National

Iconic Harajuku Station, located in Tokyo's hub of pop culture, to be rebuilt after Olympics

Kyodo

The nearly 100-year-old Harajuku Station, sited in a hub of Tokyo pop culture, will be dismantled and rebuilt after the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, as its fire-resistance capability does not meet requirements, East Japan Railway Co. said Tuesday.

The Western-style wooden station building, completed in 1924, is a gateway to the Harajuku district — a center of youth culture and street fashion. JR East said the new station will replicate as much as possible the current design, which features half-timbered structures that expose the building’s framework.

The area sees daily crowds of overseas tourists visiting Takeshita Street, a shopping lane lined with clothing stores and cafes, among other shops.

Aside from rebuilding the current station building, JR East also began constructing a new building in September 2016 located south of the current station that is set to open on March 21 next year, taking over station functions.

The train operator had been discussing whether to preserve or dismantle the present station building together with Shibuya Ward, where the station is located, and other parties.