9 Enjoyable Details About Tokyo Station

Whereas Shinjuku Station takes the title as the most important and Shimbashi as Japan’s oldest, Tokyo Station might need the richest and most fascinating historical past. Building started in 1908, however the station solely opened to be used in 1914 with two platforms for electrical trains and one for non-electric trains.

In the present day, greater than 500,000 folks cross by way of the station day by day. It includes a fluid combine of contemporary and historic structure. The west facet with a extra traditional architectural look is positioned near the Imperial Palace within the Marunouchi enterprise district. The Yaesu facet is near the fashionable procuring district of Ginza and options extra trendy structure.

Kingo Tatsuno
Editorial credit score: Ogawa Kazumasa

1. It was designed by Kingo Tatsuno: The daddy of contemporary Japanese structure

Previous to taking up the design of Tokyo Station from Franz Balzer, a German railway engineer, Kingo Tatsuno had already crafted a popularity because the designer of the principle workplace of the Financial institution of Japan and different outstanding buildings erected throughout the Meiji Interval (1868-1912 ).

Balzer was faraway from the mission as a result of the emperor wished a extra Western design and believed his design was “too Japanese.” Tatsuno then took over.

He submitted his first draft in 1904, nevertheless it was a lot smaller than the unique because of the restricted funds of 420,000. Following the Russo-Japanese Warfare in 1905, the funds was elevated to 2.8 million since Japan launched a marketing campaign to enhance nationwide status. The ultimate proposal in 1910 featured a big station with three tales.

Amsterdam central station
Picture by Neil Howard

2. It was rumored to be designed after Amsterdam Central Station

The red-brick look of Tokyo Station resembles Amsterdam Central Station within the Netherlands, so Tatsuno might have taken inspiration from Dutch structure. Outstanding Dutch translator Jan Joosten, who was additionally a guide for the Tokugawa Shogun, resident within the Yaesu district, so which will have additionally impressed Tatsuno’s design. The identify of the east facet of Tokyo Station “Yaesu” is derived from the identify Jan Joosten.

Picture by way of Wikicommons

3. It survived the Nice Kanto Earthquake, however burned down in World Warfare II

The Nice Kanto Earthquake in 1923 precipitated an enormous hearth and different injury to surrounding buildings however barely broken Tokyo Station. However, a lot of the roof and inside was destroyed by air raids in Could 1945. Reconstruction was accomplished inside a 12 months, however solely two of the unique three flooring had been restored for security causes. The domed roofs had been additionally modified to octagonal shapes.

The station constructing was designated an necessary cultural property in 2003, then efficiently preserved and restored in 2012.

Picture by way of Wikicommons

4. It is the positioning of the assassination of 1 prime minister and the tried assassination of one other

In 1921, Prime Minister Takashi Hara was stabbed to demise by a radical conservative in entrance of the south wing of the station after he arrived to board a practice for Kyoto. Hara was the primary Christian prime minister in Japan and allowed a point of cultural freedom in Japan’s colonies, notably Korea, by allowing for the primary time, a faculty curriculum that featured Korean language and historical past. He gained few supporters, since Koreans thought his measures had been insufficient and Japanese thought they had been extreme. Thus, he was assassinated by right-wing railroad switchman, Konichi Nakaoka.

9 years later, Prime Minister Osachi Hamaguchi was shot in Tokyo Station as he was strolling in the direction of the Tsubame specific practice. He was headed to Okayama to look at particular large-scale navy maneuvers and was shot by a member of the Aikokusha ultranationalist secret society, Tomeo Sagoya. The try on his life was made due to his liberal insurance policies towards Korea and his failed financial insurance policies. He died a 12 months later from the injuries he obtained from the assassination try. Guests can observe the spot he was shot close to the south exit on the Marunouchi facet because it’s marked by a particular tile.

5. The imperial household sometimes makes use of imperial trains that depart from Tokyo Station

Being inside strolling distance of the imperial palace, Tokyo Station is the place imperial trains, or omeshi ressha, are specifically operated for the imperial household. There are bulletproof glass shinkansen automobiles and disguised restricted specific trains the place the car variety of the automobile is not introduced so terrorists cannot goal them. After Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne, air journey or often scheduled trains with a reserved carriage grew to become extra frequent than imperial trains.

6. The primary Shinkansen pulled out of Tokyo Station on October 1, 1964

The primary Shinkansen in Japan was the Tokaido Line, which runs from Tokyo to Osaka. It lower journey time in half from six-and-a-half hours on common trains to 3 hours and 10 minutes. When it opened, folks known as it “yume no chotokkyu” (which means: super-express of goals.) It required an $80 million mortgage from the World Financial institution for development and engineering, which barely coated the prices. Therefore, the top of the mission, Shinji Sogo and people who labored on it had been known as “the loopy gang.” Quickly after, nonetheless, the 0 Collection Shinkansen grew to become a logo of Japan’s technological prowess.

Picture by 663highland

7. There was once an underground passage for mail supply between Tokyo Station and the Central Publish Workplace

The Tokyo Central Publish Workplace opened in 1933 positioned outdoors Tokyo Station’s south exit. It was designed by Tetsuro Yoshida who designed many submit places of work and telegraph places of work in Japan. Mail was as soon as transported by cart in an underground passage between the station and the submit workplace throughout the Taisho (1912-1926) and Showa (1926-1989) durations. A part of the unique submit workplace constructing remains to be preserved and now contains the underside layer constructing of JP Tower.

8. It has an artwork gallery

Tokyo Station Gallery opened in 1988 to introduce artwork to the lots at one of many busiest stations in Japan. Because it opened, greater than 2.3 million folks have visited to admire the paintings. It closed in 2006 after which reopened in 2012 after the renovation of the station constructing completed. There are about 5 totally different exhibitions yearly usually targeted on trendy artwork. The exhibition flooring are on the fashionable third ground and the historic second ground. The second ground is the one place within the station the place you’ll be able to see authentic brick partitions older than 100 years in a single place. It is positioned within the Marunouchi constructing outdoors the north exit.

Tokyo Station Hotel
Editorial credit score: Dick Thompson Johnson

9. It has a resort

The resort opened within the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Constructing in 1915, one 12 months after the opening of the station. The fashionable European-style resort has 56 visitor rooms and a banquet corridor. It was a well-liked assembly place after the Nice Hanshin Earthquake, because it wasn’t very broken. It was quickly closed from 2006 to 2012 on account of conservation and restoration initiatives. These days Tokyo’s political elite nonetheless collect there for afternoon tea. Room charges are round 40,000.