If there was no COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics would have been held in July 2020. In order to handle the surge in tourists for the Olympics, a new station was planned on the Yamanote Line called Takanawa Gateway Station. It was to reduce the congestion in the adjacent stations. However, as of today, the station seems to have been hardly used.
Takanawa Gateway Station is located between Shinagawa Station and Tamachi on the JR Yamanote Line. It opened for service on March 14, 2020. The station is 1.3 km away from Tamachi Station and only 0.9 km from Shinagawa Station. The distance between these three stations is extremely small but the main reason was to reduce the number of commuters using Shinagawa Station, a transport hub with the bullet train platforms. Takanawa Gateway Station is located near the Olympic Stadium.
Last year when the station first opened, many people came to visit it. As of today, very few people seem to using it.
Last year, when the station had just opened we visited it once. It seemed to be a sign of hope and excitement. However, this year, it feels lonely and desolate.
Hardly any passengers get off here.
The station is still brand new as it was last year. The only thing different is that this year, we could take photos without any people.
The station also uses the most advanced technology in the city. The roof is inspired by origami.
It is lit using the latest Panasonic LED lamps. The lamps adjust light intensity and color inside the station according to the temperature, weather conditions, and the brightness of the sun. The lighting gradually transitions to more energetic tones through the day.
On the second floor of the station, there are benches to sit and relax. The station is equipped with a wide corridor as well as a convenience store. However, no one seems to be using these facilities.
We took these photos at 16:00 on a Saturday. It feels like the quietest station on the Yamanote Line.
We did see a Pepper-kun in front of the convenience store.
And another one on the first floor. Pepper is a robot for providing information and guidance.
Since there was no one, we decided to check out the features on Pepper Kun.
Very informative indeed, adding a little bit of joy to this otherwise sad experience.
Other than the Yamanote line, the JR Keihin Tohoku Line from Omiya all the way to Ofuna also runs here.
Let’s go out and see what’s in front of the station.
This is the area in front of the entrance to the station.
At the exit, turn to the left to find a long straight road and you can see the name of the station.
Turning to the right is also a long straight road.
There is a construction project that is still under progress. It was originally built for the Global Gateway Shinagawa and Takanawa Gateway Fest projects, but Covid-19 has postponed these as well.
From the entrance of the station, the Yamanote line can be seen clearly. There are almost no shops or eateries around the station so there is no reason for people to visit the area. Hopefully this will change soon.
In July 2021, Japan intends to hold the Olympics without foreign tourists. The country had geared up in many ways to welcome tourists for the Olympics. Unfortunately, many businesses are suffering huge losses. Everyone is waiting for the time when the global travel will return to normal!
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