TOKYO INFRASTRUCTURE 035 Asakusa Station

The first terminal department store in Tokyo



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This terminal station of Tobu Railway extending to the suburbs was built at the intersection with the subway (now, the Ginza line) passing through the city center. Terminal department store Matsuya draws the flow of many people going to and from the station into the store. In other words, here, there is a relay point of Tokyo’s “blood vessel”, and “circulation promotion” was attempted by setting up a commercial facility.

Ichizo Kobayashi invented this system in Osaka in 1910s. It was the Asakusa Station that first adopted this system in Tokyo. The train entered the second floor directly, and the station building & the commercial facility were completely integrated. Unlike Kobayashi style, the department store is not directly operated by the railroad company here. Also, an amusement park set up on the roof of the store; this was the first attempt in Japan.

This station not only relayed commuters working in downtown, but also serves as a gateway to tourists coming to Asakusa from across the country. While tasting the atmosphere of traditional Asakusa, you can soak in the modern apace at the same Matsuya as in Ginza. Here is a microcosm of Tokyo where heterogeneous spaces are mixed. (D.Kitagawa)

 

Map

Type Station
Location Taito-ku Tokyo
Structure Reinforced concrete building/ 7 floors above ground 1 storey building
Scale area 34611 m²
Completion year 1931
Manager Tobu Railway Co. Ltd.
Designer Kuno Design Office
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