JR Otsu Station's Renovation to Have Open-Feeling AppearanceReopening Next Autumn1 October 2015 - Traffic
On October 1, JR-West's Kyoto branch and Otsu City published a rendering of the renovated JR Otsu Station building. While retaining most of the station building's current design, the front windowpanes will be completely renovated to have inside stores visible from the outside, thus imparting an open appearance. A tourist information center enhanced for receiving foreign tourists will be set up within the building. Although the renovation work will be completed next March, the re-opening of the station building, with the stores and the tourist information center installed, is scheduled for next autumn.
At the press conference, Satoshi Iwasaki, head of JR-West Kyoto branch, explained, "We have chosen a bright and simple design." The building will be repainted with white as the base color, and the station name sign will use light-emitting diodes or LED, so that it can be seen even at night. Desired tenants for the building are "stores where customers can enjoy a relaxing space beside Lake Biwa, which are unique to Otsu and not found in Kyoto Station." They are now negotiating with cafes, restaurants and others.
The tourist information center will enhance the multilingual staff and other services with the aim of being a place where foreign travelers can gather. Its function as the base for pedestrian sightseeing around the city center will be also emphasized. Naomi Koshi, city mayor, said, "We would like the station to be one that people around the world want to visit."
The current Otsu Station building is 40 years old and the facade has been aging. The cost to renovate the facade is 100 million yen, which will be covered by JR-West, and the national and city governments.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)