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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:40 PM   #1241
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Ōta Ward not pleased with Keikyū’s proposed schedule changes on May 16
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/...990070906.html

Quote:
It was revealed that Keihin Electric Express Railway (Keikyū) has shared with Ōta Ward officials its plans for a new train schedule, designed to increase convenience to Haneda Airport from central Tōkyō when the airport becomes a true international facility. The new train schedule would establish direct-service trains between Shinagawa and Haneda Airport Stations that would skip Keikyū Kamata Station (Ōta Ward, Tōkyō) starting May 16. The Ōta Ward Government is funding approx. ¥20 billion towards track elevation and roadway improvements surrounding Keikyū Kamata Station, and there is backlash against the railway’s plan among locals, who say the plan has no benefit for Ōta Ward residents and refuse to allow trains to skip Kamata.

On the current stretch between Shinagawa and Haneda Airport, during peaks “Airport limited expresses” and other services currently operate on ten-minute headways, and all trains stop at Keikyū Kamata Station. In the new train schedule Keikyū showed to ward officials, a new “Airport limited express” service would operate nonstop on this section every twenty minutes. Travel time would be approx. 16 min. Keikyū submitted the new train schedule to the Kantō Transport Bureau.

Keikyū Kamata Station is one of Ōta Ward’s primary terminals, together with JR Kamata Station. The station is near the ward offices and is surrounded by a shopping district, and many Ōta Ward residents make use of the station. The elevation of approx. 6 km of the Keikyū Main Line surrounding the station and roadway improvements are being carried out by the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government, but Ōta Ward is funding approx. ¥20 billion of the total project cost of approx. ¥165.1 billion. The elevated inbound (Shinagawa-bound) track will enter service on May 16. Complete elevation of the line, including the outbound track, is scheduled for FY2012. With the elevation of both tracks, Keikyū is considering increasing the number of trains on the section between Shinagawa and Haneda Airport.

The Ward Council and local representatives are critical of the new train schedule, which they claim “makes a fool out of Ōta Ward.” Others have asked, “Why are we spending local tax revenues on the Keikyū Line when it will just run nonstop through Ōta Ward?” However, spokespersons for Ōta Ward say they have yet to see an official new train schedule from Keikyū, leaving room for negotiation and hoping that the railway will change its mind. Spokespersons for Keikyū reserved any specific response, saying the railway is “sorting things out with the various stakeholders” and that there has been “no formal announcement yet regarding the new train schedule.”

The new runway and International Terminal at Haneda Airport are scheduled to open to the public in October, and a large number of international flights are expected.
Apparently, Keikyū had already published a press release for the new schedule on April 22, but promptly took it down, probably after Ōta Ward started grumbling about the proposed nonstop service. The problem is that the through-servicing operators—Toei Subway, Keisei Electric Railway, and Hokusō Railway—have already announced their schedule changes for May 16, all designed to fit together with Keikyū’s proposed schedule. The other factor is that Main Line rapid limited expresses (along with all the other service) will still continue to stop at Keikyū Kamata.

The original press release from Keikyū is saved here:
http://megalodon.jp/2010-0422-1105-1...s/100422.shtml

First, a construction update (2010.04.09):
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

The north end of the section to be elevated, closest to Heiwajima on the Keikyū Main Line. The right side is the inbound (Shinagawa-bound) track, which looks mostly done for the time being until the big push overnight (May 15 to May 16) when they switchout the tracks. It looks like they’ve set up something in between the current inbound and outbound tracks, perhaps to serve as protective fencing once they elevate the inbound track. It looks like this curve is going to be pretty sharp, but this is only going to be a temporary track anyways, so they may just reduce the speed limits on this section for the interim.



Very little space to work with, and it looks like they’ve done as much as they can before the work on May 15.



Diving beneath the new elevated structure…



We switch over to the Keikyū Airport Line to the switchout near Kōjiya and the new double crossover.



Small army of workers on the new elevated track.



Moving back to the Main Line on the southern end of the elevated section, near Rokugōdote.







Now, some updates for Keikyū Kamata Station itself (2010.04.09):
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Approaching Keikyū Kamata from the south on the inbound track. This is actually temporary elevated track—the permanent inbound track is just to the right, on the second level of the stacked viaduct.



This section is a little strange as the inbound track goes up onto temporary elevated track and goes back down to enter Keikyū Kamata Station. The permanent track is largely complete, with overhead already strung.



New temporary stairwell connecting the new inbound platform and current outbound platform.



Another connecting stairwell. Because of the unique configuration of Keikyū Kamata Station, Airport Line trains in both directions currently use the outbound platform. As a result, Airport Line passengers may need to move up or down through the station when transferring at Keikyū Kamata. Currently, these movements are handled through underground passages, but with the elevation of the inbound track, they needed to construct easier connections.



Connecting passage.



A new stairwell between the old ground-level inbound platform and the new elevated inbound platform. Apparently, they will still use the old platform as an access route, even though trains will no longer stop here.



Future elevator shaft.

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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:42 PM   #1242
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Construction update: Keikyū Daishi Line undergrounding

Some pictures from 2010.04.09:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

West end of Sangyō Dōro (Industrial Road) Station, towards Higashi-Monzen. The tracks are currently supported by steel frames as they excavate the new underground tracks directly beneath.



Just before crossing Sangyō Dōro, the line is now single track, probably as a result of the need for construction space.



Inbound track is now gone at this location.



The approach underground will start in this area.



Line changes back to double track as we approach Kojima Shinden Station. Apparently, this section was originally single track, so when they made the section near Sangyō Dōro single track, they probably double-tracked this section (the new track is on the right) to earn back some slack in the train schedule. It seems they will also need a new track anyways as they construct the tunnel approach, which will probably require closing one of the two tracks.





Now some photos at Kojima Shinden Station:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

On March 13, they switched to a new platform at this station, and trains now stop about 40 m from where they used to. The station now looks like this:



The station also now has two platforms instead of one. The location of the faregates hasn’t changed, so passengers now have to walk a little but further. This “passage” is really just the old platform.



The new temporary platform.



The new track at the station. Looks like they will be installing a fence or barrier on the other side of the track.



Since the platform is only temporary, the final shape is actually quite different. Looking at the bolts in the beams supporting the platform canopy, we can guess at the shape of the final track once completed.

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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:46 PM   #1243
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Odakyū reveals FY2010 infrastructure investment plan
http://www.odakyu.jp/program/info/da...3_6545114_.pdf

Quote:
At Odakyū Electric Railway (HQ: Shinjuku Ward, Tōkyō; President: Ōsuka Yorihiko), we are currently in the process of actively improving the infrastructure of our railway business to ensure a comfortable, convenient, and pleasant experience for our customers. In FY2010, we will invest a total of ¥34.2 billion along the three objectives of augmenting capacity, strengthening safety measures, and improving service.

The summary of our FY2010 railway business infrastructure investment plan is below.

Augmenting capacity
  1. Advancement of the quadruple-tracking project (Higashi-Kitazawa – Izumi Tamagawa, 10.4 km)
    With the completion of the 1.6 km Higashi-Kitazawa – Setagaya Daita section currently under construction, it will be possible to reduce overcrowding by increasing the number of trains during the morning rush hour, as well as reduce travel times by allowing for separate operation of local and express trains.

    Last fiscal year, construction of the shield tunnel was completed, but in this fiscal year, excavation work beneath revenue tracks will continue via cut-and-cover. We will continue to carry out construction work in an effort to complete the project as soon as possible.
  2. Beginning of work to convert local trains to ten cars
    To further increase capacity during the morning rush hours after completion of the quadruple-tracking project, the inner-suburban local trains currently operating as eight-car consists are scheduled to be converted to ten-car consists. As a result, we will begin work this fiscal year on extending the platforms at Minami-Shinjuku Station.
Strengthening safety measures
  1. Introduction of D-ATS-P
    To substantially increase the safety of train operations, we are aiming to implement a new and even safer train control system (D-ATS-P; digital automatic train stop pattern) across all of our lines as a replacement for the ATS system currently in use, allowing for the establishment of speed limits on sharp curves and downgrades through a continuous and finer speed control. This fiscal year, we will continue with installation of on-train equipment, as well as trackside equipment work on the Tama Line.
  2. Advancement of seismic reinforcement work
    In order to keep damage from large-scale earthquakes to a minimum, we are proceeding with seismic reinforcement of our railway structures. In this fiscal year, we will carry out seismic reinforcement at Shinjuku, Minami-Shinjuku, Machida, and Odakyū Tama Center Stations, as well as between Yoyogi Hachiman and Yoyogi Uehara Stations and between Hon-Atsugi and Aikō – Ishida Stations.
  3. Other
    In order to minimize damage from natural disasters, we will conduct slope protection works between Hotaruda and Ashigara, as well as begin renovation works on the No. 1 Shōbu Tunnel (Shibusawa – Shin-Matsuda).
Improving service
  1. Manufacture and refurbishment of rolling stock
    1. Manufacture of commuter rolling stock and conversion to ten-car trains
      We will manufacture 20 cars (two ten-car consists) of our latest 4000 series commuter rolling stock. In addition, we will manufacture eight new intermediate cars for our 3000 series commuter rolling stock for coupling with existing six-car consists to form ten-car consists.
    2. Refurbishment of commuter rolling stock
      We will refurbish eight cars (two four-car consists) of our 8000 series commuter trains, installing wheelchair spaces, interior LED displays, automatic announcement systems, and bellows to prevent platform falls in between cars. In addition, we will reduce the environmental impact of these trains, including reducing the energy consumption of these trains through a change in control equipment, as well as reducing noise generated by equipment beneath the train floor, such as auxiliary power systems and air compressors.
  2. Improvement of station facilities and services
    1. Improvement of station facilities
      We are carrying out large-scale improvement works at Ebina Station, and are scheduled to complete these works in September of this year. With the completion of this project, we will construct two platform waiting rooms with complete HVAC systems for use by passengers while waiting for trains on the platforms. After completion, out of our 70 stations, we will have a total of 76 platform waiting rooms across 46 stations.
    2. Installation of new destination sign equipment
      We will begin construction to install the destination sign equipment currently used at our major stations at all of our stations. This fiscal year, we are scheduled to install this equipment at Aikō – Ishida Station and Isehara Station on the Odawara Line, as well as Satsukidai, Kurihara, Kurokawa, and Haruhino Stations on the Tama Line.
    3. Installation of multi-purpose toilets
      We will install multi-purpose toilets for use by passengers in wheelchairs, ostomate passengers, and passengers with infants.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:48 PM   #1244
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Odakyū redevelopment to be named Kyōdō Terrace Garden
http://www.odakyu.jp/program/info/da...3_0124358_.pdf

Quote:
At Odakyū Electric Railway Co., Ltd. (HQ: Shinjuku Ward, Tōkyō; President: Ōsuka Yorihiko), we have decided on “Kyōdō Terrace Garden” as the name for the redevelopment area surrounding Kyōdō Station, and are aiming for a full opening in April 2011.

Kyōdō Terrace Garden is based on the concept of Kyōdō as a walkable neighborhood, and will be the name for the entire development area stretching east-west from Kyōdō Station to the former train yard, connected by the “Green Promenade,” a continuous pedestrian path rich in greenery. Starting with the Kyōdō Sports Club Building already open, the area will house apartments and a station shopping center, and feature an urban design that is in harmony with the surrounding environment.

The apartments range from the sixth to the eleventh floors, with a total of 253 units covering a wide range of housing types, from 1K to 3LDK, and are under construction on a parcel in the former train yard development zone. The housing will be known as Resia Kyōdō Terrace Garden, and is scheduled for move-in in December 2010. In order to provide a living environment that is safe and comfortable, we will introduce a security system based on IC farecard PASMO that transmits information to residents’ mobile phones—including when the main entrance has been unlocked, when family members have returned home, or when guests have come—as well as construct a landscaped atrium (approx. 1,000 sq m) and a green roof for the building.

In addition, the name for the new retail facility outside Kyōdō Station will be Kyōdō Corty, and in addition to anchor tenant and supermarket Odakyū OX, will feature a tenant composition focusing on goods and services that provide color and depth to customer lifestyles. In terms of facilities, open space such as a plaza and roof garden will also be constructed, as well as an approx. 10 m wide large terrace, which will become a symbol of the project, and a large semi-transparent glass canopy that creates an open and airy environment. In addition, the space shared between the terraces and passage will be designed to allow natural sunlight and wind to pass through, reducing the electricity load from air conditioning and lighting systems. We will also introduce solar panels and rainwater recycling systems to reduce environmental impacts.

Together with the completion of the quadruple-tracking of our rail line in the Setagaya area, Odakyū is moving forward with development that matches the unique qualities of neighborhoods. Kyōdō Terrace Garden will construct a place for people to gather and relax while still in harmony with the natural environment, and will contribute to the improvement of lifestyles for everyone in the neighborhood.

Resia Kyōdō Terrace Garden (left) and Kyōdō Corty (right)

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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:51 PM   #1245
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Tōkyū strengthens retail development business
http://www.tokyu-land.co.jp/news/2009/index_006.html

Quote:
The new company Tōkyū Land SC Management (HQ: Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō; President: Tsuchiya Mitsuo), established in January of this year jointly by Tōkyū Land Corporation (HQ: Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō; President: Kanazashi Kiyoshi) and Tōkyū Community Corporation (HQ: Setagaya Ward, Tōkyō; President: Nakamura Motonori), has begun business operations.

Start of management of three shopping centers starting April 1
Starting on Wedensday, April 1, 2010, management of the Shibuya Tōkyū Plaza, Kamata Tōkyū Plaza, and Minoo Market Park Visola shopping centers, originally handled by Tōkyū Land Corporation, was contracted out to Tōkyū Land SC Management. Management and administration, planning, consultancy, and other business duties for the three facilities will now be carried out by Tōkyū Land SC Management.

After establishing its business foundation through the operation of these three facilities, by 2011 Tōkyū Land SC Management is also scheduled to handle operations of the Abenobashi A1 Area Type 2 Urban Redevelopment Project Building A2 (carried out by Ōsaka City, with Tōkyū Land Corporation as a special contractor for the project) retail facility currently under construction, set to become Ōsaka City’s largest shopping mall, as well as large-scale mixed-use buildings in planning stages for Omotesandō and Ginza, two of Japan’s largest retail areas.

Tōkyū Land Group’s experience in retail facilities
Starting in the 1960s, Tōkyū Land Corporation was a pioneer in the industry, opening urban Tōkyū Plaza retail facilities in Tōkyō’s Shibuya and Kamata areas, and since then has developed and managed retail facilities across the country, primarily in the Greater Tōkyō and Kinki (Kansai) regions. For forty years until today, Tōkyū Land Corporation has built a wealth of experience in the industry, from project planning to tenant retailing and operations and administration. Currently, the company is moving beyond just urban retail facilities and expanding its business to an array of retail facilities, including regional suburban shopping centers and multi-entertainment facilities, as well as “information transmission” mixed-use retail facilities in central urban districts.

Meanwhile, Tōkyū Community Corporation, which has a wide array of experience specializing in the management of buildings and residential units, has put its experience to active use, achieving success in large mixed-use buildings that require comprehensive services. In recent years, the company has been expanding its business services to include planning and proposals for redevelopment projects, participation in long-term private finance initiative (PFI) projects, owner support regarding asset use, and property management.

Goals and business policies of the new company
In recent years, the intensification of retail development has led to increased competition in the industry, and a higher degree of expertise is now demanded in the tenant retailing and merchandising (MD) fields of facility operations. New facilities currently under construction by Tōkyū Land Corporation are also designed as large facilities with an array of uses, and the need for implementing an operating structure adapted to each location has become necessary.

In order to build on the knowhow and technical expertise in retail facility operations collected by the two companies and comprehensively strengthen the competitiveness of our retail facilities, we have established Tōkyū Land SC Management. With the founding of the new company, Tōkyū Land Group will restructure our retail facility business lines with the aim of expanding and developing our retail facility business as well as actively expanding the scope of our business in the future to include management of outside properties.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:53 PM   #1246
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Replacement for Tōkyū Bunka Kaikan to be named Hikarie
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...602000049.html

Quote:
The name for the high-rise building under construction in the Shibuya New Cultural Block, set to become the forerunner of the redevelopment of the Shibuya Station area, will be Shibuya Hikarie. Spokespersons for Tōkyū Corporation and the rest of the joint development team say they hope the project “leads Shibuya into the future and becomes a light (hikari) that changes the world.”

Hikarie began construction last July on the site of the former Tōkyū Bunka Kaikan (Tōkyū Cultural Center) in Shibuya 2-chōme, Shibuya Ward, and is scheduled to be completed and opened to the public in spring 2012. The project is a mixed-use building that will house offices, a theatre, and retail, and will also offer space for the local Shibuya Ward Disaster Prevention Center. The building will be 182.5 m tall, with 34 aboveground floors and four belowground floors.

The name for the approx. 2,000-seat theatre that is the centerpiece of Hikarie will be Tōkyū Theatre Orb. The theatre will be a new performance stage for Shibuya, known as a center of drama, cinema, and music, and will host musicals and other “first-class entertainment.” Knowhow from Tōkyū Group’s Bunkamura cultural facility will also be put to good use for the project. The theatre will be elevated between the eleventh and 16th floors of the building in a “void” 70 meters above the ground, and visitors will be able to enjoy the night skyline from the theatre foyer.

In addition, the office space for lease from the 17th floor and up will have a total area of approx. 38,000 sq m, the largest in Shibuya.

Tōkyū has said that Hikarie will “inherit the DNA” of the Tōkyū Bunka Kaikan (opened 1956, closed 2003), which had served as the cornerstone of Shibuya’s cultural scene. Several redevelopment projects are in the works for Shibuya Station and the surrounding area, and the station building will be renovated in the future. Tōkyū hopes Hikarie becomes a new “center for cultural creativity in the Shibuya area” and a “force that changes Japan and the world.”
Official website for the project:
http://www.hikarie.jp/

Renderings:
Source: http://sankei.jp.msn.com/



The bottom right corner of the image is the Fukutoshin Line (and future Tōyoko Line) station at Shibuya.



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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:56 PM   #1247
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JR East and Tōkyū expand Suica- and PASMO-compatible ID cards
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2010/20100410.pdf

Quote:
East Japan Railway Company (“JR East”; HQ: Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō; President and Representative Director: Seino Satoshi) and Tōkyū Corporation (HQ: Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō; President and Representative Director: Koshimura Toshiaki) have together devised a scheme for Suica- and PASMO-compatible student and employee identification (ID) cards, which combine commuter passes and other transport farecard functions onto IC-based student and employee ID cards. The two railways agreed to launch the service in February 2011.

Up until now, the business for Suica- and PASMO-compatible student and employee ID cards had been developed separately. However, Suica-compatible student and employee ID cards could not be loaded with commuter passes issued by private railways and subways, while the PASMO-compatible student and employee ID cards could not be loaded with commuter passes issued by JR East and other railways, forcing some students and employees to carry two cards depending on the location of their residence or the location of their school or workplace, and we have received requests from students and employees to allow passengers to choose one or the other.

In response, JR East and Tōkyū Corporation have joined forces to unify the specifications and management / operation duties for Suica-compatible and PASMO-compatible student and employee ID cards. Both Suica-compatible and PASMO-compatible student and employee ID cards will be provided to individual schools and companies, allowing students and employees to choose one of the two. As a result, the commuter pass coverage for ID cards has expanded, improving service for students and employees and allowing for the interchangeable use of Suica-compatible and PASMO-compatible student and employee ID cards—with high functionality and reasonable cost—for school-wide and company-wide systems.

Suica- and PASMO-compatible student and employee ID cards are provided through coordination between affiliated systems firms (Tōshiba Plant Systems & Services Corporation, Tōkyū Construction, SAXA, Inc.), which supply cards and school- and company-wide IC card identification systems to schools and corporations, and card issuance and administration firms (Tōkyū Corporation and Tōshiba Plant Systems & Services Corporation for Suica, and Tōkyū Corporation for PASMO), which maintain and consolidate necessary information for student and employee identification cards.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:57 PM   #1248
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JR East subsidiary opens new food court at Akihabara Station
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...1339005-n1.htm

Quote:
On april 26, Nippon Restaurant Enterprise (NRE; HQ: Minato Ward, Tōkyō), a JR East Group subsidiary that handles in-train food sales, held a private tour of Tōkyō Food Bar, its latest type of station food court scheduled to open inside JR Akihabara Station on April 28.

The new food court assembles together seven popular stores offering authentic cuisine. Included are Ginza Bairin, a tonkatsu restaurant founded in Ginza in 1927; Indian curry house Tandoor Gar, a collaboration with Gara Naka-Kaigan, a popular Indian restaurant in the Shōnan area; and Tōkyō Backhaus, a specialty bread shop produced by a bread baker with three generations of history in France.

The food court covers 330 sq m and targets demand from businessmen, shoppers, and tourists who use Akihabara Station. NRE is aiming for annual sales of ¥1 billion for the whole food court.

This is the first time the company has constructed a food court of this scale, and President Asai Katsumi says, “We are looking to prove this model in Akihabara, and then expand it to other stations in the future.”
Rendering:
Source: Nippon Restaurant Enterprise

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Old May 2nd, 2010, 11:00 PM   #1249
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Tōkyō Station in transformation
http://mytown.asahi.com/yamanashi/ne...00221004230001

Quote:
Transformation into the face of an international city
Tōkyō Station is undeniably the gateway to Tōkyō. The station opened in 1914, and was a sight to behold when constructed, with its 335 m long, three-story station building in red brick and two large domes.

During the Japanese National Railways (JNR) era, the station was the central terminal of Japan both in status and function. Even when it was no longer “Japan’s” central terminal after privatization and breakup of the JNR in 1987, it still remains a train station with symbolic significance.

A total of approx. 4,300 trains serve the station daily across JR East, JR Central, and Tōkyō Metro. Looking only at JR East, daily entries and exits are approx. 790,000 (FY2008), but when adding JR Central and Tōkyō Metro users into the mix, the number jumps to 1 million, speaking to the station’s role as a major terminal station.

Yet Tōkyō Station is undergoing a major transformation. In preparation for the next 100 years, the station is being reborn into a new “face” fit for the global city Tōkyō.

On the Marunouchi side, restoration work is proceeding to return the red brick station building to its former glory at the time of its construction. Completion is scheduled for late FY2011. At the moment of completion, the station will reveal its impressive appearance, symbolizing the history of the capital city Tōkyō.

Meanwhile, on the Yaesu side, the station will be reborn in a cutting-edge design based on the theme of the future metropolis. To the left and right of Yaesu Exit, two modern skyscrapers already stand, while in the central area connecting the two buildings, a covered pedestrian deck reminiscent of a giant light sail is under construction. This side is scheduled to be finished in FY2013.

The interior of the station has also undergone dramatic change. In the ekinaka (station retail) area, a passage on Basement Level 1 inside the paid area of the station has been transformed into a modern passage that exudes chic. In the central passage on the ground level, South Court “ecute” opened on March 28. Featuring a showcase of sweets shops, prepared foods, and general accessories, the area is abuzz with customers, reminiscent of the basement floor of a department store.

The Tōkyō Station Ichiban-gai underneath the Yaesu Exit of the station doesn’t disappoint either. Home to the new Rāmen Street and Tōkyō Character Street, featuring a collection of themed television station character and mascot goods, Tōkyō Station Ichiban-gai is garnering attention as a new landmark.

Tōkyō Station is transforming from a place where passengers board and alight trains to a place where people gather and have fun, but of course, there are things that will remain unchanged: travel. The scene of travelers with suitcases in tow won’t change anytime soon, so long as this place remains a station.
Some updates on the renovation (2010.04.09):
Source: http://thankyou2200.blog.so-net.ne.jp/

Marunouchi North Exit



Marunouchi Central Exit







New electric taxi sneaking into the picture.



Marunouchi South Exit

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Old May 2nd, 2010, 11:02 PM   #1250
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JR East expands vegetable gardening program
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2010/20100415.pdf

Quote:
At JR East, we are advancing “green roof” projects at station tenant buildings and other locations as part of our environmental sustainability program. At Ebisu Green Garden, the rooftop garden at JR Ebisu Station that opened in April of last year, we also launched soradofarm, a membership-based vegetable garden that allows members to be in touch with open space, the earth, and plants in the midst of central Tōkyō, and have received many compliments on the service from our customers.

In addition, as part of a joint effort between JR East and Tōhō-Leo Co., the firm responsible for administration and operation of soradofarm Ebisu, we will now open a new membership-based vegetable garden (soradoform Toda) near Toda Station on the JR Saikyō Line. On Saturday, May 1, we will hold an opening ceremony for the new garden.

Details:
  • Six-minutes walking distance from Toda Station on the Saikyō Line. Customers can now discover the joys of vegetable gardening within their immediate lifestyle zone.
  • Beginners are welcome. Basic gardening tools for rental are provided free of charge. Support staff will regularly come by to offer advice on vegetable gardening.
Office website:
http://www.soradofarm.com/
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 11:04 PM   #1251
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Keiō Line to begin automatic announcements in Japanese and English
http://www.keio.co.jp/news/update/ne...v02/index.html

Quote:
At Keiō Corporation (HQ: Tama City, Tōkyō; President: Nagata Tadashi), starting Saturday, May 1, we will introduce automatic announcements in Japanese and English on a portion of trains on the Keiō Lines, with the aim of augmenting our provision of information to foreign passengers—including tourists from overseas visiting Mt. Takao—and standardizing our in-train announcement service.

Start
Saturday, May 1

Affected trains
A total of 16 trains (Keiō 9000 series and 7000 series trains). We will begin automatic announcements on these trains on May 1, and continue with gradual introduction to other trains afterwards.

Languages
Japanese and English. By launching new English announcements, we hope to improve the provision of information to foreign passengers and ensure a more comfortable ride. The section of the Keiō Line between Shinjuku Station and Takao-san-guchi Station has been identified by the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency as a section for implementation of improved information provision under the Act on Promotion of Inbound Tourism through Enhancing Travel Convenience of Foreign Tourists (Foreign Tourist Travel Convenience Act). We will continue to expand our information provision in foreign languages in stations and trains on this section of the Keiō Line.
Inside a 9000 series train with the launch of the new announcements. Still a little bit off coming from a native English speaker, but I think the English announcements here are still better than those used on JR or some of the other railways, as they tell you important things that normally don’t get translated, like which train leaves first during a cross-platform transfer.


Source: karibajct on YouTube
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 11:05 PM   #1252
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Tōkyō Metro to install security cameras at all stations
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national...27TDY02T08.htm

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Tokyo Metro Co. will place cutting-edge security cameras in all subway stations within the current fiscal year to be used to solve disputes between passengers, monitor violence against station staff and better direct people during rush hour.

The new system will enable employees to see images from every station simultaneously from one location. The cameras are also intended to be used for counterterrorism.

An increasing number of railway companies have improved or will improve their security camera systems. Recently, Keihin Electric Express Railway Co. introduced a new remote-control camera. However, regulations governing the operation of these cameras have not been revealed to the public. Specialists claim such rules should be made public to reassure passengers.

At the end of March, Tokyo Metro announced that the number of late-model security cameras that the company has installed since fiscal 2007 will increase to 6,542 units in fiscal 2010, up 1,832 from last fiscal year. It plans to increase the number of stations equipped with such cameras from 117 to all 170 stations.

Images from stations are sent to headquarters and control centers via the Internet, while station staff can simultaneously check on conditions at their stations.

The system worked well for guiding passengers when Typhoon No. 18 hit Tokyo in October and caused service delays on the Tozai subway line. Trains were stopped between Toyocho and Nishifunabashi stations for about five hours, affecting about 29,000 passengers. At that time, new security cameras enabled station employees to check crowds at each station and efficiently guide passengers, helping to minimize confusion, according to a Tokyo Metro official.

Since the Moscow subway suicide bombings on March 29, Tokyo Metro has also emphasized the importance of security cameras for their use in counterterrorism.

Privacy protection is a concern with security cameras and the archiving of images. However, Tokyo Metro is reluctant to announce details on their operating regulations "in the interests of crime prevention."

Saved images may be handed over to police or to prosecutors for purposes of crime investigation, Tokyo Metro said. The firm has declined to reveal the number of cases in which images have been provided to investigators.

Like Tokyo Metro, many leading private railroad companies have not released their operating regulations.

"The use of advanced technology is an inevitable social phenomena," said Nobuo Komiya, criminology professor at Rissho University. "However, if the operating regulations are not disclosed, it will be hard for the public to believe that the cameras are being used appropriately. These regulations must be made public to prevent the inappropriate use of images."
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 11:07 PM   #1253
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Schedule for platform door installation at four Yūrakuchō Line stations revealed
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2010/2010-25.html

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At Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi), we have been moving forward with installation of platform doors as part of our safety strategy (to help prevent passengers from falling off the platform or coming into contact with trains), in order to ensure a comfortable experience for our customers. Recently, as part of the plan to introduce platform doors to all stations on the Yūrakuchō Line (completion scheduled in 2012), the timeline for installation and start of operations of platform door systems at the four stations between Chikatetsu Narimasu Station and Hikawadai Station has been determined.

At the four stations receiving installations in this phase, we will gradually bring the systems online after we have placed the equipment on the platform and completed fine-tuning. The schedule for installation and start of operations is detailed below.

The platform doors to be installed on the Yūrakuchō Line are half-height doors, similar to the ones used on the Marunouchi Line and Fukutoshin Line, but with a new transparent toughened glass sections embedded in part of the door leaves. As a result, passengers can ascertain the gap between the platform and the train even when the platform doors are closed. The glass sections also have other benefits, including extending the range of vision and improving the openness of the platform area.

In addition, at specific locations on curved platform sections where the gap between train and platform is large, we will install moveable gap fillers, increasing passenger safety even further.

Timeline for Yūrakuchō Line platform door installation and operation
  • Chikatetsu Narimasu
    Installation: July 3 (Track A) and July 10 (Track B)
    Start of service: October 16, 2010
  • Chikatetsu Akatsuka
    Installation: June 19 (Track A) and June 26 (Track B)
    Start of service: September 25, 2010
  • Heiwadai
    Installation: June 5 (Track A) and June 12 (Track B)
    Start of service: September 11, 2010
  • Hikawadai
    Installation: May 22 (Track A) and May 29 (Track B)
    Start of service: August 21, 2010



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Old May 2nd, 2010, 11:08 PM   #1254
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Underground 1seg plan could launch next year
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/atmoney/new...OYT1T01080.htm

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On April 24, it was revealed that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) is looking into a broadcast allocation plan in response to a Tōkyō advertising firm that is planning Japan’s first “Underground 1seg,” an exclusive mobile terrestrial digital broadcasting station that would allow mobile users to watch content inside underground subway stations and trains.

Current 1seg broadcasts cannot be viewed underground due to interference, but the MIC has determined that Undeground 1seg would also be useful in the event of emergencies, and plans to decide on a bandwidth allocation plan in July.

The advertisement firm planning the project is NKB Inc. (HQ: Chiyoda Ward, Tōkyō), which handles advertisement inside stations and trains. The same group also operates restaurant information site Gurunavi (Gourmet Navigator).

After conducting a trial operation later this year on some subways in Tōkyō Prefecture, the company plans on launching actual broadcasts in the Greater Tōkyō area as soon as next year.

The service would allow users to watch content inside subway stations, surrounding underground retail facilities, and moving trains. Regular broadcasts will include news, weather forecasts, and information on local events, and during train delays or disasters such as earthquakes, associated information will also be broadcasted. If there is support for television drama and variety shows, the company is also considering the possibility of coordinating with television stations to broadcast these programs.

In the event of emergencies or disasters, subway passengers may have difficulty using their mobile phones to make calls due to interference, but can still receive the latest information through Underground 1seg.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 11:11 PM   #1255
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Mother shares story of commuting with a young child
http://www.asahi.com/special/hug/TKY201004190221.html

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Just why do Kawasaki City resident Wakatsuki Akiyo (37) and her eldest daughter Anna (5) love taking the trains every morning during the rush hour? Because they can meet up with their “train buddies,” a group of over ten acquaintances ranging between their 20s and their 80s.

Wakatsuki works at cosmetics company The Ginza in Tōkyō’s Ginza district. In October 2004, she gave birth to her eldest daughter and returned to work after about a year, but Anna was placed number 48th on a wait list at a local daycare facility. Instead, Wakatsuki decided to leave Anna with the company daycare facility at Shiseidō, the parent company of The Ginza.

Starting from a private railway station, they transfer at an intermediate station to reach Shimbashi Station on the subway, a 28-station journey. And so began her days of commuting on packed trains during the 7:00 hour, with Anna in a baby carrier around her shoulders.

It’s not uncommon for passengers riding trains or buses together with small children to feel ashamed or embarassed. In a March survey of members of Aspara Club, Asahi Shimbun’s membership service, respondents said they did all they could to make sure their children stayed quiet. Some also said that when their babies started crying, other passengers gave them stares, and they had to get off at an intermediate station.

For Wakatsuki, her daughter rarely cried. And yet, other passengers said she “lacked common sense” for bringing a young child onto a crowded train, and some gave them indignant stares.

As a result, she tried to take the same train at the same time, every morning. She figured that passengers who didn’t like children would simply avoid the car they boarded.

And before she knew it, a ripple effect had begun: Little Anna began remembering the faces of the passengers who boarding their car. “Hi!” “What happened to you yesterday?” Anna had begun talking to the other passengers.

When Wakatsuki was trying to place some of her belongings on the overhead racks, one man lent a hend. When Anna, only two-years-old at the time, said, “Thanks,” the man smiled.

“Where are you headed to?”
“There’s a daycare center at my office.”
“Oh, really? It must be hard doing this everyday.”

Exchanging words every morning, other passengers gradually joined the group. Talking about how tall Anna had grown, or how she went to the park to play—her “train buddies” had increased. After one buddy offered their business card three years ago, they now eat out together several times a year. And the star of the show is Anna of course.

Oyama Fumihiro (57), one train buddy who works at a travel agency, says, “When commuting, I feel much more at ease hearing children’s voices than when reading the newspaper or a book.” His two children are already adults now. He says Anna, who talks to him on the train, is cute enough to be a grandchild.

Exchanging words can transform any space into a welcoming atmosphere, even the brutal environs of a commuter train.

Next year, Anna will finish her stint at the daycare center and enter her local elementary school. There’s only one year left for her to commute together with her train buddies.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:22 AM   #1256
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Thanks for all the updates quashlo. As a user of the Yokosuka Line platform at Yokohama Station for over 30 years, the widening is a very welcome development. Frankly, with the Shonan Shinjuku Line services in addition to Narita Express, platform crowding was getting out of hand.

One thing about Yokohama Station that never changes is construction- it never seems to end. I suppose it's necessary for the fifth busiest station in Japan, located on a relatively narrow parcel of land.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:38 AM   #1257
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Cool update!!!

To be honest, Im quite excited for the new international terminal at haneda, and the new monorail station. The building seems to be more "asian" in architecture, kind of similar to the Gimpo airport in Seoul. What do you guys think of Narita's decline in importance? Although, Narita is always supposed to grow, right?

Keio line's announcements actually have correct pronounciations of the stations. This is great, it will help to keep foreign tourists feel very foreign, because the english announcements will help them pay attention the correct Japanese pronounciations instead of having all the Japanese announcements go way over their head. So the english announcements, I think, will help to further develop the feeling that they are really no longer in Kansas...


I always ask you questions Quashlo, but what's the whole the keikyu project about, besides grade separation. Are they quadruple-tracking it? Can you currently go directly from Haneda to Yokohama on an express train?

And am I seeing the new map right? So are they really planning to make another station at Sengakuji for the Yamanote line? I wonder what the incentive would be, what is at Sengakuji? I always thought of it as a weird station, namely because Keikyu actually ends at Sengakuji (instead of the logical end at Shinagawa)? Do you know the history of this? And I forgot, but the Sengakuji station, I believe has Keikyu-style signs, so Keikyu operates the station, right?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:35 AM   #1258
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I love this thread
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:54 AM   #1259
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Great Updates!

Thanks Quaslo! I can honestly say that this is the one thread, with all your updates, that I look forward to reading most. Thanks for doing what most of us just aren't capable of doing.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 12:04 PM   #1260
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As always, thanks for all the comments.
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