Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tokyo Station, an amazing building and Ozu location.

The original building at Tokyo Station was opened in 1914, it was badly damaged by bombing in World War Two but repaired just one year after the war. This restoration was meant to be temporary but lasted until 2007 when a five year full restoration was begun to return the main red brick frontage to it's 1914 state. It was finally re-opened in October 2012.

The station appeared in at least a couple of Ozu movies which makes it of extra interest to me. It's also the main terminal for Shinkansen running both North and South plus one of the main stops on the Narita Express running in from the airport. It was inevitable that I would get to know it quite well.
Behind the brick wall lies a hidden city that seems to descend deep into the earth and contains more shops and restaurants than most small English towns.

When I visited in 2009 much of the station was boarded up and restoration was in full flow

In 2013 it looks rather splendid, as always any photo can be clicked once and then a second time to see more detail.

An interesting extra fact (given I visited Ishinomaki and Onagawa in Miyagi prefecture to see their recovery from the 2011 Tsunami) is that the roof slates used for this restoration originate from the Ishinomaki region close to Onagawa. The slates were being prepared before the earthquake and were initially thought lost in the Tsunami but many were found undamaged under the rubble and were cleaned by the quarry workers so they could still be used.

You can read the full story here

I chose a hotel in Tokyo close to the station as I was doing so much travelling and my room looked down onto the tracks entering the platforms. I could also see the roof illuminated at night from my window. Click on the photo below a couple of times to see if you can spot it .

A daylight picture to help 

The Narita Express trains to and from the main Narita Airport stop deep in the bowels of Tokyo Station  where they seemed to join two trains together mid journey.

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