Tokyo Metro to turn on the lights at 2 ‘shadowy stations’
Source : www.asahi.com
The former Manseibashi Station in the capital’s Chiyoda Ward, below the Akihabara district (Teruo Kashiyama)
Tokyo Metro Co. will add time travel to its timetables this December, transporting customers back to the 1930s by illuminating two “shadowy stations” on the Ginza Line, which have languished in darkness for decades.
Manseibashi Station in the capital’s Chiyoda Ward, below the Akihabara district and Jingumae Station, 180 meters from Omotesando Station in Minato Ward, will be seen by the public for the first time since they closed.
Passengers will not be allowed inside the stations, but will be able to see their platforms from moving trains along the usual Ginza Line route.
The glimpse of the long-forgotten stations is being offered to mark the 90th birthday of the Ginza Line, which was Asia’s first subway line.
“’Shadowy stations’ are evidence of the Ginza Line’s numerous evolutions during its 90-year history," said a Tokyo Metro official. “I hope the passengers will enjoy imagining the scene when the stations were busy with many people, by seeing them through the train windows.”
The former Manseibashi Station, located between Kanda and Suehirocho stations, was used from 1930 to 1931. The station was set up for temporary use during the southwardly extension of the line, which until then was book-ended by Asakusa and Suehirocho subway stations, and the construction of Kanda subway station, while the lengthy process of building a tunnel under the Kandagawa river was ongoing.
The 33-meter-long wooden platform was used as the terminal for trains coming from Suehirocho subway station, as the Ginza Line had only one track at that time.
Manseibashi was abandoned after Kanda Station’s completion. The stairs connecting Manseibashi to ground level currently function as ventilation shafts, and, a space slightly raised from the platform and concrete pillars still remain there.
The former Jingumae Station opened in 1938 under the name of Aoyama 6-chome before its name was changed to Jingumae, and then again to Omotesando.
The station was finally mothballed in the 1970s when a new Omotesando Station was built on the Ginza Line to facilitate passengers' changing trains from the Chiyoda and Hanzomon lines.
Since then, the former Jingumae Station has been used for equipment storage, and the old tiled platforms measuring about 96 meters can be seen on either side of the tracks.
Signs marked “container for cigarette butts” are visible today, serving as a reminder of the era when smoking was allowed on platforms. The practice was done away with in 1988 when Tokyo Metro banned smoking at all its stations.
*The article was published on The Asahi Shimbun Digital on November 6, 2017 at 18:40 JST
The Asahi Shimbun Digital