By the end of 19th century, there were already three train terminals in Tokyo. The capital, however, didn't have one in its busiest area. It was daunting to build a massive station and rail tracks in the high traffic area filled with buildings, although the government knew they needed to build it urgently.
In 1914, Tokyo Station finally opened in the bustling area. The raised rail tracks connecting to the station were designed not to interfere with road traffic. They were made of red bricks although concrete structures were becoming more popular for a massive building at that time. The main building of the station, which was three-storied and had two domes on both sides of 335 meters width, was also built with bricks and a steel skeleton.
Nine years after the completion of the station, the red brick building withstood the Great Kanto Earthquake, which caused catastrophic damage to Tokyo. However, it was not able to escape war damage. It was almost burned down by air raids in the end of World War II. Only the skeleton and the wall remained. The station building was repaired when the war was over, however, the two domes and the third story were removed, they were badly damaged.
A plan to restore the building to how it looked before the war damage was proposed in the end of 20th century. Numerous people agreed with the plan and it was put into action in 2007. After 5 years of work, not only was the building restored, it also had seismic countermeasures installed. The old foundation made of pine trees was replaced with concrete boxes, and cutting-edge quake absorbers were installed between the building and the foundation. These operations were completed without moving or disassembling the building.
On October 1st, 2012, the oldest building of Tokyo Station unveiled its restored look. The Station Manager said that he hopes people will be familiar with it for the next 100 years.
Restored Tokyo Station Building Unveiled [iPhone 4S/HD]
- Shot in 1080p full HD with an iPhone 4S on Oct. 1st, 2012