Over 500,000 people take the train on average in Tokyo Station every day and this is just one of the many facts about the station that you probably already know. Based on the number of trains that arrive and depart all day in the station, it is no wonder that it is also considered to be one of the busiest stations in the country. Every day express trains bound for Narita International Airport, bullet trains going around the Honshu area and the many regional commuter lines run through Tokyo Station.
If you are a certified train otaku you probably know a lot about Tokyo Station already. But, for those who are not so familiar with the history and other trivia about Tokyo Station, this article might be useful.
1. History buffs probably know that before Tokyo Station officially opened to the public on December 20, 1914, it was simply known as the central terminal.
2. There were two assassination attempts on Japan’s prime ministers in Tokyo Station. The first assassination plot was against Takashi Hara who was stabbed to death in front of the south exit in 1921. The second attempt was made against Osachi Hamaguchi who died from an infection of his wound after being shot on the platform of the express train bound to Tsubame in 1930.
3. It was architect Franz Baltzer of Germany who created the original design plan for the station. But, the plan was later rejected because the design was “too Japanese.”
4. In 1914, about 740,000 people were involved in building the Tokyo Station while there were 780,000 people help in the recent renovation.
5. The entire floor space of Tokyo station measures 182,000 square meters which is 3.6 times the size of Tokyo Dome.
6. Tokyo Station is one of the two stations designated as an Important Cultural Asset in Japan which is currently operating. The other station is Mojiko Station in Fukuoka Prefecture.
7. Tokyo Station has survived many earthquakes in Japan including the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 before its renovation because of the 11,050 larch poles which measure 21 cm in diameter and between 3.6 to 7.2 meters in length.
8. Eight of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals can be found in Tokyo Station’s domes while the remaining four animals are displayed on the second floor of a gate in Saga Prefecture at Takeo Onsen. The design of the domes is credited to Kingo Tatsuno.
9. Tokyo Station took the record from Shibuya Station as the station to handle the third-highest number of passengers which is behind Shinjuku and Ikebukuro based on the records of JR East.
10. About eight million bricks were needed to build Tokyo Station.
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