Shinjuku Station
Photo: Pema Lama/Unsplash

Shinjuku Station is getting a ¥72.8 billion makeover to make it easier to navigate

Renovations to make the world’s busiest train station easier to use are underway – but they won't be finished until 2046

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
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Getting lost in Shinjuku Station is an emotional experience. With 12 different train lines and 36 platforms, it’s officially the world’s busiest train station, with an estimated 3.59 million people passing through it every day. As if the sheer number of commuters didn’t make things disorienting enough, Shinjuku Station has over 200 exits that even locals have a difficult time navigating. 

Shinjuku Station
Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Government

There might be an end to the chaos – at least, in the distant future – with renovations underway to improve the station’s layout and make it more hospitable for those of us passing through. New features will include a footpath allowing for people to cut through the station from the east side to the west side without having to go through any ticket barriers. 

The entire project is estimated to cost a whopping ¥72.8 billion, and started on July 8 2021 with the reconstruction of the west and east exits

Shinjuku Station
Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Government

This Shinjuku Station rejuvenation project, which covers an estimated 10.1 hectares of space, will completely transform Shinjuku Station as we know it. However, it’ll be a while before you get to see the results. While the full project won't be ready until 2046, a partial completion for the new east and west exits is set for 2035.

Shinjuku Redevelopment Project
Photo: Odakyu

Meanwhile, Odakyu and Tokyu Land Corporation are set to begin construction on a joint urban development project in the same area in October 2022. This involves building a new skyscraper near Shinjuku Station's west exit, which is slated for completion in 2029. 

Want to know more about Shinjuku Station? Here's our guide on how to navigate the Tokyo's most confusing train stations. 

This article was published on July 12 2021 and updated on March 15 2022.

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