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Preserving and Revitalising Heritage while Creating the Future – A New Tokyo Emerges in 2020

January 17, 2020 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email


In the run-up to Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Japan is focused on rejuvenating large swaths of its already impressive capital. Long term strategic town planning is paying off as many areas emerge preserved and revitalised. In 2019 the redevelopment of Shibuya Station and surrounds was a key focus, this was just one of many areas to undergo redevelopment. Tokyo Tourism is pleased to introduce some examples of other noteworthy areas undergoing a make-over including: Tokyo’s waterfront redevelopments, Nihonbashi, Toranomon, and Shinjuku areas.

Tokyo’s Waterfront:  Major efforts are underway to improve the infrastructure around Tokyo’s waterfront, notably around the new “Takanawa Gateway Station” designed by architect Kengo Kuma due to open in spring 2020 on the Yamanote Line train line. It will be the first new station on the JR Yamanote Line (Tokyo’s circle train line) since 1948. The new station design was inspired by Origami.  Not far away in the Tamachi area, the “msb Tamachi” development project should reach completion around the same time. Already a 143-room luxury hotel (Pullman Tokyo Tamachi) opened Oct 2018 and two high-rise buildings, with the “Tamachi Station Tower South” completing the project. Special attention is also being given to Takeshiba area next to Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu Gardens, and the construction of the large business and entertainment complex called “WATERS takeshiba” will reinvent the entire area as an international business hub.

Nihonbashi Revitalisation Plan: As part of the major redevelopments the long-term plan for the Nihonbashi area has shown much progress, the “COREDO Muromachi” shopping complex opened for business in 2004. The iconic Nihonbashi Takashimaya Department store was been transformed into an important cultural property, with the addition of a tower the “Nihonbashi Takashimaya Mitsui Building” in 2018, a landmark that fuses old with new in harmony.  The “Nihonbashi Boarding Dock” (a Pier) was completed in 2011 at the foot of Nihonbashi Bridge, complete with replica pylons the pier commemorated the stone bridge’s 100th anniversary. As for the future and next stages of the revitalisation, there are already plans to begin construction in 2020 to take the Metropolitan Expressway underground and the now covered up Nihonbashi Bridge will once again be a centrepiece of the new waterfront plan for the area.

Toranomon Area Updates: An additional new station “Toranomon Hills Station” on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line will begin operations right before the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and “Toranomon Hills Station Tower” (tentative name) building integrated with the station, will reach final completion in 2023. This 49 storey (approximately 265m) high tower includes offices and hotels and will become a new international business hub in central Tokyo. In addition, the large scale “Toranomon Azabudai Project” announced in 2019 will reimagine the Toranomon Azabudai area as a modern urban village, with a focus on the themes of green and wellness the developers plan is for a nurturing cityscape. The plans by international renowned architects and designers incorporate a tower as tall as Tokyo Tower (330m) and many integrated green spaces.

Another spectacular tower for Shinjuku- The Kabukicho 1-chome Project: A 48-storey tower is being built on the site of the former “SHINJUKU TOKYU MILANO” movie theatre in the centre of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho. Due for completion in 2022, it will house a hotel, a cinema and restaurants.

These are just some examples of the many exciting projects in Tokyo’s ever evolving landscape.



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