Tokyo station is literally the biggest station in Japan always crowded with hundreds of thousands of people. Even Japanese get confused at the huge maze of Tokyo station. This page would be a brief explanation of Tokyo station and how to get on Shinkansen there.
This is the map of Tokyo station.
Tokyo station has 6 exits in total, 3 each (North, Central, and South) at Marunouchi side and Yaesu side.
Marunouchi side is where you can see this famous view of Tokyo station. At Marunouchi side, South exit is on your right side and North exit is on your left side.
Yaesu side has expressway bus stations. At Yaesu side, North exit is on your right side and South exit is on your left side.
How to get on the Shinkansen from Marunouchi side
This article would explain how to go to the Shinkansen platform from Marunouchi side exits.
You can also enjoy this sparkling lights along the Marunouchi Nakadori street every winter.
Now the station has this special countdown clock for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games!
Marunouchi side’s South, Central, and North exits look like this. This picture is taken at the South exit.
Please buy your Shinkansen ticket in advance as you’ll need tickets at this moment. You need to go through the local line’s automatic gate to get to automatic gates for Shinkansen. This means you will go through 2 automatic gates putting the same Shinkansen tickets at Tokyo station.
Once you get in an automatic gate here, you’ll be at the local line area. Below are platform numbers for each local line and subway.
Please walk through this area and go to the Shinkansen automatic gates which look like below picture.
Of course, they also have ticket counters and vending machines for Shinkansen inside the local lines’ automatic gates and before the Shinkansen automatic gates. If you would like to change your Shinkansen schedule, you can just ask here.
There are 2 different gates for Tokaido, Sanyo Shinkansen (blue gates) & other Shinkansen such as Hokuriku, Tohoku Shinkansen (green gates).
After you successfully go through the Shinkansen automatic gate, you need to find your Shinkansen’s platform.The number of platform is not written on your ticket. Please check signs showing the platform number of your Shinkansen.
Once you arrive at your Shinkansen’s platform, it is time to line up in front of your car number. If you booked reserved seats, the car number is written on your ticket. If it is non-reserved seats, please go to the designated car number for non-reserved seats. You’ll see the car number sign on above at each entrance.
Usually, people arrive more than 10 minutes before the departure time and line up as the picture shows. Shinkansen departs on time and will never wait for you.
Found small stores at the platform as well. It would be better to explore Tokyo station’s stores before entering the Shinkansen gate if you would like to look for various souvenirs and Ekiben (station bento box). There are much more stores especially in the underground floor.
It also has waiting room inside the Shinkansen automatic gate. You can wait here until the departure time.
Don’t you think it won’t be super difficult to find the Shinkansen platform? Please follow the signs carefully at Tokyo station! You’ll see many train conductors so don’t hesitate to ask any questions too. It should be better to give yourself extra time as Shinkansen always departs on time and the station is also the best place for buying Tokyo souvenirs (mainly sweets) !