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  • Writer's pictureAdam German

Harumi Flag as test case for hydrogen infrastructure green city model

On January 15th, the Nikkei Shimbun reported the occupancy of the Harumi Flag condominium complex, which acted as the Tokyo 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Village in Tokyo's Chuo Ward, is set to begin this month. 

This new community, housing over 10,000 residents, marks the debut of Japan's first hydrogen infrastructure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Positioned as an "environmentally advanced city," Harumi Flag aims to lead in decarbonization efforts using hydrogen, showcasing Tokyo as a pioneering urban center.

  • Fuel cells powered by the hydrogen pipeline will illuminate common areas in Harumi Flag and commercial spaces, setting a precedent for environmentally conscious energy use.

  • Tokyo Gas-led efforts, including hydrogen supply to vehicles and fuel cell buses, are scheduled for spring 2024. 


The former Olympic Village site now hosts Harumi Flag, a large condominium complex with 5,632 units for sale or rent, accommodating around 12,000 people. 

Harumi is positioned by the government as a "model of an environmentally advanced city." In particular, it aims to pioneer decarbonization efforts using "hydrogen." 

To showcase the city as an environmentally advanced urban center, the Tokyo government plans to establish a hydrogen station with the nation's largest supply capacity.

The hydrogen station will supply hydrogen to the city through a dedicated pipeline, a first-of-its-kind implementation in Japan. Fuel cells will be installed in Harumi Flag and commercial facilities, utilizing hydrogen supplied via the pipeline to power common area lighting, among other things.

Hydrogen supply to vehicles, including fuel cell buses, will also be implemented, led by six companies with Tokyo Gas as the representative, scheduled to start operations in spring 2024. 

According to the government, based on 2017 initial estimates at the time of planning, an annual decarbonization rate of 4.7% is targeted when compared to 2013 rates.

However, creating hydrogen from city gas at hydrogen stations makes it challenging to cover the entire city's power needs, including households, due to factors such as production costs. 

A representative from the city's Urban Development Bureau stated that by monitoring the challenges that arise from Harumi’s operation, future hydrogen implementation will be iterated on.

Lala Terrace Harumi as of January 3rd, 2024 courtesy of @harumichiku

The area will also feature the Mitsui Fudosan-operated large shopping mall Lala Terrace, opening in March 2024, and the municipal Harumi Nishi Elementary School and Junior High School, commencing classes in April the same year. 

Other facilities such as childcare centers and serviced housing for the elderly are also scheduled to open.


Nikkei Shinbun (Japanese only; paywalled)


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