All About Japan

Harajuku Station's Getting Revamped

Stations Shopping 2020 Olympics Tokyo Harajuku

The end is drawing near for the iconic Harajuku Station, which opened on October 30, 1906. To prepare for the huge surge of visitors to the fashion district during the Olympic Games in 2020, the station will be undergoing renovations starting on January 15, 2017.

Oddly enough, though, the completion date of the project is August 31, 2021, a full year after the Olympic Games vacate Japan’s capital. Specifying such a specific date that’s still so far in the future seems to indicate that it’s more of a placeholder meant to convey the idea that construction may possibly continue in some form through the summer of 2021. That said, the projected time frame of more than four years from start to finish drives home the fact that even if the new Harajuku Station retains certain aesthetic elements of the present design (something which JR is yet to confirm), its overall appearance is going to be very, very different from what it is now.

In all fairness, the number of people flowing in and out of Harajuku has grown far beyond the woefully small capacity of the current building, which has only a handful of ticket gates and extremely limited space between the structure and road that runs in front of the building. Still, plenty of Tokyoites and repeat visitors to the city will be sad to see the old station go.

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