The new Harajuku Station building in Tokyo's pop-culture hub, which is set to open on March 21 in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games, was unveiled Wednesday to the media by East Japan Railway Co.
Harajuku Station, on the capital's busy Yamanote loop line, is a gateway to a center for youth culture and street fashions around the nearby bustling Takeshita shopping street and upscale Omotesando avenue as well as to the sedate precincts of Meiji Jingu shrine.
The original Western-style wooden station building, which was constructed nearly 100 years ago, will be dismantled following the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games due to its narrow shape and failure to meet fireproof standards. But elements of its design will be incorporated in a new nearby commercial building separate from the new station.
The station was given a facelift ahead of the Tokyo Games this summer, during which nearby Yoyogi National Stadium will host handball matches.
The new station building, located south of the wooden one, is a two-story structure that straddles the train tracks and has exits facing Meiji Jingu shrine and Omotesando, according to JR East.
Harajuku Station began operating in 1906 with the wooden building completed in 1924 to accommodate visitors to Meiji Jingu shrine, which was built four years earlier, JR East said.
A platform for exclusive use by a special train for imperial family members is located toward Yoyogi Station. Pedestrian access from the exit facing Takeshita Street will remain unchanged even after the new station opens.
© Kyodo News International, Inc., source Newswire