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Old September 21st, 2013, 06:51 AM   #6121
quashlo
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If anyone is interested, the UR report is here:
http://www.ur-net.go.jp/toshisaisei/...2/houkoku1.pdf

It's fairly technical, but I found it very interesting, since I'm doing some very similar stuff at work, although I can't say the problems at our stations are anywhere close to what Tōkyō stations face on a daily basis.

According to the report, recent highrise developments in Tōkyō are concentrated in Minato Ward (residential) and Chiyoda + Minato Wards (office), many of them 300 m or more to the closest train station. They also did a quantitative analysis of passenger capacity at stations (vertical circulation) versus the demand for exiting passengers, and found potential bottlenecks at several stations in these wards.

The next step was forecasting the potential ridership growth at the station based on the land use growth surrounding the station. There’s about 1.7 million sq m (net growth) in the pipeline for the Toranomon / Kamiyachō area, resulting in growth in nighttime population (+7,700) and employees (+59,200), although much of it will be concentrated closer to Kamiyachō and Roppongi than to Toranomon:

Code:
Project                                           Net sq m
================================================ =========
 1 Iino Building redevelopment                     100,000
 2 Nishi-Shinbashi 1-chōme Project                  60,000
     (Shin-Nisseki replacement)
 3 Loop Road #2 Shinbashi-Toranomon Block 3        240,000
     (Toranomon Hills)
 4 Toranomon 1-chōme area                          100,000
 5 Print Bureau / Toranomon Hospital replacement   100,000
 6 Tomoe Elementary School site                     30,000
 7 Toranomon Pastoral redevelopment                190,000
 8 Toranomon / Azabudai area (Toranomon 5-chōme)   230,000
 9 Toranomon / Roppongi area                       140,000
10 Roppongi 1-chōme south area                      30,000
11 21 / 25B replacement                             60,000
12 Toranomon / Azabudai (Azabudai 1-chōme)         200,000
13 Azabu Post Office area                          200,000
                                                 =========
                                                 1,680,000


Currently, Toranomon and Kamiyachō average 108,000 and 95,000 riders a day (18,000 and 15,000 during the peak one hour), but this will increase to 133,000 and 135,000 riders a day (21,000 and 21,000 during the peak one hour) with the pipeline developments. A new station on the Hibiya Line could draw about 80,000 riders a day (13,000 during the peak one hour).
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Old September 21st, 2013, 02:56 PM   #6122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
There may be fewer ambitious plans for rail expansion in Nagoya, perhaps due to the stronger car culture there- Aichi prefecture, despite being the fourth largest prefecture in population, is first in car ownership. Apparently it is not unusual to see 3 or 4 car households there.
I had noticed that Aichi prefecture was less convenient by rail compared to other areas, but I had hoped that may change given the stories about "demotorisation" of Japan. Those plans presented by Quashlo would have made such a difference to the city. A shame they were not realised.
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 07:36 PM   #6123
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Gran Roof on the Yaesu side of JR Tōkyō Station is open. Quite a change if you can remember what it used to look like, and a nice contrast to the historic Marunouchi side.

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Old September 22nd, 2013, 07:44 PM   #6124
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End of the line for Narita Airport terminal shuttle
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0000590873

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NARITA, Chiba—Shuttle trains connecting the main building of Terminal 2 and the satellite building at Narita Airport will terminate services later this month after 20 years in operation.

The yellow shuttles, which have been popular among tourists and Japanese alike since 1992 when Terminal 2 was built, will be replaced with moving platforms that are now under construction.

According to Narita International Airport Corp., each remotely controlled shuttle has a capacity of 312 people and takes just 67 seconds to travel along the 300-meter-long track. The four shuttles make about 400 round trips a day between the two buildings, carrying a total of 20,000 passengers.

The shuttles float 0.1 millimeter above the track with compressed air blowing from the underside of the body and are pulled by a cable. Narita Airport was the first airport in the world to adopt this technology, and the shuttles were the only vehicles in the country to use it. Children were especially attracted by the shuttles for their novelty and the panoramic view from the wide front window.

However, some passengers have complained that they have to wait for two to five minutes between shuttles during rush hour at the airport. Repair costs are also high, as it is the only system in operation in Japan.

The airport company decided to replace the shuttles with moving walkways, which are much more convenient and will not keep passengers waiting, ahead of an expected increase in arriving and departing flights at the airport in the near future. The decommissioned shuttles will be displayed in Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture, close to the airport.

“It’s a shame to lose the shuttles, which even adults can enjoy,” said Yuki Nakayama, 42, a Japan Airlines Co. employee in charge of passenger service at the airport. “Everyone smiled at the sight of children playing train driver on the shuttles.”

Video of the shuttle system:

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Old September 22nd, 2013, 09:08 PM   #6125
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That is a shame. I prefer shuttles like that instead of moving walkways. Sometimes getting through airports can seem like such a chore, but when your journey is broken up by a shuttle, it isn't half as bad. Hong Kong international is one of my favourite shuttles.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 06:07 AM   #6126
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We'll miss this unusual shuttle, but there's a reason for the new moving walkway replacement: it can handle a lot more passengers going back and forth between Terminals 1 and 2, which will become necessary during the 2020 Summer Olympics in nearby Tokyo.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 07:48 AM   #6127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
We'll miss this unusual shuttle, but there's a reason for the new moving walkway replacement: it can handle a lot more passengers going back and forth between Terminals 1 and 2, which will become necessary during the 2020 Summer Olympics in nearby Tokyo.
I sense that replacing the shuttle with moving walkways would keep passenger flow moving very efficiently rather than letting them choose either walking along the terminal or using the yellow shuttle service. I mean, I'd really love to ride that shuttle, but, I sense that the distance may be a bit too short (300 meters) to maintain it in good condition. There will always be trade offs when something is being replaced or added...
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 10:00 AM   #6128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k. jetcar
There may be fewer ambitious plans for rail expansion in Nagoya, perhaps due to the stronger car culture there- Aichi prefecture, despite being the fourth largest prefecture in population, is first in car ownership. Apparently it is not unusual to see 3 or 4 car households there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
I had noticed that Aichi prefecture was less convenient by rail compared to other areas, but I had hoped that may change given the stories about "demotorisation" of Japan. Those plans presented by Quashlo would have made such a difference to the city. A shame they were not realised.
Hehe well the most obvious reason is that first and foremost, the Toyota Group is based there.

They probably contribute a very huge portion to the GDP as well as to the overall economy of the Aichi area.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 04:26 PM   #6129
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Let's not forget Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, Aisin, Toyo & a lot of other car related manufacturers are also based there too! I used to live there you know and the city is definitely set up for you to own a car more so than any other Japanese city. For example it's very easy to find parking almost anywhere and usually if its attached to a business it's free. Very much unlike metropolitan Tokyo and most of Osaka

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Old September 23rd, 2013, 04:45 PM   #6130
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For example it's very easy to find parking almost anywhere and usually if its attached to a business it's free.
This.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 06:32 AM   #6131
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Setagaya line,Tokyo

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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #6132
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MLIT to implement new funding scheme to rehabilitate aging subway, local railway infrastructure
地下鉄、鉄道の改修支援=施設の老朽化対策に補助-国交省

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=eco_30&k=2013092100170

Starting in FY2014, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has finalized a policy objective to help fund the renovation of aging infrastructure on subways and local railways. Station buildings, tunnels, and other rail infrastructure built during the post-war industrialization period is rapidly approaching the end of their life cycle, and the MLIT will provide financial assistance to cover a portion of the required retrofit and rehabilitation costs to extend the life of the infrastructure.

About 417 km--over 50% of the total length of subways in the country—is 30 years of age or older. The effects of infrastructure age begin to materialize at around 30 years after opening, including spalling on tunnel walls as a result of groundwater. However, current funding structures are primarily focused on new projects such as extensions, and not on renovations or rehabilitations of existing infrastructure. Under the new scheme, the MLIT will fund about 25% and encourage operators to establish mid- to long-term rehabilitation plans, earmarking ¥4 billion for the funding scheme in its FY2014 budget allocation request.

The average age of railway infrastructure is 56 years for bridges and 62 years for tunnels. The MLIT will also implement a special funding scheme for mid- and small-scale local railway operators to help fund one-third of repainting of bridges and other measures, irrespective of project scale. For operators in the red, the MLIT will increase the funding share to two-fifths. The MLIT included ¥10 billion in its FY2014 budget request for this funding program.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #6133
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Urasoe City looking for potential developers for proposed Uranishi Station on Yui Rail extension
モノレール「浦西駅」周辺開発 参入事業者を公募

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-...rytopic-4.html

Urasoe City has begun a request-for-proposals (RFP) process to select a developer for approx. 20.1 ha in the Maeda (前田) and Nishihara (西原) areas of the city surrounding the proposed Uranishi Station, the fourth station on the Yui Rail extension targeted to open in spring 2019. Proposals will be accepted until the end of November.

The land is currently owned by 208 property owners, and the city is currently in discussions with a land readjustment association on a potential land use program for the area. Urban planning approvals must be obtained sometime in FY2014 in order to meet the opening of the monorail extension, so the city is working to coordinate closely with the developer and landowners on how to redevelop the land.

In addition to the new monorail station, the area is slated for several transportation improvements, including a new Kōchi Interchange (幸地) on the adjacent Okinawa Expressway (沖縄自動車道), a 1,000-space park-and-ride facility, and a community bus service centered on the new station. As a result, the city is looking for developers for both public-focused anchor facilities such as medical buildings, schools, and transportation-related functions, as well as private-sector developers for medical and elderly care, sports facilities, retail facilities, hotels, and housing.

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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #6134
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San’yō Electric Railway, Kōbe New Transit to join nationwide interoperability
山陽電鉄と神戸新交通、ICカード全国相互利用サービスに対応…2014年春から

http://response.jp/article/2013/09/20/206778.html

On 2013.09.19, San’yō Electric Railway and Kōbe New Transit announced that they would participate in the nationwide IC card interoperability program starting in spring 2014. Both systems already accept Kansai-local IC cards (PiTaPa and ICOCA), but were not part of the rollout of nationwide interoperability in March of this year. They will now be joining the program in spring 2014, meaning passengers can use cards such as Suica and PASMO to pay for fares.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:48 PM   #6135
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Schedule changes for Hankyū Kyōto Line, Ōsaka Municipal Subway Sakai-suji Line
阪急京都線と地下鉄堺筋線、西山天王山駅の開業に合わせて12/21ダイヤ改正

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/09/21/007/

On 2013.09.20, Hankyū Corporation announced that it schedule changes to the Hankyū Kyōto Line to accommodate the opening of the new Nishiyama–Tennōzan Station will take effect on 2013.12.21. The Ōsaka Municipal Subway Sakai-suji Line, which through-services with the Hankyū Kyōto Line, will also see changes to its schedule.

The new Nishiyama–Tennōzan Station is located between Ōyamazaki and Nagaoka Tenjin Stations on the Kyōto Line, and will be served by semi-expresses (準急) and locals (普通) after opening. The primary focus of the schedule changes involves adjustments to train destinations and transfer improvements during the weekday morning commute period and during the late night period on weekdays, weekends, and holidays.

The through-servicing semi-expresses that currently operate from Tengachaya Station on the Sakai-suji Line to Takatsuki-shi Station during the weekday evening rush hour will be extended all the way to Kawaramachi Station in central Kyōto. The extension will improve convenience east of Kanmaki Station (上牧駅) and relieve congestion inside limited-stop trains, as well as offer connections at Awaji Station with local trains on the Senri Line departing from Umeda bound for Kita-Senri. Connections between weekday evening commuter expresses (通勤特急), rapid expresses (快速急行), and rapids (快速) from Umeda bound for Kawaramachi and semi-expresses and locals will now be consolidated at three stations—Ibaraki-shi, Takatsuki-shi, and Nagaoka Tenjin.

In addition to an additional late-night (23:30) departure from Kawaramachi Station for Takatsuki-shi Station (the current 23:30, a local for Umeda, will be moved to 23:25), there will also be changes to color coding schemes on destination signs for rapid services to blue, as they are currently difficult to distinguish from the green for semi-expresses.

In coordination, the last departures on the Sakai-suji Line will be extended by 30 minutes or more. The current last departure from Tengachaya Station is the 23:36 departure for Tenjinbashi-suji Rokuchōme, but after the schedule changes, will be a 24:18 departure for Shōjaku on the Kyōto Line. The current last departure from Tenjinbashi-suji Rokuchōme will also be extended from the current 23:37 to 24:08. After these late-night schedule changes, the Ōsaka Municipal Subway will have pushed back the last trains on all lines in the system.

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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:49 PM   #6136
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Izu Hakone Railway breaks ground on Mishima Station renovation
伊豆箱根鉄道、三島駅の改修工事に着手…2014年2月末まで

http://response.jp/article/2013/09/23/206950.html

On 2013.09.20, Izu Hakone Railway announced that they would begin renovation of the station building at Mishima Station (Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture) on the Sunzu Line. The work involves retrofits of aging portions of the structure, as well as other improvements.

The current station building was a replacement, opening in 1968, and is beginning to show its age. The railway will use grant funds for railway facilities safety improvements from the national government and Shizuoka Prefecture to carry out the renovation. In addition to retrofitting the column supports, the work will also include repainting the roof, exterior walls, and steel structural members; installation of anti-slip treatments for ramps inside the station; and conversion of station lighting to LED systems. The work will be completed in February 2014.

===

Scenes on the Sunzu Line (2013.02.22):



JR Central also recently completed a seismic retrofit of their headhouse at the station, part of the railway’s seismic retrofit program for its 76 stations with 5,000 or more daily passengers.
http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/09/13/011/

The previous station building was completed when the station first opened in 1934, and featured a special curved roof reminiscent of Mt. Fuji and eaves that draw from the Mishima Taisha (三島大社) shrine. The seismic retrofit required a complete replacement of the structure, but features a design very similar to the original. Work began in November 2011, and portions of the new station building opened in February of this year, but the remainder of the work was completed in August. The new building has an expanded paid concourse to relieve overcrowding near stairwells, as well as modifications to the TVM and ticketing hall layout to improve convenience. The retail at the station, spread both outside and inside, was also consolidated in the interior of the building.

Of the 76 stations in the retrofit program, the railway is prioritizing the 44 stations with 10,000 or more daily passengers, and has already completed 38 as of FY2012 close.

Old building:



New building:

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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #6137
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New building at Shuzenji Station to open on 2013.10.05
伊豆箱根鉄道、修善寺駅新駅舎の使用を開始…10月5日

http://response.jp/article/2013/09/20/206812.html

On 2013.09.17, Izu Hakone Railway (伊豆箱根鉄道) announced that it would open the new station building at Shuzenji Station (Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture) on 2013.10.05. Izu City has been working on various improvements around the station since FY2010, breaking ground in February 2012. The new station building being built by Izu Hakone Railway is part of the improvements, and with the first phase of station area improvements to completed in late September, the new station building, retail stores, and portions of the passage through the station will open. Work will now proceed on the tourist information center, public restrooms, and other facilities, with completion of the entire station building by August 2014.



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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:52 PM   #6138
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Games planners target airport access
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201.../#.UkDbBX-wXW8

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Before hosting the 1964 Summer Olympic Games, Tokyo carried out an unprecedented upgrade of its transportation system that gave the capital a bullet train system, elevated highways and a monorail connecting the city with Haneda airport.

Giving a similar boost to the infrastructure before the 2020 Games may be tricky, as the metropolis today has little space available for major new infrastructure projects. But a new subway line and an expansion of Haneda airport are some of the projects being pitched for development over the next seven years.

Touching on how preparations for the Olympics alone will have a positive influence on the economy, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said that “efforts to end deflation will gain a big momentum.”

“There is no doubt that things will start rolling for the better” once projects related to the Olympics move forward, he added.

One of the keywords Tokyo rolled out while it was bidding for the Olympics was “compact,” as the city proposes to fit 28 of the major Olympic venues within an 8-km radius. But in addition to the 13 million residents the city now is home to, estimates forecast somewhere in the region of 10 million visitors will arrive in Tokyo to attend the event.

A major makeover being considered by the government and the land ministry will include both Haneda and Narita airports. According to the ministry, a panel is to meet within this fiscal year to discuss feasible ways of increasing the capacity of the two facilities, including the possibility of building a fifth runway at Haneda and easing restrictions for takeoffs and landings at the two international airports.

Improving access from the two airports to the downtown area, which has long been an inconvenience for travelers, is also being discussed.

Under the latest blueprint, a subway station tentatively named New Tokyo will be build in the Marunouchi area. A new rail line going through it will connect Sengakuji and Oshiage stations, effectively shortening the time it takes to get from Haneda to the heart of Tokyo from over 30 minutes to just 18.

The journey from Narita to central Tokyo will also be less time-consuming, taking less than 40 minutes compared with the current 50 minutes or more.

In regards to transportation in the city, building a new subway line in southeast Tokyo, where many of the Olympic events will be held, is being discussed.

“We are going to make Koto Ward the ‘Olympic city,’ ” ward, Mayor Takaaki Yamazaki said after Tokyo was selected to host the games. “Our plans for the Hachigo-sen subway will take a huge step forward as well,” he predicted.

The 5.2-km-long subway line, which will be called Hachigo-sen (No. 8 Line), was under consideration even before Tokyo was named the host of the prestigious event. It is scheduled to connect Toyosu Station with Toyocho Station and head north to Sumiyoshi Station, thereby providing new access routes between northern and southern Tokyo.The plan has been around for years, with the waterfront area known for having easy access from the east and west but lacking any routes from north to south. The trip from Sumiyoshi to Toyosu will be halved to less than 10 minutes once the line is complete, the ward said.

Yet, while the to-do list keeps growing, pundits warn the price tags for many of the projects cannot be ignored. For example, construction of the Hachigo-sen subway line is expected to cost ¥120 billion, according to Koto Ward estimates. Building the New Tokyo station to connect Haneda with Narita, meanwhile, will cost about ¥400 billion, some say.

Lack of time is also a problem.

Although 2020 would have given Central Japan Railway Co. the perfect stage for launching its state-of-the-art maglev train, President Yoshiomi Yamada has ruled out the possibility as impossible.

Land minister Akihiro Ota said Sept. 17 that the process of digging just the tunnels for the maglev route between Tokyo and Nagoya will take at least 10 years.

Tokyo is also already crisscrossed with 13 subway lines and about 300 stations, not to mention the complex underground levels of high-rise buildings across the city. Dodging such areas or digging deeper to avoid obstructions will add more money and time to vast projects like the Hachigo-sen subway line.

In that case, starting a new bus service between the Ginza shopping district and the Olympic venues appears to be the most cost effective and feasible plan. The so-called Bus Rapid Transit will use buses that can carry over 100 people at the same time.

So far, Chuo Ward, which will be the main entity running the project, seems to be in the early stages of development and has not revealed the specifics of the BRT plan. Reports say there could be about 600 shuttle services a day between Ginza, the Olympic venues and the accommodation sites where the athletes will stay.

Constructing a new loop route connecting the Toyosu area with Minato Ward has also been raised as a possibility.

As spending on reconstruction in the Tohoku region starts to wind down two years after the 2011 megaquake and tsunami, hosting the 2020 Olympics gives the government the perfect excuse to keep pumping cash into public projects.

But Hisashi Yamada, chief economist at Japan Research Institute, advised the government not to be swayed by the momentum and not to embark on a spending spree without considering the outcome.

“Japan is already a developed country and there isn’t the need for spending big on massive construction projects,” he recently told The Japan Times. “It’s not a bad thing to modernize the city’s infrastructure, but it’s crucial that the investment is worth it for the years beyond 2020.”

According to a report by JRI, 25.5 percent of Tokyoites will be 65 or older by 2020, compared with 21 percent in 2010. By 2035, it has been estimated that that age group will make up 30 percent of the capital’s population.

Since Tokyo is also expected to experience a population drop in the years after 2020, investing in compact and efficient buildings and infrastructure, complete with barrier-free designs, should be one of the main goals, Yamada said.



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Old September 24th, 2013, 09:53 PM   #6139
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Harumi urged not to sit back and squander Olympic windfall
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201.../#.UkHXMn-wXW8

Quote:
Residents in Tokyo’s Harumi seafront district sometimes have to put up with the rather ignominious joke that their neighborhood is a “lonely island” cut off from the capital’s bustling center.

“Geographically speaking, it’s actually quite close to Ginza,” says Chiyoko Kanno, principal of the JCQ Bilingual Preschool in Harumi. “But people who don’t live here aren’t familiar with the local transportation. So although it’s situated within Tokyo, many experience difficulty getting here.”

Tokyo’s triumph in the race to host the 2020 Olympics earlier this month, therefore, has been widely celebrated by locals as a harbinger of a dramatic transformation for their neighborhood, where the Olympic Village is slated to be built.

Capable of accommodating 17,000 athletes, the village will occupy a 44-hectare parcel of land on the seafront. Under the plans as they currently stand, the accommodations will be remodeled into residential space once the Olympics are over.

Jubilant though the local mood might be right now, experts caution that for the area to truly benefit in a sustainable manner, simply jumping on the Olympic bandwagon won’t be enough.

Without better infrastructure and genuine improvements in inhabitants’ livelihoods, the seafront area, they say, will soon slip back into long-familiar obscurity once the sporting festival is over.

Flanked by Tokyo Bay and located in Chuo Ward, Harumi was built on reclaimed land. It underwent sweeping development in the late 1990s, followed by breakneck construction of high-rises, including the Harumi Island Triton Square, an office and residential complex that has become a local landmark.

Accessibility to trains also improved around that time, as Kachidoki Station began operations with the launch of the underground Oedo Line in 2000.

But despite these improvements, the district remains far too inconvenient to get to and lacks the entertainment facilities necessary to handle the anticipated upsurge of visitors over the next seven years.

According to real estate appraiser Takashi Matsuoka, the fact that Kachidoki is practically the only rail station close to the intended site of the Olympic Village is a major problem, as it still takes visitors around 20 minutes on foot to reach the site.

With a walk of 10 minutes or less seen as the acceptable norm in the Tokyo metropolitan area, this is uncomfortably long, Matsuoka said. Buses are available, but their frequency is far from sufficient, he added.

“With the addition of another train station or the launch of a trolley system, for example, I believe the way people view Harumi would improve drastically,” said Matsuoka, who described the area as by and large devoid of traffic.

It would appear, however, that poor transportation is not Harumi’s only potential Achilles’ heel.

“I sometimes bike to a nearby neighborhood just so I can buy daily groceries because here in Harumi, Triton Square is virtually the only place where you can go shopping,” said Naomi Sato, a 36-year-old local mother and homemaker.

Sato said there aren’t many family-friendly entertainment venues suitable for a casual weekend outing, and many people who live in the district go elsewhere in search of fun.

“It would be great if we could have amusement centers of our own as the arrival of the Olympics nears,” she said.

The broad consensus among experts is that it won’t take long before the area is reborn with more commercial and entertainment facilities, as the need burgeons for such infrastructure in the runup to the Olympics.

The prospect of radical urban development is generating excitement, with many real estate firms suddenly deluged with inquiries about properties in Harumi following the Sept. 8 announcement that Tokyo had won over the International Olympic Committee.

Mitsubishi Estate Co., for one, has rejoiced at the surge in public interest. Its showroom for twin skyscrapers in the area lured more than 300 couples over the three-day weekend from Sept. 14, double the usual number, according to the firm’s chief spokesman.

“We saw many first-time visitors come to the showroom who said they suddenly found the area attractive after the arrival of the Olympics became certain,” he said.

However, Takeshi Ide, chief market researcher at Tokyo Kantei Co., is skeptical the demand will continue to be significant in the years to come due to overall economic woes. On the other hand, there will be acute interest from buyers overseas, Ide said, citing the yen’s recent depreciation.

“There are many foreign buyers planning to purchase condo apartments in the neighborhood and put them up for lease for a couple of years. And once the Olympics are finished, they may just sell them, depending on how much more valuable they will have become by that time so they can rake in more profits,” Ide said, predicting that land prices will rise.

Aside from beefing up transportation and commercial facilities, Ide argued that another imperative is making sure that high-rises under construction be equipped with thorough precautions against potential cataclysms, especially tsunami, given Harumi’s proximity to the bay, and soil liquefaction, given it is built on reclaimed land.

“At the end of the day, what people care about is whether the area is truly comfortable to live in and resistant to disasters,” Ide said.

Yasuhiko Nakajo, a professor who heads Meikai University’s Faculty of Real Estate Sciences, meanwhile suggested the area actively explore the possibility of morphing into what he described as a hub of international activities.

Thanks to its close proximity to Haneda airport and the Tokyo International Exhibition Center in the popular Odaiba district, he said, Harumi should harness these advantages to court more foreign visitors, whether tourists or businesspeople.

“We don’t want to be remembered as the generation who had a wonderful opportunity like the Olympics and let it slip away as a mere temporary boom among a limited circle of real estate and construction firms and workers,” Nakajo said.

Coming soon: This is where the Olympic Village for the 2020 Games will be built in Chuo Ward, Tokyo. | SATOKO KAWASAKI



A world away: Central Tokyo is seen from Harumi Pier in Chuo Ward on Sept. 12. | SATOKO KAWASAKI

A nice English-language overview of the issues… I’m really surprised that Yurikamome hasn’t committed to extending to Harumi / Kachidoki. They built that moving walkway across the channel to get between Kachidoki and Triton Square (トリトンスクイア) for a reason.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 11:24 PM   #6140
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Looking from above, I can see clearly that there is a wee gap there. It still looks relatively well served as far as this westerner can see, but I can agree with you about the Yurikamome, there really does seem to be an opportunity there. Hopefully it'll be realised.
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