- Tokyo Station, Tokyo International Forum, Imperial Palace, Gyoko-dori

Marunochi district in the Chiyoda ward is where you find the core of Tokyo. The name literally means ”inside the inner circle”. Here you find the Tokyo Central Station, a historic building in Dutch renaissance style, and the Imperial Palace, formerly Edo Castle, that the city was built around. Tokyo Station is the central station and the busiest station in Tokyo It opened in 1914 and was heavily renovated in 2009, the historical exterior that survived wars and earthquakes was preserved. Even thought the station building looks old outside, it is very modern inside, except for a beautiful atrium in old station. There are Shinkansen (highspeed train) tracks and a large metro in Tokyo Station. The station is large it extends southways all the way to Ginza. Imperial Palace is where the emperor lives, the original building derives from the Edo period. The area around the palace is huge with buildings, gardens and a moat that surround it. The area is only open to public on special days, so only a small part of the white exterior of the palace and the historical Nijubashi Bridge can be seen from outside, that can be a bit disappointing for some. The avenues Uchibori dori and Hiniya dori runs between the skyscrapers of the financial district and the borders to the Imperial Palace.

Marunochi is also the financial district of Tokyo, so lots of skyscrapers have been built around the palace. Japan’s three largest banks are headquartered here. The streets are lined with trees in European style and filled with international brand stores such as Gucci, Rolex and Cartier. The main avenue Gyoko-dori is very European in its style. The area immediately around Tokyo Station reminds of Manhattan. Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Imperial Hotel was the only building that survived the 1923 earthquake was situated here, but was ironically torn down and replaced by a soulless modernist highrise. Palace Hotel is also found in the area. Tokyo International Forum is a huge futuristic oval shaped glass building for exhibitions and other events, designed by Rafael Viñoly. It opened in 1997 and is known for its huge atrium with escalators and skybridges, surrounded by glass walls.

Tokyo Station
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