Since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were announced in 2013, the Japanese capital has kickstarted dozens of revitalization projects throughout the city. In response, other regions of Japan have also been revamping their image.
Among all those renovations and new constructions, the Yamanote Line hasn’t been neglected. The most important train line in Tokyo is about to get a major makeover with eight of its now-30 stations finally taking down the walls and revealing their new 2020 facades.
Opening This Spring
March is a big reveal month for some of the busiest stations on the iconic line, starting with the opening of the 30th station, Takanawa Gateway, on March 14. After Nishi Nippori in 1971, this is the newest addition to the iconic line. While the area surrounding the station and shopping and dining facilities won’t be completed before 2024, the goal is to open this “gateway to Edo.”
Later this month, Harajuku will also reveal its new and improved Harajuku Station. We’ve covered it more in detail here, but the new building promises a better and hopefully less-crowded flow for those visiting the Meiji Shrine or hoping to get some shopping done down Omotesando as of March 21.
Even later this month, Gotanda Station will also reveal the first of several construction projects, including an Atré shopping mall with a variety of shops and restaurants as well as a conveniently located hotel.
Finally, coming at the end of April is a new Ueno Station. These renovations are concentrated on the Ueno Park exit, and include a few eateries as well as a florist. While the shops will be open from April, the exit itself should be up and running by the end of March.
Opening This Summer
Other construction projects are a little less ambitious but still contribute largely to the evening vibe of the city. Takadanobaba, Shinbashi and Yurakucho stations are all getting upgraded under-the-tracks shops and restaurants that should be open for business by July this year. With neighboring restaurants, we hope to see these new additions be complementary to the feel of a good gritty Friday evening under the station.
Further east, Nishi-Nippori is the lucky recipient of a massive expansion. With a brand new Ecute shopping center set to open before the Olympics, commuters will get no less than 28 shops and restaurants to browse between changes or catch a quick bit to or from work.
JR has even more revitalization plans outside the Yamanote Line, including at Omiya, Yokohama and Shinkiba stations, all to be revealed before August 2020.