Japan Redevelopment Project Series | Shinjuku Station with the Largest Number of Passengers in the World

Have you ever got lost at the enormous Shinjuku station while visiting Tokyo? With 12 train and metro lines, 36 platforms and 200 entrances, Shinjuku is the world’s most trafficked station being used by 3.7 million commuters every day. Even locals or people who have lived in Tokyo for years may have wondered at one time where they were and which exit they should take after getting off at Shinjuku.

This lost nightmare at Japan’s or arguably the world’s largest transit station may be coming to an end in the near future. The Odakyu Department Store, which has been connected with Shinjuku Station for over half a century, will close its door in October 2022 to commence the redevelopment work, giving Shinjuku Station a chance to be reborn. The redevelopment project will be divided into two parts, the West Exit and the South Exit, and is expected to be completed in 2029 and 2040 respectively. Additionally, a new landmark in Kabukicho located at the East Exit of Shinjuku will be built in 2023, ready for new business opportunities in the post-epidemic era.


Shinjuku Southwest Exit Redevelopment Project – Shinjuku Grand Terminal

The Odakyu Department Store located next to Shinjuku Station has been in operation for 55 years since its inauguration in 1967. Because of its aging facilities and the new epidemic hit, its business performance has been lagging behind peers. The company has decided to close its doors in October 2022 and redevelop the site. Its site redevelopment is part of the entire redevelopment project to be held at the Southwest exits of Shinjuku. Besides the Odakyu Group, this large redevelopment project also involves Tokyu Real Estate, Tokyo Metro, JR East Group and Keio Electric Railway.

First is the development of the West exit which covers an area of 16,000 sqm. There will be a commercial building with 48 floors above ground and 5 floors below ground to be firstly completed in 2029. The building will include a department store mall on the 1st-11th floors, a new business incubator on the 12th-13th floors, a 400m long sky corridor on the 9th-14th floors, and offices above the 14th floors. The lower floors of the mall and the underground entrance will resemble a 3D city. The 260m main building will replace Shinjuku City Hall as the tallest building in Shinjuku.

Image source: Odakyu Electric Railway press release

The second part is at the Southwest exit divided into the North street area and South street area. The North street area covers 10,000 sqm, with the main building being 19 storeys high and 3 basement levels. The South street area is approximately 6,300 sqm, with the main building being 37-storeys high and 6 basement levels. The two buildings will comprise retail, office and hotel facilities respectively and are expected to be completed by 2040.

Shinjuku Station has traditionally been known as a cluttered station because of the lack of proper segregation between the pedestrian space and the traffic lanes, especially around the bus stop at the West exit and the East exit, where pedestrians and vehicles are like they are competing with each other for space. The new developments will provide pedestrian networks in all directions as well as an additional interchange route on the 2nd basement floor of the development which is expected to ease the flow of pedestrians at the West exit.


Image source: Keio Electric Railway, JR East Japan press release

Kabukicho TOKYO MILANO, the New Entertainment Trendsetter

On the other side of Shinjuku Station, at the east exit, the look of Kabukicho is about to be transformed. A new development will be held near Seibu-Shinjuku Station, which is located to the northeast of Shinjuku Station. This area has long been neglected as the buildings there look more aged than those around Isetan or Kabukicho Ichiban street. The completion of TOKYO MILANO will certainly revitalize the area and become a new attraction for tourists.

Kabukicho TOKYO MILANO will provide facilities that focus on film entertainment, exhibition and performance. It will be a 48-storey commercial building with a 1,500-seat auditorium from the 1st floor to the 4th basement, a cinema and theater on the 6th-10th floors, and an upscale hotel from the Tokyu Group on the 17th floor. The project was originally scheduled to open in time for the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, but was delayed until 2023 due to the impact of the new epidemic.

Kabukicho, one of Japan’s most famous places of entertainment, was born after World War II and is about to be transformed into a new landmark of pilgrimage for tourists!

Image source: Shinjuku City website

Residential Twin Tower Development in Nishi-Shinjuku Sanchome

Nishi-Shinjuku is a less touristy area compared to Kabukicho, Okubo, and Yoyogi. It is full of high-end residential buildings, corporate headquarters and government offices. A redevelopment project will be held in the Nishi-Shinjuku Sanchome, near Hatsudai Station on the Keio Line.

The 30,000 sqm development will comprise two 62- and 63-storey residential towers and two 9-storey commercial buildings, expected to be completed by 2034. Participants include Nomura Real Estate, Sumitomo Corporation and Tokyo Tatemono.

When completed, the residential twin towers will supply 3,200 units, making it the second largest residential development following the 5,632-unit HARUMI FLAG, and the tallest residential tower in Japan at 235m.

Image source: press release

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