Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 56 (p6-p13)

Feature : Development of Stations and Surrounding Areas
Upgrading Yaesu-Side of Tokyo Station (Tokyo Station Area Development Project)

Atsushi Kaise


Tokyo’s Otemachi-Marunouchi-Yurakucho area is a major business centre for some of Japan’s top companies as well as global corporations. Tokyo Station at the heart of the area is a key base for Japan’s railways with about 3900 train arrivals and departures serving 1.7 million passengers each day. The avenue from the station plaza along Gyoko Dori to the Imperial Palace is the symbolic gateway to Japan and its capital.
JR East is working with stakeholders, such as the national and Tokyo Metropolitan governments, to revitalize the area around Tokyo Station by creating an urban space befitting the face of the capital and Japan.


The Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building opened in 1914 was designed by Dr Kingo Tatsuno (1854–1919), a founding father of modern Japanese architecture. Its stately, grand form was a symbol of Japan’s modernization at the time, and it is still one of the nation’s architectural treasures. However, the current building is greatly changed from the original design due to stop-gap restoration of the third floor destroyed by an air raid in 1945.
To mark the building’s 100th anniversary and celebrate its role in Japan’s period of high economic growth and the JNR privatization, JR East is restoring the Marunouchi Station Building to its original design as the face of Tokyo and as a symbol of urban redevelopment. The restored station building is scheduled to open at the end of FY2011.
Two high-rise towers have already opened on the opposite‘ Yaesu side’ of Tokyo Station; the second phase includes the central low-rise North Tower Phase II, and the station plaza upgrade.
The area around Tokyo Station is now in the midst of a transformation into Tokyo Station City, including the restored Marunouchi Station Building and Yaesu side redevelopment.

Figure 1: Visualization of Tokyo Station City
Figure 2: Visualization of Yaesu-side redevelopment

Tokyo Station City Development Concept

The Tokyo Station City name was coined to evoke the image of ‘a unique station in the world,’ merging history, tradition, culture, learning, business, and advancement as an urban space in a station that has hitherto simply been a point on the route to somewhere else. The concept is ‘the station transforming the city and the city becoming the station.’
The environment surrounding railway stations worldwide has changed greatly with globalization and the advancement of women in working society. In the midst of these changes, JR East is aiming to create new lifestyles using Tokyo Station as the following faces of Japan:
• Face symbolizing history—Restore the Marunouchi Station Building to its original glory as a government designated important cultural property and a central
presence with personality and class.
• Face symbolizing future—Create GranTokyo, an international business centre symbolizing innovation and advancement as a gateway for the Yaesu-side future.
• Venue disseminating information—Consolidate and disseminate a variety of information using SapiaTower at the Nihonbashi gate as a place for investigation,
research, development, and education.
Ekinaka stage linking town—Create the GranSta mall with shops, concierge services, cloakrooms, and other services as a large space between the ticket gates connecting the Marunouchi and Yaesu sides.

Photo:  Entrance to Daimaru department store—GranTokyo North Tower (JR East)

Overviews of GranTokyo North/South Towers (Yaesu-side)

The Yaesu-side development rezoned separate land plots owned by Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., Kajima Yaesu Kaihatsu Co., Ltd, Nippon Oil Corporation (now JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation) into one zone based on the Special Capacity Ratio Zone system and relocated unused capacity of the Marunouchi Station Building to allow construction of the North Tower Phase I and South Tower with compartmentalized ownership completed in late 2007. A large roof called GranRoof is now being constructed between the two north and south wings, covering the new station building, pedestrian deck, and part of the station plaza. This 27-m high and 234-m long structure will form a new face as an international hub for business and commerce based on the concepts of innovation and advancement.

GranTokyo North Tower (Phase I)
The 205-m high GranTokyo North Tower Phase I office building at the Yaesu-side north exit has 43 floors above ground and four underground. It has ground level and underground passages connecting to the station. The first floor underground to floor 13 above ground houses the Daimaru department store, and floors 17 to 42 are leased. A two-level open ceiling sky lobby is planned for the 17th floor connected to the first floor entrance by shuttle elevator, allowing multiple head office functions. Floor 42 is reserved for tenants of that floor, and has a wooden deck terrace with outside access. Current tenants include a major securities firm.
The Daimaru department store was moved from the Tetsudo Kaikan Building to the mid-level floors and openedon 6 November 2007. It has evolved into a department store for adults with one of the largest cosmetics floors in Tokyo and a confectionery floor that is home to famous shops. The Phase II opening in 2012 will increase the floor space, forming a commercial scale meeting customers’ diverse needs.

Photo:  Main entrance for offices—GranTokyo South Tower (JR East)
GranTokyo South Tower
The 205-m GranTokyo South Tower office building has 42 floors above ground and four underground. It was planned as a business centre connected directly to the new Yaesu–side south exit urban landscape. Floors 5 to 41 are leased, and the first floor underground GranAge commercial facility hosts restaurants, cafés and bars it was opened on6 November 2007. The third floor is a main entrance for the offices, featuring a bright open space distinguished by internally lit milky white walls.
Building entry and exit is controlled by a high-security system using Suica IC train passes. Each office worker enters and exits by registering his or her Suica card.
GranAge is connected to shops in the adjacent Pacific Century Place Marunouchi Building and operates as one facility. The concept is for office workers from surrounding buildings to enjoy authentic cuisine at lunchtime and in the evening; it is operated by Tetsudo Kaikan Co., Ltd., a JR East group company.
GranSta Ekinaka Facility
GranSta opened as part of Tokyo Station City in October 2007, forming a new in-station (ekinaka) facility between the ticket gates on the Marunouchi and Yaesu sides in the central concourse of the first underground floor. Based on the development concept of ‘creating precious memories in Tokyo,’ GranSta features memorable high-quality and original products in a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere for customers. Approximately 50 shops are housed there, including delicatessens, confectioners, bakeries, cafés, grocery stores, plus two seasonal shops, with easy access to platforms. The idea is to offer customers memorable high quality services, so they will linger while discovering new foods and cultures. Shop selection paid careful attention to product assortment and variety. As a result, GranSta boasts a unique line-up of shops and products.
Eight up and down escalators were installed in four locations and the concourse was renovated as part of the shop development. The aim was to improve the image of the first floor underground concourse, enhance flow lines for pedestrians, and relieve congestion. As a result, underground pedestrian traffic increased nearly threefold, relieving congestion on the first-floor concourse.
Cloakrooms and concierges improve services for customers; cloakrooms go beyond just holding bags by accepting chilled and frozen packages for home delivery. ‘Station Concierge Tokyo’ offering guidance in Japanese, English and sign language was relocated from the first floor. There is even a money exchange next to the concierge; the View Square waiting space has been renovated, and services have been improved with more extensive interactive functions.
The Gin no suzu (silver bells) symbol of Tokyo Station waiting rooms for three generations was also renovated by the development project and the fourth-generation Gin no suzu has been reborn as ‘a landmark for departure encounters’.
Figure 3:  Future Resort Train Plans
Photo:  Class C57 steam locomotive hauling Ban’etsu Monogatari Go tourist train (JR East)
Next Phase
Phase I is complete. Currently, the old Tetsudo Kaikan building (former site of the Daimaru department store) is being demolished, and the GranRoof and pedestrian deck connecting the two towers are being constructed. The central area will have station facilities, shops, and other facilities, forming a vibrant pedestrian network on the ground and deck levels. The station plaza will also be constructed. Additions to the lower levels (Daimaru part) of the North Tower are scheduled for completion in summer 2012, with GranRoof completion scheduled for spring 2013.
The flow lines for pedestrians on the ground level will be secured by three-dimensional urban planning, a pedestrian deck on the third floor connecting the north and south buildings, and shops and benches on the deck. This will form a peaceful green space in the city centre where people can relax. It will also feature wall greenery and other environmental measures to create a new eco-friendly face for Tokyo.
The Yaesu-side station plaza including the site of the former Tetsudo Kaikan building will be expanded to about 45-m wide. Traffic functions will be enhanced to form a transport hub befitting a central station.
The plan is to form an urban landscape with a unified design where all spaces from high-rise towers to station plaza and deck are considered holistically.
In contrast to the futuristic crystal architectural design of the GranTokyo North and South Towers, we intend to provide a natural space to experience the four seasons in the city centre. This will be accomplished by a station plaza covered by ‘clouds of green’ where plants are abundant.
Photo: Gin no suzu—landmark for departure encounters (JR East)
Photo: Station Concierge Tokyo—GranSta (JR East)
Photo: Visualization of Yaesu-side exit station plaza (JR East)
Figure 3: Current Yaesu exit station plaza and construction plans
Branding Efforts
Tokyo Station marks its 100th anniversary in 2014 and JR East is working to enhance the station’s brand image as a unified ‘town’ more than ever before that turning point. The Tokyo Station City PR Office was established in August 2008 as a part of these efforts. Its website consolidates and disseminates detailed information on Tokyo Station and the Tokyo Station City facilities. Efforts are also being made to create a brand image as ‘a station (town) to visit time and again’ and ‘a station (town) full of new discoveries on each visit.’
The annual Tokyo Station City Festa encompassing the entire station helps visitors rediscover the area and proactively disseminates information through the media.
Lighting using LEDs and floodlights on the towers creates a night cityscape befitting Tokyo’s premier gateway. Vertical lighting accentuates the towers’ vertical lines with bright, beautiful colours. At New Year, the Tokyo GranCandle presentation on the four high-rise buildings, including the Marunouchi and Shin-Marunouchi buildings, provides gorgeous festive colour.
The temporary sidings hiding the renovation of the Marunouchi Station Building explain the stations’ history with an attractive collage.
The Tokyo Station City development goes beyond use as a railway station. People working in nearby offices can enjoy the local shopping, and awareness of the new station facilities by commuters, travellers, etc., is changing.
We continue working to raise the brand of the redeveloped Tokyo Station and its vicinity. In addition, we are surveying station customers to help create a venue where an easy-to-use station and attractive commercial facilities can coexist.
Our destination is to merge the station’s transport functions with extensive lifestyle services as a new model for railway stations in the 21st century.
Finally, we plan to use the experience gained from the Tokyo Station City project to rejuvenate communities near other major terminals as a new phase of ‘station renaissance’ where the station becomes the town.

(Tokyo Station City URL: http://www.tokyostationcity.com/)

Atsushi Kaise
Mr Kaise is a manager in the Large-Scale Development Section of the Life-Style Business Development Headquarters of East JapanRailway Company.