More than 500,000 people on average use Tokyo Station every day. Handling express trains to Narita International Airport, bullet trains to destinations around Honshu and myriad regional commuter lines, it is one of the busiest stations in the country based on the number of trains that arrive and depart each day.

Given its location at the heart of the nation's capital, perhaps this isn't altogether surprising. Situated a short walk from Nihonbashi, the station faces the Imperial Palace to the west, and is connected to the Emperor's residence by a short road that leads directly to the center of the terminal.

Tokyo Station has certainly witnessed a turbulent history, surviving the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and two world wars as well as celebrating a successful Olympic Games and the launch of the country's first shinkansen. On Dec. 20, the "gateway to the capital" commemorates another milestone — its 100th anniversary.