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Tokyo Station’s reconstructed domes bring back prestigious tradition; Station building Hotel loved by literary giants


The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tokyo Station Marunouchi Station Building that houses the Tokyo Station Hotel

The Marunouchi Station Building of Tokyo Station stands out in the heart of the metropolis with its beautiful appearance. Designated as one of Japan’s Most Important Cultural Properties, the red brick building houses the Tokyo Station Hotel. The hotel opened in 1915, the year after the station’s completion, to welcome guests from across the country and abroad. Inside the hotel, the space is elegant and serene, as if the hustle and bustle outside does not exist.


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The Yomiuri Shimbun
The original red brick wall from the time of construction can be seen in the guest lounge of the Tokyo Station Hotel.

Standing in front of the glass of the third floor hallway, the majestic dome ceiling fills the entire field of vision. The ornate decorations include Steller’s sea eagles measuring more than 2 meters and reliefs in the shape of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s kabuto helmet. Marunouchi’s north and south entrance domes are symbols of the station and hotel guests can see one up close. It can be seen from the windows of 28 rooms.


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The Yomiuri Shimbun
The reconstructed dome ceiling of the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Station Building

The three-story Marunouchi Station Building, designed by Kingo Tatsuno (1854-1919), the father of modern Japanese architecture, was damaged in an air raid in 1945 and lost its domes. After the war the station was rebuilt as a two-storey building with octagonal roofs where the domes had stood. However, the station building was restored to its original form after a major renovation over five years from 2007. The station building was recreated based on photos and people’s memories. The hotel, which was closed during the renovation, has reopened in a new guise.

The hotel originally opened in the Taisho era (1912-1926) and was loved by literary giants such as Yasunari Kawabata and Seicho Matsumoto. Some of their works were created in the hotel. In honor of their legacy, the notepads in the guest rooms are designed to look like genkoyoshi manuscript paper. “Some guests nostalgically write about their feelings on the manuscript paper,” the hotel’s PR manager said with a smile.

The station building covers a huge stretch from north to south and the longest corridor in the hotel is 76 meters. When you stand there it seems like it goes on forever. Photos and documents from before and after the war adorn the walls, including photographs of the vast landscape in front of the station from before the first Marunouchi building even existed and the octagonal roofs from the post-war period. Also on display is a page from Seicho Matsumoto’s ‘Points and Lines’, published in the magazine ‘Tabi (travel)’. As you walk down the long corridor, the weight of history, ranging from the Taisho era to the Showa and Heisei eras, seems to seep into your body.


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The Yomiuri Shimbun
The corridor that runs through the long building entices visitors to walk all the way to the end.

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0403JIFレトロ ホテル脇
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Tokyo station hotel

Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

Access: Directly connected to JR Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi South Exit

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