Monday, September 24, 2012

Tokyo Station is awesome!?

There are many railway lines in Tokyo. They are so complicated that people, even those living in Tokyo, always wonder which route is the best to get to their destinations. I often check the best route on the Internet. Since these railway lines cover a large part of the Tokyo area, office workers in Tokyo commute by train ( Companies in downtown Tokyo usually require their workers to commute by train) . People are very familiar with train stations. Major ones are always busy

Given these circumstances, there has recently been a tendency to open great shops inside train stations (Please see Note #1 below ). These shops are referred to as 駅ナカ/Eki naka", and have been drawing considerable attention. If you stop by major train stations in the Tokyo area, you'll wonder if they are actually stations since they look like department stores. JR Tokyo Station, one of the largest terminal stations in Japan, is awesome. Shops selling premade food inside the station always attract people. I am certain that you will find the station interesting and enjoy shopping there (See Link #1 below).

A major redevelopment project has been going on for more than 20 years around the station.  As a part of the project, Marunouchi/丸の内 area beside the station has become very popular. Tokyo Station has been under construction since 2007, not only to make it more earthquake resistant but also to restore its appearance to its original state (click here). Since Tokyo Station is unique in appearance, it has been fascinating people since when it was built in 1914, although some parts of the station were burned down during World War Ⅱ and were rebuilt in different forms (I think that the originality and uniqueness remain nonetheless).Needless to say, original form is better.

A few months ago, the restored station was finally unveiled (Please see the attached pictures I took). On the first of October, the final stage of the renovation of Tokyo Station is due to be completed. To celebrate the accomplishment, an event was held on the 22nd and 23rd of September. An impressive 3D projection mapping show ran on the new station building. I didn't have time to go see it, but somebody has already uploaded it on YouTube (click here. Also, please see the YouTube video below).

Note #1
In this context, "inside train stations" indicates places within the ticket gates. In Japan, companies, for their regular employees, buy a commuter train pass for the route between their home and their company. Commuter train pass holders are allowed to get into and out of any station on their routes ”freely". Do you understand what I'm saying? 

The 3D projection mapping show.