Despite the feeble state of domestic consumption, retailers led by East Japan Railway Co. are continuing to infiltrate train stations to tap commuters' propensity to shop.

The JR East group has been setting up "ekinaka" (in-station) minimalls with names like Dila, ecute and GranSta in central Tokyo's larger stations on the Yamanote Line loop, as well as smaller ones along the busy east-west Chuo Line.

On Dec. 4 it opened a renovated restaurant area inside Tokyo Station, followed by 15 new shops and restaurants in Ueno Station on Dec. 18.