A 2024 Visitor’s Guide To Ichiban-gai (First Avenue Tokyo Station)

Looking for the best things to see and do at Tokyo Station, one of the world’s coolest of its kind? You’re in for a treat! In this article, you’ll have a thorough introduction to Ichiban Street – First Avenue, dubbed as a one-stop shop for all the must-have Tokyo souvenirs. If you’re a fan of Japanese mementos, this is the place to be. …

Nguyen Oanh

Looking for the best things to see and do at Tokyo Station, one of the world’s coolest of its kind? You’re in for a treat!

In this article, you’ll have a thorough introduction to Ichiban Street – First Avenue, dubbed as a one-stop shop for all the must-have Tokyo souvenirs.

If you’re a fan of Japanese mementos, this is the place to be. Aside from delectable treats, it’s akin to Kyoto Station Ramen Alley.

But that’s not all!

Right here, you’ll be spoiled for choices with a wide range of famous ramen joints. Meanwhile, anime enthusiasts are guaranteed a whale of a time roaming Tokyo Character Street which offers not just delicious bites but also themed products, from SNOOPY to Japanese cartoons. 

More on that below!

Read More: Maximize Your Tokyo Experience with the Tokyo Subway Ticket: Unlimited Rides for 24-72 Hours

Ichiban-gai Map At A Glance

This massive underground complex is broken down into six areas. Each of them brims with a unique charm, focusing on a certain “culture”, ranging from anime to gourmet food and many more:

  1. Tokyo Ramen Street
  2. Tokyo Character Street
  3. Tokyo Okashi Land
  4. Tokyo Gift Palette
  5. Nippon Gourmet Road
  6. Tokyo Gourmet Zone

When it comes to gourmet dining options such as the Nippon Gourmet Kaido or Tokyo Okashi Land, you don’t need to follow a certain route. Go with the flow and you’ll soon encounter your favorite food spots.

Click here to view the First Avenue Floor Map

If this is your first time here, rest assured as I’ll list down some of my favorite food spots for you to try out.

How To Get To First Avenue Tokyo Station?

Ichiban-gai is located outside the ticket gates at the JR Tokyo Station. It can be accessed from the exit of any Yaesu gate through all Shinkansen lines and traditional lines.

The Six Areas Of Ichiban-gai – First Avenue

Tokyo Gift Palette

Opening Hours: 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM

Tokyo Gift Palette can be found directly outside of the “Yaesu North Exit ticket gate” on the first floor above ground at Tokyo Station.

Immerse in 39 incredible confectionery stores that offer carefully selected Japanese and Western treats. Some of the most popular items here include beautifully presented bento boxes, packaged food, chic cafes, and authentic keepsakes.

Yoku Moku: This well-received sweet treat spot at Tokyo Gift Palette is home to an array of cigar cones and cookies. The best-seller here is the cookie cream puff that cannot be found elsewhere.

You’ll fall in love with a crispy exterior hidden under a langue de chat and a rich vanilla-scented custard cream housed inside.

Tokyo Banana World: Japanese candies have been taking the world by storm, and it would be a waste if you miss out on Tokyo Banana World. The store is chock full of beautifully signature Tokyo Banana treats, exuding a tantalizing aroma of freshly baked goods. Decoration-wise, the store’s whimsical banana-themed decor adds to its charm.

Tokyo Character Street

Opening Hours: 10 AM to 8:30 PM

Now this is a heaven on Earth for Japanese anime fans. To get there, head to the first basement floor which is right outside the Yaesu Gate. Be amazed at more than 30 beloved character stores, both from Japan and around the world.

You’ll find a wide array of goods here, ranging from the trendiest characters to nationally popular ones, hypnotizing your eyes with anything from Pokémon and Crayon Shin-chan to Pretty Cure and Umikkogurashi.

Tokyo Okashi Land

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 9 PM

Next up, Tokyo Okashi Land is flooded with snacking heavyweights. My absolute favorites are Morinaga and Calbee+ where you can bring home super limited treats as unique keepsakes.

Even better, be part of the making process at the kitchen spaces where freshly made confections are served at the dine-in area and witness the confectionery preparation process up close.

Morinaga: Indulge in your favorite sweets from Morinaga Moonlight Biscuits baked on-site to Milk Caramel Ice Cream.

Calbee+: On any given sunny day, Calbee+ is packed with fried-fritter fans seeking a bite out of their deep-fried delights prepared exclusively right at the store. Here you’ll find anything from fried potato chips topped with mascarpone cheese and Honey Shiawase Butter Deluxe with Soft Cream.

Nippon Gourmet Road

Opening Hours: 10 AM to 11 PM (Last Order is 10 PM)

Pass through “Nozomi Plaza” on the first basement floor and turn right from the Yaesu Gate, you’ll have a chance to immerse in a thrilling range of Tokyo’s famous restaurants offering authentic cuisines from Hokkaido to Kyushu.

To name a few, you have fresh and juicy Hokkaido seafood, the beefy and tender Sendai beef tongue, Hiroshima okonomiyaki, and Fukuoka’s mentaiko (cod roe).

Sendai Tanya Rikyu: Seeking well-seasoned beef tongue cooked to perfection? Look no other than Sendai Tanya Rikyu. This authentic Japanese restaurant dishes up a prix fixe course focusing on beef tail soup, barley rice, Nanban miso (soybean paste), and Oshinko (pickled ginger).

Tokyo Gourmet Zone

Opening Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM (Until 10 PM on Sundays and holidays)

Tokyo Gourmet Zone is in the middle of First Avenue, housing seven selected restaurants (on the higher end of the price spectrum).

Sembikiya: This long-established joint has been around since 1881, introducing high-end fruits incorporated into a wide range of desserts, ice creams, and beverages. One of my favorite items here are the fruit sundaes and cakes which are exceptionally delightful.

Tokyo Ramen Street

Opening Hours: 10:30 AM to 11 PM (Last Order is 10:30 PM)

Speaking of Japanese culinary experience, you can’t forget ramen.

Right here under Tokyo Station, Tokyo Ramen Street is a haven for ramen fans from around the world, housing seven well-received ramen stores that rotate different styles daily.

Rokurinsha: This is one of the most visited ramen stores at First Avenue, famous for its signature thick dipping soup. This recipe is now serving as a standard for Tsukemen dipping ramen.

Ikaruga: Ikaruga puts a fresh spin on traditional ramen recipes with its refreshing seafood-flavored ramen to minimize the usual oily and salty broths that are commonly found in Tokyo. Ikaruga sets up a vending machine for you to order directly near the entrance. A short ten-minute wait later, your food will be ready on the plate, hooking you up with some soft-boiled eggs and char siu pork, all at an affordable price.

Read More: What Is The #1 Ramen In Tokyo? 8 Best Ramen Spots In Tokyo , You’ve Gotta Try

Final Words: Gransta Tokyo – The Best Place To Visit Near The First Avenue Tokyo Station

Drifting off-topic, Gransta Tokyo is another great place to see. It’s located on the ground and B1 floors of Tokyo Station, housing everything from boutique stores and cafes to gourmet restaurants.

With a variety of establishments, you’re sure to find something to match your mood. The venue also houses numerous bars, making it a convenient spot to meet friends for a drink.

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