Arashiyama station in Kyoto, managed by Keifuku Electric Railroad Co.,Ltd. has been renewed by renowned designer Yasumichi Morita. In 2002, Morita handled part one of this renovation project to rebuild the station building. 11 years after this renewal, the number of customers visiting the station is favorable. This time, Morita focused on recreating the inside of the station.
For the renewal, the public space within the station and surrounding areas were integrated. The areas surrounding the platform and tracks were transformed into a “plaza”, and the entrance that used to isolate the station from the city was removed. Benches have been set-up so that people who pass by can sit down and take in the scenery.
The main entrance on the west side was renovated in 2002. As part of this renovation, a zone dubbed “hannari” lines-up 3,000 bamboo trees and renowned stores of Kyoto. The zone renovated this time is located at the concourse (east side) and is called “hokkori.” Kyo Yuzen kimono are silhouetted against the “kimono forest,” where 600 acrylic poles lit by LED lights have been set up, and the forest presents fantastic scenery which can be seen from trains coming into the station after the sunsets.
Also, within the concourse, there is a foot bath using the fountainhead from Arashiyama hot spring and “Ryu no Atagoike” (small pond), which was named after Tenryuji Temple near the station. The picture of a dragon painted by Masataka Kurashina adorns the pond as well as Miharu Takizakura (cherry tree) from Fukushima wishing the recovery from the Tohoku Earthquake.
At the concourse located on the north side, a Japanese café/bar, managed as part of a joint venture between a producer of Uji green tea in Wazuka town and Keifuku Electric Railroad, is situated. A representative from Keifuku Electric Railroad commented that the aim is to communicate the charms of the Arashiyama area after the sunsets.
“I used ‘light’ as my design concept. I don’t like the white light often used in the public spaces of Japanese stations so I arranged the design in my own style. I felt the necessity for train stations to symbolize Kyoto as a landmark and I am hoping the station will be referred to as the ‘Kyoto’ from tourists when they visit Saga-Arashiyama,” comments Morita.