If you exit Tokyo Station from the Yaesu exit expecting to see the red brick station building designed by Kingo Tatsuno, you will be confused by how different the atmosphere is. The Marunouchi side has a chic station building built in 1914, while the Yaesu side has only a station building that is difficult to describe. While the Yaesu side of the station is convenient in terms of functionality, with department stores, luxury hotels, a large bus terminal, and a shopping mall with a variety of stores, there is no landmark structure like the station building on the Marunouchi side.
The difference in atmosphere between the Marunouchi side and the Yaesu side is not a new phenomenon; it has been present since Tokyo Station opened for business. Tokyo Station, which was planned as the central station of the capital city from the beginning of its construction, had its main entrance on the Marunouchi side. The reason for this is simple. The Imperial Palace is located on the Marunouchi side. Therefore, while an elegant station building was constructed on the Marunouchi side, the Yaesu Exit, which was the rear entrance, was not equipped with a station building or even an entrance and exit. It was not until 1929, 15 years after the station opened, that an entrance was built on the Yaesu side, and it would be another 19 years, until 1948, before a temporary wooden station building was constructed. This difference in the treatment of the Marunouchi and Yaesu sides of Tokyo Station is responsible for the difference in atmosphere today.
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