Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 42 (pp.2 & 74-75)

Photostory

Transformation of Akihabara and Railways

Today's Akihabara Station

Akihabara Station is one of the busiest stations in Tokyo, where JR East's Yamonote and Keihin-Tohoku and Sobu lines, and Tokyo Metro's Hibiya Line intersect. The town is still developing, and the new, Tsukuba Express line, opened in October 2005, linking Akihabara to Tsukuba Science City in Ibaraki Prefecture. TheTsukuba Express part of Akihabara Station is located at the former site of a freight terminal on the east side of the Tohoku main line. JR East built a new Central Exit to connect with it.

Photo: Today's Akihabara ‘Electric Town’ showing elevated JR East Sobu Line (yellow train)
(Chiyoda City)
Photo: JR East Akihabara Station Denki-gai (Electric Town) Exit
(EJRCF)
Photo: People transferring between JR East (back) and Tsukuba Express (front) at Akihabara Station Central Exit during rush hour
(EJRCF)
Photos: Platform of Tsukuba Express Akihabara Station opened in October 2005
(Tsukuba Express)

Transition of Akihabara Area

Akihabara is known as ‘Electric Town’ not only to Japanese but also to foreigners. Many tourists from abroad come to Akihabara to shop for electrical goods and duty-free discounts.
In 1890, the private Nippon Railway extended its line from Ueno to Akihabara, creating the freight terminal where goods had been transported via the Kanda River running through the south side of the site. From late 1880s to 1920s, convenient transport by railway including trams activated wholesale in the area. The Vegetable Market near Akihabara Station opened around this time. In 1936, today's Transportation Museum opened at old Mansebashi Station, playing a role in drawing railway enthusiasts to Akihabara.
Today, the town has become one of the most redeveloping areas, with construction of Akihabara Crossfield at the old Vegetable Market site on the north-west side of the station, offering a modern shopping precinet with good pedestrian and automobile drop-off access.

Photo: Akihabara freight terminal opened in 1890 for the private Nippon Railway .
(Transportation Museum)
Photo: Canal within terminal to distribute goods from and to trains .
(Leo Makarazuya)
Photo: Tram running across Sudacho near Akihabara in late 1890s .
(Chiyoda City)
Photo: Vegetable Market near Akihabara Station opened in 1935 .
(Leo Makarazuya)
Photo: Manseibashi Station and Railway Museum (today's Transportation Museum) opened in 1936 .
(Transportation Museum)
Photo: Elevated at Mansei near Akihabara showing trams .
(Leo Makarazuya)
Photo: Electric wholesale district during postwar period .
(Chiyoda City)
Photo: Today's Akihabara Electric Town .
(EJRCF)
Photo: Entrance of newly opened Yodobashi Camera electronics mega store at east side of Akihabara Station .
(EJRCF)
Photo: East side of Akihabara Station heading to Tokyo Metro's Hibiya Line station .
(EJRCF)
Photo: Artist's impression of Akihabara Crossfield, a mixed-use commercial site with the 31-storey Akihabara Daibiru Building (left), and the 22-storey Akihabara UDX (right).
(Crossfeld Management Corpration)
Photo: Complete image of Akihabara Station's East Exit .
(Chiyoda City)

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