Photo: Pakutaso
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Tokyo starts massive renovation project for entrances to the world’s busiest train station

24 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

On any given day, more people pass through Shinjuku Station than any other station in Tokyo, and you could replace “Tokyo” with “the world” and that statement would still be true. Because of that, the station is a familiar site to Tokyoites and travelers, but change is coming as large-scale renovations to the areas adjacent to the station are now underway.

Urban development tends to radiate out in circular patterns from Japanese cities’ major rail hubs, and a huge number of offices, shops, and restaurants can be found within a quick walk from Shinjuku Station. At least it should be quick, in terms of distance, but congestion in pedestrian spaces has become an increasing problem. To alleviate the situation, on Thursday construction work began for the remodeling of the plazas outside Shinjuku’s West and East entrance/exits, which will be made more open and spacious in order to keep foot traffic flowing in a more open, less stressful layout.

▼ Artist’s rendition of the new West Entrance plaza

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▼ New East Entrance plaza

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The construction will also seek to address another problem with the current layout, which is a lack of paths by which to cross from the west side of the tracks to the east, or vice-versa, without passing through the ticket gates. The solution: a new pedestrian deck above the tracks, which can be used without having to buy a ticket.

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▼ The location of the deck, shown in blue, sits between the current paths that require circling around the southern or northern end of Shinjuku Station.

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The construction project is officially titled the Tokyo Municipal Project Plan for Shinjuku Station Proximity District Land Readjustment Project, and no, it doesn’t roll off the tongue any more eloquently in Japanese, where it’s Tokyotoshi Keikaku Jigyo Shinjukueki Chokkin Chiku Tochi Kukaku Seiri Jigyo.

However, if you’ve got sentimental feelings for the Shinjuku Station you remember from your last time there, don’t worry, because you’ve still got plenty of time to say goodbye. While construction has begun, the planners aren’t projecting partial completion until 2035, and the target for the whole thing to be finished is even farther off, in 2047. Specifically, everything is scheduled to wrap up on March 31, 2047, though that’s probably because the Japanese fiscal year finishes at the end of March, not because some poor guy had to figure out work schedules for every day of the next two-and-a-half decades.

No specific reason has been given for the lengthy timeline, but it seems like the most likely explanation would be the project’s size (10.1 hectares), the complications of work going on concurrently with normal operation at the world’s busiest train station, or maybe just all the time it’s going to take to write out Tokyo Municipal Project Plan for Shinjuku Station Proximity District Land Readjustment Project at each construction site.

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Government via Impress Watch via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Tokyo’s busiest train stations have a new, free, English-compatible navigation app

-- Crazy photo shows how Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station can be as confusing as a video game dungeon

-- Five of Japan’s most beautiful and unique hidden train stations

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
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how about finishing the inside first. the rat warren of closing in corridors has been 'under construction' for the last 17 years!

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I was about to express my enthusiasm about this project until I read

partial completion until 2035, and the target for the whole thing to be finished is even farther off, in 2047. Specifically, everything is scheduled to wrap up on March 31, 2047

Just to have an idea, we will have humans living in Mars by then, thats how far that is.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

 a lack of paths by which to cross from the west side of the tracks to the east

That isn't true. There's an underground sidewalk near the East Exit that takes you to the western side, past the southern end of P*ss Ally and emerging where Uniqlo is.

My impression is that Shinjuku is still a lot better than others, like Ikebukuro and Shibuya, in terms of congestion and access. The west and east exists already have open spaces and wide sidewalks.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What were they doing the last 18 months when ALL the SOE’s & ‘remote work’ allegedly “ground the foot traffic & train schedules to a virtual standstill’ as “another of Japan’s truly unique successes in curtailing the spread of CoVid”?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

While construction has begun, the planners aren’t projecting partial completion until 2035, and the target for the whole thing to be finished is even farther off, in 2047. Specifically, everything is scheduled to wrap up on March 31, 2047, 

2047…a different conception of time. And this has priority.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well worth a look: Giant 3d cat in Shinjuku station.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxy1IGJPAYU&t=37s

Really looks real. But this is totally explainable - the building has a curved screen attached to it and the cat stays within the borders of the screen. Good lighting effects in the image finish the illusion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

how about finishing the inside first. the rat warren of closing in corridors has been 'under construction' for the last 17 years!

Been there lately? It was completed and looks amazing!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Been there lately? 

only every day

2 ( +3 / -1 )

25 years of work just tells how much huge amounts of public money , and for sure some wasted money, will be given to construction companies and contractors, with certainly a end cost well over the expected budget

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Looks cool. I like the public space idea.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's not about the amount of work. It's not such a massive project compared to, say, building an airport. But it is necessary to report employment in tables and statistics. So what if more money is consumed in a longer period of time than in a shorter period of time. To give you a rough idea - the losses caused by shutting down the station for a day vs. the losses caused by limiting service by spreading it out over a longer period of time and construction work will be different. Spreading it out over a longer period of time makes it easier to justify the consumption of money, while at the same time paying for people who will have different meetings, new and new studies, inspections, etc.
1 ( +1 / -0 )

The way things are going, the human race might be extinct by 2047!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I mean, 2000foookin'48? Someone's pork barrel career has been launched, they'd have do nothing jobs for the next 15 years...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While construction has begun, the planners aren’t projecting partial completion until 2035, and the target for the whole thing to be finished is even farther off, in 2047.

Damn. I'm still getting over the hell of the Tokyo and Shibuya station renovations.

This makes those look tame.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

buffaloToday  08:41 am JST

Been there lately? 

only every day

Same here. Time to rethink ways to get around in Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

if in doubt..... lay more concrete!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am not surprised and at the same time surprised.

I figured it would be a long project but a quarter century!!!

My previous residence the empty lot behind was turned into a park it took over 2 years.

During that same time a park slightly bigger was built with far more trees, more playground facilities, near my brother's home in my home country in about 3 or 4 months ( construction is limited to late spring, summer and early fall due to very harsh winter).

The difference was simple in Japan at best they had one digger or bulldozer on site maybe 12 workers at most, back home they poured in half a dozen machines 50 or so workers all going at the same time.

When I worked in Japanese companies it was the same do one part of a project only until finished then the next part, rarely was anything done in a multitasking way.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Horrifically ugly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

China could finish this project in 1 year. Hire them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

China could finish this project in 1 year.

Sure, but it would fall apart in two years.

The Chinese are not known for building strong foundations.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Consider yourself lucky. You're living in one of the best city in the world, Not in slum. If they have already made plan, stick to their poster. Why blah! blah!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Let the wheelchair people in on this, because if you are rolling in a chair or tugging along something heavy there are so many dead-end zones with huge flights of stairs in front of you then you have to back track and even get tickets reissued and often go outside to another entrance even in the rain just to get to a platform. Pathetic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They just finished renovating the inside of Ginza Station and it feels a lot narrower with hazards galore for tall persons. Also, the Shibuya labyrinth has been under construction for the past 10 years. Hope this one works out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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