Odakyu Line's Undersea Palace Train Station To Be Rebuilt

Odakyu Line's undersea palace train station to be rebuilt

FUJISAWA, Kanagawa Prefecture--A train station popular with tourists here that appears to be a "ryugujo" (undersea palace) from Japanese folklore is preparing to be rebuilt prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Katase-Enoshima Station of Odakyu Line will become a full-fledged, ryugujo-like structure by employing "ryugu-zukuri," or construction methods unique to two-story gates of shrines and Buddhist temples.

"We hope that the new station building will be loved by people for many years," an official of Odakyu Electric Railway Co., operator of the line, said on Dec. 12, 2017.

Construction of the new station building is expected to start in February. It will be equipped with an arch-shaped, two-story front gate that is similar to that of Enoshimajinja shrine.

The basic structure of the building will be made of steel, which will be covered with wooden materials. It will be 9.95 meters in height, higher than the current station building, which is slightly lower than 8 meters.

The new station building, which is scheduled to be completed in May 2020, will maintain the atmosphere of the current building but "will have a playful mind and dignity," said the Odakyu official.

The current station building was constructed in 1929. It is now a tourist stop, with many visitors taking commemorative photos of themselves with the building as a backdrop.

Due to aging and deterioration, however, rain leaks from the roof, necessitating the rebuilding work.

In addition, as the sailing competition at the 2020 Olympics will be held around the Enoshima district, Odakyu decided to reconstruct the station building as a gateway to the district.