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Tokyo’s busiest train line to be partially shut down this weekend as part of Shibuya

There’s no more convenient way to get around downtown Tokyo than the Yamanote Line. Operated by East Japan Railway, the Yamanote is a loop line the encircles the center of the city, with trains leaving once every few minutes to carry passengers to the densest concentrations of sightseeing attractions, entertainment districts, and office neighborhoods in the city.

This weekend, though, one of the busiest stretches of the line will be shut down. The area around Shibuya Station has been going through a redevelopment project since 2015, and with that come necessary renovations to Shibuya Station, including its Yamanote Line platform. While Japanese construction crews can sometimes work with amazing quickness, the Shibuya platform work is going to be extensive enough that it can’t be completed between the last train of the night and the first of the next morning, and so a portion of the Yamanote Line, with Shibuya in the middle, will be shut down for the entire day on Saturday and Sunday.

The affected section will be between Osaki and Ikebukuro Stations, which aside from Shibuya also includes Gotanda, Meguro, Ebisu, Harajuku, Yoyogi, Shinjuku, Shin Okubo, Takadanobaba, and Mejiro Stations.

▼ The affected area is basically the western border of downtown Tokyo.


Thankfully, train traffic will continue to flow through the section in at least one direction each day, as JR is staggering the shutdown. On Saturday, service will be suspended for clockwise-moving trains (i.e. trains moving from Osaki towards Ikebukuro), and on Sunday it’ll be the counter-clockwise (Ikebukuro to Osaki) trains that are being shut down.

With the shutdown coming on the weekend, the impact on work/school commuters should be minimized, and with the exceptions of Shin Okubo and Mejiro, the affected stations can be reached by alternative train or subway lines. Regular Yamanote Line service is scheduled to resume with the first train on Monday morning.

Source: Iza via Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko

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