Things are changing in and around Shinjuku Station, but the results are a long way off.
Tokyo’s major train stations are known to be near-unsolvable mazes, and Shinjuku Station’s numerous train lines, multiple floors of intertwining paths, and confusing exits all make it one of the city’s worst offenders. So here at Japankuru, we’re excited to hear that the station will be undergoing some major renovations, specifically a massive overhaul of the east and west exits.
While the low quality of the illustrations offered on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government page makes it a little difficult to imagine, the major changes won’t be inside the station, but directly next to the exits. In an attempt to cut down on the serious congestion of people moving in and out of the station, the city plans to turn the plazas outside the east and west exits into open pedestrian zones. The plan is to aid with the free flow of foot traffic, and hopefully make Shinjuku Station just a little more accessible for the millions of people who use it each day.
Perhaps most exciting for Shinjuku regulars, though, is the new bridge/deck that goes over and across the middle of Shinjuku Station, solving a problem that’s a minor frustration for those who understand the geography of the area, and occasionally a major headache for the uninitiated.
Currently at Shinjuku Station, there’s no easy way to cross over or under the station and its many train lines, which means there’s no simple way to get from one side of the train station to the other. Unless you want to pay for a train ticket to go through the inner workings of the station, getting from the east side of Shinjuku Station to the west (or vice versa) means a detour north or south, to go all the way around the enormous building complex. As illustrated in blue on the map above, however, the east-west pedestrian deck will provide a new, convenient route right over the station, making it much easier to get from one side to the other.
And when, exactly, will we all get to make use of these exciting renovations? The government page says that they hope to complete the first stage of renovations in 2035, giving people some amount of access to the plazas and the bridge over the station, and they’re aiming to complete the project in 2046, although the official construction period seems to end in 2047. Yes, that means that these renovations are intended to stretch for the next 26 years. And with the help of Japanese bureaucracy, who knows how long the project might last? But no matter how long it takes, we can’t help it, the Japankuru team is excited to see how the renovations at Shinjuku Station turn out! Be sure to stick around for our article on the final results in 2047!?
Name: Shinjuku Station (新宿駅)
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