Photo: PR Times

Abandoned subway station in Tokyo open to the public for a limited time

By Shannon McNaught, SoraNews24

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.

Station Information

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

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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

-- Staggered by historical preservation survey costs, Kyoto turns to anime girls to save its subway

-- Want to choose the name of Tokyo’s most important new station? Here’s your chance!

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Is 'clear file'actually English, then? Sometimes I pause and wonder whether the katakana words we use in everyday Japanese make sense when moved back into English.

And if anyone can explain 'shitajiki' in less than three words I'll be grateful.

Meanwhile, this subway station looks like a mausoleum. I wonder if they're planning to knock it down soon?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It’s cool. I like the idea that it itself would become a hakubutsukan. I’m not a tecchan but i do enjoy seeing science and history and how this evolved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo's underground Culture.... quite literally.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Used that station a number of times before it closed.

Definitely want to go check it out. Would be a little nostalgic!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, I agree, I think it would be good to open it up permanently as a kind of ‘hakubutsukan’ although, it’s the kind of place you would only visit once.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It looks cool, though I am a but confused about why this is a temporary opening, what are they going to do with it after February?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks an attractive building.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

englisc aspyrgend, I am sure you have never seen an attractive building before.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Looks like a Masonic lodge....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that it is beautiful. There are so few of buildings left in Tokyo with any character.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maria, what they give you must be a transparent folder (file) with a commemorative illustration printed on it. (Not a celluloid underlay, undersheet, something to press on.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Love that Showa era charm! In the ultra modern world of glass and steel, this is a nice little reminder of a simpler more delicate time! Great idea!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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