Located in the center of Tokyo adjacent to the much-loved natural splendor that is the Imperial Palace gardens, the Marunouchi district is home to the city’s highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, including the headquarters of some of Japan’s most prestigious corporations.
Having played a pivotal role as Japan’s commercial gateway for over 400 years, the urban business hub has established itself not only as one of Tokyo’s most influential power centers, but also as an increasingly sought-after destination for high-end retail therapy and world-class dining.
At its center is Marunouchi Naka Dori, a 1.2-kilometer (0.7-mile) long tree-lined avenue tantamount to New York City’s Madison Avenue and London’s Bond Street – a dining and shopping destination for discerning foodies and fashionistas alike.
Connoisseurs of nineteenth century western art won’t want to miss the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, while dessert lovers will delight in freshly made crepes à La Boutique de Joël Robuchon – both located amidst the charming rose garden of Marunouchi Brick Square.
Those seeking more tradition than flare can wander over to the Imperial Palace gardens – a mere stone’s throw away from the hotel – to learn about the city’s rich history. Once across the moat and past the ancient Otemon Gate, a stroll around the tranquil East Gardens – where remnants of the original Edo Castle can be seen – will make you wonder if you’re even still in bustling Tokyo.
Just across the moat from Palace Hotel Tokyo, Japan’s Imperial Palace is the seat of the world’s longest continuous monarchy. Originally completed in 1640, it was the largest fort of its time before it subsequently became the imperial residence of the emperor during the Meiji Revolution of 1868. It remains so to this day.
The Sannomaru Shozokan Museum is located on the Imperial Palace grounds just inside the ancient Otemon Gate. The intimate, one-room museum showcases select pieces from the emperor’s personal collection of traditional Japanese art.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Imperial Palace grounds or a stroll around its East Gardens.
Opened in March 2012, the tri-level Iiyo! commercial zone of the Marunouchi Eiraku Building boasts a bevy of distinctive pubs, cafes and restaurants, giving locals and out-of-towners alike even more reason not to stray far from the comforts of Marunouchi.
The cluster of notable cafe brands nearby – including Dean & Deluca, Cova and Maison Kayser – give java junkies the perfect excuse to linger at Marunouchi Naka Dori’s sidewalk cafes.
The area’s namesake landmark – Marunouchi Building – and its younger sibling the Shin-Marunouchi Building are definitely worth perusing. Located along Marunouchi Naka Dori, both serve as headquarters for some of the country’s most prestigious corporations as well as being home to an impressive selection of high quality retail shops and restaurants.
Comprehensive tourism information on activities and destinations within Tokyo and throughout Japan can be found at the JNTO Tourism Information Center located right on Marunouchi Naka Dori, a leisurely 15-minute stroll from the hotel.
It is open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed on 1 January). Just keep a look out for the cow statues situated out front…you can’t miss them!