help maintain a much needed coolness.
On the way, stop by the Takashiyama department store. Its exterior style and its interior design are imbued with the traditional elegance, somehow a bit outdated, of this Japanese establishment founded in 1862 in Kyoto.
While more business oriented and international compared to Marunouchi in the west, Yaesu is a modern and luxurious district of the capital ; a discreet entrance where travelers with a comfortable budget can enjoy staying, literally a stone’s throw away form Tokyo Station.