Between Ueno Station and Nippori Station on the Yamanote Line, there used to be a subway station on the Keisei Main Line named Hakubutsukan-Dobutsuen Station (try saying that five times fast). Located about 900 meters north of Ueno Station on the edge of Ueno Park, within a short distance of Ueno Zoo and the area’s many museums and art galleries, the station stopped operating in 1997 and was officially closed in April 2004.
It’s been over 21 years since it was open. However, this building will be open to the public for viewing from Nov 23 to February 24, 2019. You can check it out between 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The best part: It’s free.
You can purchase a commemorative train ticket and a clear file for 500 yen inside.
The former Hakubutsukan-Dobutsuen Station was officially recognized by the city of Tokyo as a historic building in April 2018. Before being opened to the public, the station was refurbished a bit to give it a good cleaning while still retaining its Showa-era charm. Its entrance was given a fresh makeover by designer Katsuhiko Hibino.
You’ll be able to see the station’s nostalgic ticket counters, staircases, domed ceiling, train tracks, and even some writing left on the walls. The wooden ticket gates will also take you back in time. As a bonus to those of you can read Japanese, you can also read part of a novel on the station’s walls that was written by performer Hitsujiya Shirotama.
Former Hakubutsukan-dobutsuen Station / 旧博物館動物園駅
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Uenokoen 13-23
Open: 11 a.m.-4 p.m on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Nov 23 - Feb 24, 2019)
Sources: Esuteru, Danro
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