Shinjuku Station is a structure that stretches one kilometer through the Shinjuku district and facilitates 3.6 million daily commuters. It is widely considered as the busiest public transportation hub in the world and is utilized by millions to travel to different parts of Tokyo.
Subway Lines Connecting Different Districts within Minutes
On the five main levels of Shinjuku Station, you’ll find one of three major means of traveling for those on the go – subway lines. Shinjuku boasts three subway lines that connect to sister districts like Shibuya, Minato, and Toyota within minutes. Those using trains have their pick of five different railway companies that arrive and depart simultaneously on the station’s 20 different platforms.
A Shining Beacon of Tokyo’s Impressive Infrastructure Design
For those looking to travel long distances, Shinjuku’s impressive bus terminal hosts 1600 long-distance travel lines that connect commuters to Tokyo and greater Japan. It is a shining beacon of Tokyo’s envious and ambitious infrastructure design, and what’s even crazier is the fact that this same formula is repeated throughout the mega city in different districts, all interconnected in an urban design that is unmatched and quite frankly a masterpiece.
A Nation Within a City: Tokyo’s Unmatched Urban Design
Tokyo is not just a city, it’s a nation within a city. The population measures 37 million people, making it the biggest mega city in the world. When you consider the tourists and visitors from other parts of Japan, the numbers are even higher. Tokyo has 50 million more people than any other urban setting globally. But despite the high population and never-ending movement, it has often been known as one of the safest cities in terms of infrastructure.
City planners have not only found a way to make sure that the 3.9 billion daily users who depend on the subway system get to where they need to go, but that they and others have alternative means of traveling through Tokyo on any given day. If you’re walking, for example, each Tokyo district has what you need right around the corner, whether it’s a grocery store or vending machines waiting for you. Even those on bikes, which make up 14 percent of full transportation in the city, have found a way to deal with the admittedly imperfect biking infrastructure.
A Majority of Travel in Tokyo Done Through Public Transit
While walking is convenient and an entirely viable option, 57 percent of travel in Tokyo is done through public transit, which can be compared to New York City’s 58 percent. But that’s where the comparisons end.
The Efficient Public Transit System of Tokyo
Take a look at the Times Square 42nd Street subway station in New York City. It’s no Shinjuku, but it’s part of a public transport system that is surprisingly bigger than Tokyo’s. The New York City subway has 34 lines and 468 stations, all servicing four boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. But bigger doesn’t always mean better, and that’s definitely the case here, as despite its size, it comes second to Tokyo’s annual passenger frequency.
This is possible because Tokyo’s system, while much smaller, is way more efficient. It’s the result of a necessity that grew over time as people flocked to the big city and space decreased. The flexibility and constant work on each transport system, combined with the insane 200 billion dollar annual budget for Japanese public construction from 2013 to 2023 (which is 40 percent of their entire GDP, by the way), make Tokyo a brilliantly built city.
In conclusion, Shinjuku Station stands as a testament to the unparalleled infrastructure design of Tokyo, the largest mega city in the world. With its impressive five levels and 20 platforms, Shinjuku Station facilitates the daily commute of 3.6 million people, connecting them to different parts of Tokyo within minutes. The station boasts three subway lines and 1600 long-distance travel lines that are part of an urban design that is unmatched. Despite its high population, Tokyo has managed to maintain a level of safety and convenience, making public transit the preferred mode of transportation for 57% of its citizens.
The success of Tokyo’s public transportation system can be attributed to the lack of oil reserves after World War II and the government’s collaboration with private companies to invest in railway lines. This, combined with the historical lower income of Japanese households and the demand for a solid public transit system, has led to the current state of the brilliantly built city.
In comparison to New York City’s subway system, while larger, Tokyo’s system proves to be more efficient with its flexibility and annual passenger frequency. The Japanese government’s allocation of 40% of its GDP to public construction, totaling a staggering 200 billion dollars, has helped maintain and improve the city’s infrastructure.
In conclusion, Shinjuku Station serves as a testament to the exceptional infrastructure design and forward-thinking planning of the city of Tokyo, making it a shining beacon for other cities to emulate.