Tokyo’s Oldest Wooden Train Station Is Closed! Harajuku’s Covid Desolation!

An Iconic Piece Of Tokyo History Is No More!

Another slice of Tokyo history has closed its doors…in this case, it’s Tokyo’s incredible and longest standing WOODEN train station, located in one of Tokyo’s busiest shopping districts…until now.

As always, the website had great coverage of this story – changing times in Tokyo in anticipation of the now-delayed Olympic Games.

Covid-19 is spreading around the world, and every country must change how it operates until we can overcome this pandemic.

I wanted to share some news from Tokyo, as the city has moved the Olympic Games to 2021 for the safety of Athletes and Attendees…

Tokyo’s Shutdown…

This is a rainbow I captured from the window of my hotel room in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo when I was there a few years ago – looking out at Yoyogi Park, and on the other side of the park is the world-famous Harajuku shopping district.

Harajuku Is Empty Now…

In light of the worldwide pandemic, the Japanese are staying at home, leaving bustling shopping districts like Harajuku virtually empty.

Normally, this area is one of Tokyo’s busiest, and we’d walk to it from our hotel, across Yoyogi Park.

Once across, you’d exit the park by crossing over the city’s subway train tracks, and there it is – Tokyo’s oldest wooden train station sits on the left. You are now in the Harajuku shopping district – known for some of the wildest and most “fashion forward” shopping in Tokyo!

Such a popular area of Tokyo needed a larger and more secure train station. As reports:

“After opening in 1924, Harajuku Station was able to survive both the firebombing of Tokyo during World War II and the relentless rebuilding that took place in the capital during the post-war period and boom years of the bubble economy. Despite the Harajuku neighborhood being the front line of new fashion developments in Japan, Harajuku Station eventually became the oldest wooden station in Tokyo.”

Harajuku’s Final Day!

On March 21, after 96 years of service, the last train left Harajuku Station. reported about what happened as the last train departed:

“A team of employees, in full dress uniform, lined up at the building’s entrance and called out “Thank you very much for these last 96 years” before bowing deeply and respectfully as the shutter came down for the last time.”

Just a sad moment!

And Then There Was A New One!

Of course, this bustling neighborhood needed a train station, and just 3 hours later, the new Harajuku station opened its door to bustling crowds! Here’s an example of just how busy these trains are:

This shopping district is always bustling, and it’s filled with quirky shops with fashion, food, jewelry and so much more! My wife Alex loved it:

Now with the coronavirus pandemic, this bustling shopping district is virtually empty:

Bravo as always to for their terrific reporting – they showed just how deserted Harajuku is right now, and also covered the final day of the wooden train station – so much more to read by clicking on their story here:

This iconic wooden train station is just one of many classic Tokyo landmarks that have closed – or in this case been moved:

Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market was moved to a new location in anticipation of the Olympic Games…I was lucky enough to film there several times – here’s a look at the wild wild fish market, and the time my G4 TV Host Morgan Webb sliced a $6,000 piece of Tuna!

See more of that story here:

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Categories: Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Japan, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Technology, Tokyo!, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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11 replies

  1. another place i’d love to visit, thanks for sharing and good call on the olympics –

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The two worst experiences I ever had in Japan were Harajuku during spring break when schools were out and the Tokyo subway at rush hour. I love Japan, but these two things, never again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Progress I suppose, but it was a very attractive old landmark, nonetheless.
    Good to see Tokyo taking the virus thing so seriously. Something every city (and town) should be doing.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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