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Tokyo Station to be revamped with new shops, barrier-free paths

This file photo taken in June 2019 shows an aerial view of JR Tokyo Station. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Station's shopping area will be enlarged with more stores ahead of this summer's Olympics in an attempt to attract more visitors with better accessibility, East Japan Railway Co. said Tuesday.

    The enlarged Gransta Tokyo shopping area will open on June 17, said the company better known as JR East, adding its floor space will be more than doubled to around 11,300 square meters and the number of stores increased to 154 from 88 at present.

    The area will also provide barrier-free access by increasing the number of elevators and escalators, among other renovations, said JR East, which generates sales of around 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) including fares at the station.

    About 60 percent of the 300 billion yen comes from the shopping area and other non-railway operations, which JR East has been trying to expand as a source of future growth.

    The new shops, mostly restaurants, will be located north of the central pathway connecting the Marunouchi and Yaesu districts.

    The width of the passage connecting the ticket gates at the Marunouchi North and Yaesu North exits will be enlarged to 12 meters from the pre-construction span of 6.7 meters.

    The renovations began in 2012 with the goal of completing them before the start of the Tokyo Olympics on July 24.

    Additionally, JR East said it will open its first Japan Rail Cafe, designed to provide tourism information about various parts of Japan, in March just outside the Yaesu Central Gate at the station. It already runs similar cafes in Singapore and Taiwan.

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