Takanawa Gateway Station Opens – Newest Station on the Yamanote Line in 49 Years

Takanawa Gateway Station, the first station to open on the JR Yamanote line since Nishi Nippori in 1971, started operations on March 14th. Takanawa Gateway Station, which is also served by the JR Keihin Tohoku line, is the 30th station on Tokyo’s iconic loop line.

The new station is located between Tamachi to the north and Shinagawa to the south in Minato Ward.

JR East plans to redevelop the area as a new gateway to Tokyo, aiming to open various commercial and office developments around 2024. Japan Rail East is developing a large plot of land (approximately 130,000 square meters) adjacent to Takanawa Gateway station into a hub for the “interaction of companies and people from around the world.” In terms of size, the project site is bigger than the project sites for Tokyo Midtown (about 78,000sqm) and Roppongi Hills (about 109,000sqm).

The new development will feature high-rise office buildings that will create an international business center with easy access to the shinkansen (bullet train) and Haneda Airport. The Sengakuji subway stop, which provides direct transit to Haneda Airport in about twenty minutes, is about 300-meters from Shinagawa station (one stop from Takanawa Gateway Station).

Construction of the Yamanote line’s newest station started in 2017. The station building, which is 3-stories above ground and one below, was designed by architect Kengo Kuma and features a roof with an origami motif. It is JR’s first station to feature AI-signage, supporting voice and text communication in four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, in line with JR’s goal to make the station into a gateway for international travelers and business people. Shinagawa Gateway Station will also be the first to feature an autonomous mobile robot to guide passengers.

The station is expected to have passenger traffic of about 23,000 people per day.

JR East had planned to hold an opening ceremony for the new station on March 19th, but the ceremony has been postponed due to the measures related to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Cat street, Harajuku photo by Nayalan Moodley

Source: Mainichi newspaper, March 14, 2020