What was Tokyo Like? Comparing Then and Now | FAST JAPAN
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What was Tokyo Like? Comparing Then and Now

Tokyo is a must go-to destination for many people. For over 50 years Tokyo has been expanding and renovating. Many of the old buildings still stand, but they get a new look.

Shibuya Crossing (1952)

Shibuya Crossing
Shibuya Crossing

Within one stoplight cycle, more than 3,000 people cross at the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. There is always been a lot of people passing through this intersection. After Shibuya Station was completed, more high-rise buildings were built and Shibuya Parco opened as a fashion town. It took 120 years for Shibuya to become the way it is now. Now Shibuya is a town that represents Japan.

 

Shibuya Station (1955)

Shibuya Station
Shibuya Station

The famous Hachiko statue near the west exit of Shibuya Station was built in May 27, 1955. To the center left of the station is the Tokyu department store which is connected to the station. Present day, there is a 34 story multi-purpose tower, Shibuya Hikarie.

 

Shibuya Station (1958)

Shibuya Station
Shibuya Station

On the west side of Shibuya Station, there is the Keio Teito Electric Railway’s Inokashira Line that opened on January 8, 1958. People used to wear geta and kimonos. Geta are a mix between wooden clogs and flip flops. There was a lively atmosphere after WW II. Today, there is a pathway connecting the Tokyo Metro and the Keio Inokashira Line, Shibuya Mark City was built in 2000 and to the right of that is the famous Shibuya 109.

 

Shibuya 109 (1974)

Shibuya 109
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The famous Shibuya 109 opened in 1979, the building was designed by Minoru Takeyama as a “fashion community”. The shops were targeting women in their early 30s, it was meant to compete with the Seibu Department Store. The name “109” came from the Japanese characters tō (meaning 10) and kyū (9) as in “Tokyu”. The interior design takes customers in a loop on each floor. A movie theater was originally planned to be on the top floor, but the fire department wouldn’t grant approval because the emergency evacuation routes did not meet standards. Although the store was meant for women is their 30s but now it is a sanctuary for women in their teens and 20s.

 

Shinjuku Station (1963)

Shinjuku
Shinjuku

During 1963, you could see the Yamanote Line, the East exit, and the West exit from the station. Also in 1963 the Keio Line and in 1964 the basement platform for the Odakyu Line was built. With so many improvements to the station, Shinjuku was growing even larger.

 

Ginza (1964)

Ginza
Ginza

Ginza 4-chome dates back to March 6, 1964, Sukiyabashi Crossing toward Harumi Street during evening rush hour is a busy as ever. The advertising pillar for Morinaga debuted in 1953 and it became a Ginza landamark. But it was taking down in 1983. Today, at the Sukiyabashi Crossing there are many foreign brand name shops.

 

Shinbashi Station (1965)

Shinbashi Station
Shinbashi Station

Shinbashi Station is one of the oldest stations and it is one of the original terminus of Japan’s first stretch of railway, the Tōkaidō Main Line. The present day structure opened on December 16, 1909 as Karasumori Station on the Yamanote Line. The station was later demolished to build Shiodome Station, and Karasumori Station was renamed to Shinbashi Station. The first subway line was operated by the  Tokyo Underground Railroad Company, they extended the railway to Shinbashi Station in 1934. Before the station had a more local feeling to it. Now there are many departments stores and it has growing into a major area.

 

Harajuku Station (1924)

Harajuku Station
Harajuku Station

Harajuku station opened on October 30, 1906. When the station first opened, there was very little around it.The station is made up of one island platform serving two tracks. At the station, the south exit is the main entrance and near the center of the platform the closest exit in Takeshita Street. The street is well-known for the trendy shops. The station is located next to the Meiji Jingu Shrine. In 2016. JR East announced the station is going to be rebuilt in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

 

Tokyo Station (1960)

 Tokyo Station
 Tokyo Station

In 1960, the parking lot in front of Tokyo Station was Japan’s first parking lot in Marunouchi district. The road between Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace was dug so that a parking lot of 520 cars could be built. There was a first and second floor basement, the hourly fee was 150 yen. In October 2012, the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station was renovated, the old parking lot basement was turned into passageways and galleries.

 

Meiji Jingu Gaien (1959)

Meiji Jingu Gaien
Meiji Jingu Gaien

The picture shown above was the wedding parade for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. The horse-drawn carriage carried the newlyweds from the Imperial Palace to their home in Tokiwamatsu Imperial Villa, the Crown Prince’s temporary residence. Near Sakurada Gate, Hanzomon Gate, and Yotsuya the street is lined with ginkgo trees. There was about 530,000 people on the streets watching the royal parade. The trees still line the street today, the trees were planted in 1923.

 

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