One of the most iconic, if not the most iconic train stations in Tokyo is Tokyo Station. It is located in the heart of Tokyo in Chiyoda Ward and is across the street from the Imperial Palace. This station is served by the Shinkansen (Bullet Train). At over 3000 trains per day, Tokyo Station is the fifth busiest in terms of passengers going through it on a daily basis. It is operated by Japan Railways in addition to the Tokyo Metro.
Tokyo Station was designed by architect Tatsuno Kingo who also designed the Bank of Japan building. Construction started in 1908 and opened six years later on December 14th, 1914. It is rumored to have been designed after the Amsterdam Centraal Station in the Netherlands. However, a scholar of Western architecture at the time, Terunobu Fujimori denied this having studied Tatsuno Kingo’s works in addition to the actual building.
At the time Tokyo Station opened back in 1914, it had a total of only four platforms. Much of the station was destroyed in World War II during a B-29 bombing on May 25th, 1945. The station was rebuilt quickly within that year with various changes made. The Station was now only two stories instead of three and what used to be domes were replaced with angular roofs. These changes are said to have caused the impression that it was built based on the Amsterdam Central Station. In the 1980’s there was talk about demolishing the station and building a larger station; however, this never got underway do to a preservation movement.
Currently there are 10 platforms with 20 tracks above the street level. On the Yaesu side of the station, the Shinkansen lines can be found. There is also a department store by the name of Daimaru. Underground there are two platforms with four tracks that service the Yokosuka, Sobu and Narita Express Lines. There are another two platforms with four tracks serving the Keiyo Line. There is also a massive underground walkway that connects various commercial buildings nearby. These walkways prove convenient whenever it rains since pedestrians can walk underground and escape the rain. Also, in summer many pedestrians can escape the heat since it is cooler underground than above ground. Currently, there are many high-rise buildings that surround Tokyo Station.
The following is a list of train lines that stop at Tokyo Station:
Chuo Main Line
Sobu Main Line
Tokaido Main Line
After Tokyo Station opened in 1914 the annual number of passengers was a little over 550,000. In 2013 the average number of passengers per day was 415,908.
There have been two assassinations on Japanese prime ministers. The first was in 1921. As prime minister Takashi Hara was about to board a train to Kyoto he was stabbed by a rightist at the south wing.
The second was in 1930 when prime minister Osachi Hamaguchi was also shot by a rightist. The following year he died from the wounds.