Nagasaki: Fate of Iconic Tunnel Up in Air

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A tramcar comes out of the Nagasaki Seiyokan in Nagasaki.

NAGASAKI — The future of an iconic Nagasaki shopping center that also acts as a tunnel for tramcars has caught the public’s attention following the announcement of its closure.

Nagasaki Seiyokan was built on land owned by Nagasaki Electric Tramway Co. over the tram’s tracks after the company relocated them. The building was opened in 1990 and is legally defined as a tunnel.

The retail space received about 2.3 million visitors a year. However, the company decided to close it down at the end of May this year due to a decrease in tramcar passengers amid the coronavirus pandemic in addition to a chronic deficit, The company plans to keep the tram tracks, but is considering the option of selling the building.