Tokyo Station 東京駅
The red-bricked facade of Tokyo Station.
A shinkansen train in tokyo station
Credit: Tokyo Station
A Ride through History
Tokyo Station - or Tokyo eki (東京 駅) - consists of 10 island platforms giving access to 20 tracks. Imagine the numbers of trains ... To this, add the famous shinkansen (新 幹線) circulating on 5 tracks in the east of the station.
Note the presence of an incredible underground network in place. In this labyrinth is of course all kinds of shops, supermarkets and restaurants. But this underground pedestrian tunnel, which figure in the tens of kilometers, also allows - and most importantly - to reach the neighboring stations without confronting the urban jungle and intricate surface that exists in this neighborhood.
Last trains? The station also has a huge bus station.
But what Tokyo Station is most known for is its western façade. Western style, built of brick, it seems to be inspired by the impressive Amsterdam Central Station.
A bit of history
In 1896, the Diet, authorizes the creation of a station called Teishajô Chuo (中央 停車場). It will be located in front of the gardens of the Imperial Palace and become the main station of the new railway line linking Tokyo to the southwest of the country.
But events occur and disturb the ongoing projects: the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the war against Russia (1904-1905) are pushing back the project. It was not until 1908 that work began at last. Tokyo station will open its doors to travelers 6 years later, December 20, 1914.
At the time, it had only four tracks! Two for electric cars, and two more for diesel and steam.
In 1923, the Tokyo station resists the great Kanto earthquake which caused more than 100,000 deaths.
In 1945 the station was heavily damaged by Allied bombing. Rebuilt in the same year, the roofs, formerly beautiful domes, were replaced by a simpler angle construction. And the station lost one floor.
A flamboyant renovation
In the 1980s, a project to replace its sublime façade was suggested but quickly abandoned in view of the opposition movements at the time. Instead, an action for the preservation and renovation of this historic building was launched. It was in 2007 that the renovation of the station started, and ended in 2012.
At the end of the work, the station returned to its former glory, and its third level and its domes were also restored.
Prestigious station whose name is identical to the capital, Tokyo station is not limited to a large railway junction, it is a legend that saw two world wars, nearly two Olympics and the launch of the first high speed train in the world!