Mission Impossible: Finding your friend in Tokyo station
If you meet someone around Tokyo station, you need to specify WHERE you will meet up. “At the station gate” is the worst thing to say as there are seven gates in total.
In fact, Tokyo station offers an official meeting landmark for us. It is called ‘Silver Bell waiting spot (Gin-no-suzu)’ inside the station. However, it is buried in the basement and even locals have a hard time finding it. I never used it myself, and I never heard that someone actually used the spot!
Instead, for a simple meet-and go, try one of these alternative landmarks.
Oazo – Foreign language books available
Oazo is a shopping center right in front of Marunouchi North Exit. The half of the building is Maruzen Bookstore, one of the largest bookstores in Tokyo. On the upper floor you can find an English book section (also French, Spanish, Chinese books are available). There is also a cafe next to this section.
If you want to wait for someone at an easy-to-find place, the glassed-in Belgian chocolatier and cafe DEBAILLEUL is recommended. You can enjoy one of the best apple tart in Tokyo (please note it might take 15 mins to be served)
Tourist Information Center in Marunouchi North Gate
Another option is also close to the Marunouchi North exit, even next to the gate. Japan Railway opens Tourist Information center exclusively for Foreign travellers (No Japanese allowed, it says). It is less crowded than anywhere else in Tokyo station and you can sit on a bench inside and use free wifi while waiting. I recommend this spot for people who visit Japan for the first time. You can take free maps and magazines. The staff speak good English.
This article is part of a series to provide practical information to the visitor to Tokyo.