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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Harajuku Station To Be Rebuilt

Above, Harajuku Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Three Tokyo train stations will be undergoing renovation, including the historic Harajuku Station that serves the JR Yamanote Line.

According to RocketNews 24:
JR East confirmed reports today that it would be renovating three stations on its Tokyo rail network, with upgrades planned for Harajuku Station on the Yamanote loop line and Sendagaya and Shinanomachi stations on the company’s Chūō-Sobu Line. The works, which will include the introduction of new barrier-free facilities and expansion of concourses and ticket gates, are expected to be completed by 2020 at a total cost of 250 billion yen (US$2.3 billion). 
The new plans are designed to improve passenger flow, which is expected to increase dramatically during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and alleviate congestion, which, especially in the case of Harajuku Station, can prove dangerous as passengers spill out onto the road from the narrow walkway during peak periods on weekends and public holidays.
The plans for Harajuku Station is causing concern to locals, given its historical value:
Following the announcement of the station upgrades, Japanese television news reports focused heavily on the changes planned for Harajuku Station. Built in 1924, the wooden building is the oldest of its kind in the Tokyo area, and has a distinctive facade that evokes an atmosphere of nostalgia within its modern environment. 
JR East has said it will make a decision on whether to demolish the current structure or incorporate it into the new design after listening to views from the local municipality.

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