100th anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake in Japan
One of the things that did survive the quake 100 years ago today was Tokyo Station itself. Built in 1913, the station was only 10 years old when the quake hit.
The next station to the north – Manseibashi Station was totally levelled to the ground in the quake. Today only 2 stairwells remain on the station, although trains do still run on the same tracks across its top where there is now a restaurant and museum.
In its place, Shimbashi Station was built shortly thereafter to the south – all the stations in this area were built with the same western-style red brick and mortar design.
Not much remains today of Manseibashi Station, but it’s been turned into a pleasant, but small shopping mall with the odd name mAAch eCute, situated along the Kanada River and just south of Akihabra, Tokyo’s famed electronics district. The station’s original brick facade has been restored, and it’s a sight to behold.
The 3 stations today from north to south in order are: Tokyo, Yurakucho (which is near the famed Ginza district), and Shimbashi, with the Kanda, Akihabara, Ochanomizu, and Ueno stations to the north. Part of the original Shimbashi Station was restored and still stands, although most of the original brick building was destroyed in the quake.
Today Tokyo Station is a showplace – a city unto itself – with the original remaining western side (“Marunouchi” side) the Tokyo Station Hotel, and the eastern or “Yaesu” side a gorgeous new modern experience. The entire station was renovated in 2019 for the 2020 Olypmics.
If you cross the street to the KITTE Bldg. on the south at night and make your way to its roof, the spectacular vista of the area will take your breath away – one of the greatest and most spectacular world-class travel venues in the world.
The entire surrounding “Marunouchi” area is a sight to behold at night. An absolute delight to use for work or to visit.
The second of two stairwells in Manseibashi Station. This one was remodeled in 1929 after the station was partly rebuilt. Heading up these stairs leads to the restuarant and museum on the roof. From the restaurant’s glass windows you can sit and watch the trains come and go from Tokyo Station.