Newly released design shows how the former station building will blend into a more modern landscape.

It was a sad day back in March 2020 when Harajuku Station’s iconic building was dismantled and taken away, replaced with a larger and more modern complex that may have been more amenable to the growing crowds that led to its dismantlement but has far less charm than the original 1924 building, which was the oldest wooden station building in Tokyo.

▼ The old structure had beautiful design features, including half-timbered construction, a spire, and a wooden signboard that read “原宿駅” (“Harajuku Station”).

It was yet another case of the new replacing the old in Tokyo, but now East Japan Railway Company (JR east) has made the exciting announcement that the original station building will be returning as part of a new development project. The company says that because it had stored the materials from the old building after it was dismantled, it is now able to take those materials out of storage and use them to recreate the building, only this time it will act as the centrepiece for a new commercial facility on the north side of the new station.

▼ Today’s Harajuku Station on the left, with the old building and new complex on the right.

The new complex, which consists of a basement level and four levels above it, will stretch across a site of 1,170 square metres (0.1 hectares). The development is based around the concept of “connecting with time, town and culture“, and aims to become a new symbol of Harajuku by honouring its past and present heritage.

While it’s yet to be seen whether the old station will appear in its exact original state, JR East says it aims to reuse as much of the old materials as possible, while ensuring the components conform to current laws and regulations. The construction is set to to take place in the eight months from from May to December 2026, with the opening of the commercial facility scheduled for the winter of 2026.

Source: East Japan Railway Company
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso, East Japan Railway Company

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