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New Harajuku station building unveiled ahead of March opening

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Not as interesting as the old one, imho.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

What could be more representative of Harajuku, home of Tokyo's 'pop-culture hub' and green oases Meiji Jingu and Yoyogi Park, than a big metal shed?

Yes, the old station was too small and a fire trap but that's hideous ugly.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Well, that building certainly fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Presumably most people going to Meiji Jingu are going out of their way to see something traditionally Japanese. There is nothing remotely Japanese about this building. Some wooden columns, paper style latterns, curved eaves, wooden lamps, nobori style flags, ... would be all it takes to give the sense of place and a nod to the wooden building there before. From a commercial viewpoint even, no-one Instagramming themself in front of this is going to produce something that says I'm in Japan or I'm in Harajuku. The bit in the foreground looks like it houses a big generator or HVAC for the subway. The bit to the rear looks like a leisure pool.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I loved the old station. But am more appalled by the sheer ugliness of this design (if it was designed at all). Seems they really go out of their way to make public buildings ugly these days.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Yes, me too! I like the old building much better. It has character and the nostalgia factor. This is just an assembly of metal rods, plates, and glass.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What did they do...........Who decided on the design? Who allowed them to completely RUIN the station. Its fugly and cold.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

it's just a train station, folks. 99.9% of them have no character and are only meant to efficiently and SAFELY get people into and out of them. i'm not one for nostalgia so this one works just fine.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Can't it say it contains much charm.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

When they announced the new station building with the sketches, most of us on here took a look and just said that it looked so.... blah.

However, I never imagined that it would look so hideous.

It literally looks like some cheap pre-fab structure thrown together. There is absolutely no character to it at all. I mean, it wouldn't have taken much to make it even a little aesthetically pleasing.

But this???

Horrendous.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It just doesn't blend in with the surroundings. Do the designers and authorities ever think about this? It's like when some idiot decided it was a good idea to build a highway right on top of those old bridges in Tokyo, and only a few metres above!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Is this a subway ventilation building?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Have you ever been in a crowded train station in Tokyo before or after fireworks festival in the summer? That's what it's like at the JR Harajuku station every weekend. An update to the 1924 built station on the Yamanote Line in 2020 was way overdue.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Never mind who was responsible for designing this monstrosity.

I want to know who's responsible for APPROVING it!

May they be forever forced to stare at it with their eyes taped open.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It’s strange that such a culturally rich place gets a makeover as bland and off-the-shelf as this. The new building should be weird and wonderful and interesting and quirky and unique.

Surely the people who designed this at some point thought ‘we can’t do this for the new Harajuku station...it’s Harajuku FFS’.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan is losing it's aesthetic sense, from the looks of things...

This building is ugly.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Oh what a surprise, they've torn down another pretty old wood building and replaced it with a giant grey box! Just what Japan needs more of, ugly grey boxes!

An update to the 1924 built station on the Yamanote Line in 2020 was way overdue.

No arguments here, but given that the new one is being built in a completely different location, tearing down the old one just seems like a gratuitous act of vandalism against the country's architectural heritage.

Which is to say it seems like business as usual in Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Glass walls for the concourse allow for plenty of sunlight and give the building a bright, modern feel. Interior work, such as tiled floors, was also in progress at a fast pace.

Oh no wait, I spoke too soon with my last post. Apparently this new station has exciting modern features such as windows and floors! This is definitely cutting edge stuff.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

New Harajuku station scorecard so far...

Like: 1

Dislike: 15

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Oh boy.

Yes, the old station was tiny, outdated, and overdue for a replacement. And yes, "it's just a train station".

I don't expect charm or character from every train station, but this isn't another random stop on the Nippori-Toneri. It's one of the top stops for tourists. It's Harajuku, man. It should look like more than an industrial utility shed. Hopefully the interior will have some eye appeal.

(Disclaimer: Okay, I haven't actually been to the old Harajuku station since October or November, when I needed to change trains on my way to meet friends at an izakaya. So no, not a regular user. Partly because there's not much that interests me there, and partly because the old station was always so cramped. There. Full disclosure.)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That's a drab building.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

JR Shinagawa has the best acoustics with high ceilings that absorb and dissipate noise, unlike Shinjuku or Tokyo stations with claustrophobia inducing low ceilings.

Once they take off the foam boards (white part in the picture) and the opaque plastic material off the windows, it’ll look less like a storage shed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, it's certainly, um... interesting. Of course, I can't pronounce aesthetic judgement until I've seen it up close and personal, natch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once they take off the foam boards (white part in the picture) and the opaque plastic material off the windows, it’ll look less like a storage shed.

You're joking, right?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nice looking building. I want to visit soon.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The fire proof thing was an execuse to begin with, I mean look at all the Castles around Japan that were rebuilt as a replica of the original or renovated with a fire prevention system!

I am sure they could have just renovated the station and kept its unique style!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wait, are you guys sure that the building is fully finished? Maybe they’ll do a paint job or something? Because it’s still two months before it opens you know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It looks like every other concrete box in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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