Monday, January 27, 2014

Former Manseibashi Station Platform Reopened in Tokyo

In 2013 the remaining section of the old Manseibashi Station platform in Tokyo was renovated and reopened to the public as a shopping destination. It has plenty of reminders of it's past left in situ, and a new glass covered viewing platform on the former Manseibashi Station platform for a very up close view of passing Tokyo trains! I heard about it from NHK news before coming to Japan and I had to take a look!

First, a little history. Manseibashi Station was a substantial railway station built in the early 1900's between the present JR Akihabara and Kanda Railway Stations in Tokyo. Not only did it service train lines as the terminus, but served as an interchange for streetcar trams as well. Inside the restored platform building structure, there is a nice diorama that shows this past appearance and use quite well. The building looks like a smaller version of the current Tokyo Railway Station:

During the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, Manseibashi Station was destroyed and was not rebuilt. The platform area was re-used for the train lines going through this area, leaving a small stop over section for trains and disused platform as the only hint to it's past use as a station. Coming to the present day, the remaining platform section is visible from the Manseibashi bridge nearby, which used to serve trams too until they were stopped:

The view of the former Manseibashi Station from the nearby Manseibashi bridge:

 Once at the old structure, you can see the original 1912 era staircase which leads to the original Manseibashi station platform on top of it. Today, there is a cafe and viewing area built on it:

And here is the Manseibashi Station platform viewing area, which is free to enter. but flash photography is not allowed as it is blinding for the passing train drivers!

Every few minutes a JR commuter train travels down one side or the other of the platform, which is quite exciting as of course they don't stop or slow down! Here is some photos of the trains passing Manseibashi Station:

Coming back outside Manseibashi station again down the 1912 era original stairs, the photo below is taken from a position where the original Railway Station would have stood all those years ago...Under the platform today is a bunch of arts and craft shops, some restaurants and even a railway souvenir shop!

Near here is a plaque which explains a little more about the Earthquake and Manseibashi Station History in Japanese and English (click to expand):

Here is some closeups of the Manseibashi bridge structure today:

You can see Manseibashi inscribed into the structure:

I really wanted to see this on my trip to Tokyo, and I am really glad that I did!

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