City Walks: Stumbling Upon the Tokyo Station Hotel

Last night, a little lost (as usual) and searching for something to eat (as always), I walked through Tokyo Station, the major metro hub near the Imperial Palace and the beautiful Ginza district. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a man pointing his camera toward the ceiling.

What could be so interesting about a subway stop ceiling? Lifting my glance, I saw not only a lovely dome, but what appeared to be windows along the perimeter, nice ones, looking down into the station.

Man takes photo of Tokyo Station dome

Courtesy Wall Street Journal

My curiosity peaked, I turned and saw a sign on the wall for the Tokyo Station Hotel. A hotel? In a metro station? What a strange place to put a hotel. Continuing on my semi-lost wandering, I saw the outside of the building, and realized not only is it a hotel, but a really fancy one– white glove service fancy.

Exterior of Tokyo Station Hotel

Courtesy of housingjapan.com

Leave it to the Japanese to make a train station into a 5 star destination! Admittedly, the Tokyo metro system is much cleaner and well-managed than the NYC subway, but my excuse for this is that ours is one of the very few in the world that stays open 24 hours.

Tokyo Station Hotel from window

Courtesy tokyorailwaylabyrinth.blogspot.jp

I learned the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building was under construction for nearly six years before it metamorphosed into the butterfly it is today. The historic hotel re-opened its doors in October 2012, after a $625 million┬árenovation on its European-style charm. At a minimum of $400 a night, I won’t be indulging in the view from the other side of those windows anytime soon, but even the exterior is a beautiful site, especially at night. Guests rave of the plush interiors and world class staff and service.

Tokyo Station Hotel lobby

Courtesy nytimes.com

The rotundas are so popular, there are even late night gazing tours organized by the hotel where you can lay on a yoga mat and take in the domes at midnight.

Tokyo Station Hotel Midnight Tour

Courtesy Tokyo Station Hotel Facebook page

It’s not everyday you can lie down and relax right smack dab in middle of a train station, and few that you’d ever want to do that in.

I’ve personally added the Tokyo Station Hotel to my list of dream places to spend a night. And it’s yet another reason I love to take time wandering (somewhat aimlessly) around a city on foot— you never know what you’ll stumble upon.

 

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