Explosive Ridership Growth on Tokyo Metro

While the population of Tokyo as a whole is growing quite slowly, some parts of the city are experiencing change at a dizzying pace.  This phenomenon is most visible in the massive construction projects at Shibuya, Shinagawa, and Tokyo Station. In contrast to Tokyo’s slow and steady population growth, the following numbers (for stations on Tokyo Metro) are really quite massive. Station Name:  2012 Ridership  ->  2015 … Continue reading Explosive Ridership Growth on Tokyo Metro

Island of Walkability: Onomichi (尾道)

Most of the commercial life of Onomichi is concentrated in a compact strip about 6,400 feet long, varying from ~200 to ~1,000 feet in width.   The fully roofed (アーケード) portion of Onomichi’s central shopping street (商店街) is about 3,000 feet long. This commercial core is separated from the waterfront by two lanes of traffic (one lane in each direction) with a relatively high speed limit (40 … Continue reading Island of Walkability: Onomichi (尾道)

What I learned from #StreetOfTheDay

A Tribute to the photo collections of N. Lewis and D. Boxall My bad habit is looking at pictures of beautiful streets.  I can stare at them for hours in a state of total wonderment.  Because they feel comfortable, safe, welcoming, alive… and nobody seems to know why. But recently, I began to notice a pattern; the best streets all fit the same basic form with regard … Continue reading What I learned from #StreetOfTheDay

How Busy Are Tokyo Rail Hubs?

(Daily boardings in 2015 unless otherwise stated) Shinjuku 総合駅: ~1.67 million  JR: 760,043 Keio: ~379,000 (757,823 on & off) Odakyu: ~246,000 (492,234 on & off) Toei Shinjuku Line: 140,967 Tokyo Metro: ~ 116,000  (231,340 on & off) Toei Oedo Line: 30,466 Ikebukuro 総合駅: ~1.31 million  “1966年に新宿駅に抜かれるまで、当駅が1日平均乗車人員数で日本一だった” JR: 556,780 Tokyo Metro: ~274,000  (548,839 on & off) Seibu: ~242,000 (483,407 on & off) Tobu: ~239,000 (477,834 on & off) Shibuya 総合駅: ~1.22 million … Continue reading How Busy Are Tokyo Rail Hubs?

Japan and the Lost Decade

“The Maya abandoned what had been densely populated urban centers” ~ Climate and the Collapse of Maya Civilization, Peterson & Haug “The city of Rome underwent depopulation during the 5th century […] By the 6th century the population of Rome had fallen to a mere 80,000.” “Civilization, according to the Romans, was based on the city. Only barbarians lived in non-urban societies.” ~ “The Fall and Decline … Continue reading Japan and the Lost Decade

Osaka – Human Centered City

We’ve all heard about how Paris wants to be car-free. We’ve all read about how Oslo wants to be car-free. But somehow, very quietly, Osaka is beating them there.  This Japanese government report shows that between 2000 and 2010, the mode-share of private motor vehicles in Osaka (blue and purple) retreated from an already low 18.3% to a mere 14.6% Mode-share statistics for Osaka in 2010: Rail: 35.8% Walking: 24.0% Bicycle: 23.5% … Continue reading Osaka – Human Centered City

The Truth About Osaka

Some people just don’t have any common-sense when it comes to Osaka. Here’s Wikipedia: two screenshots from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_share Zero percent cycling in a big Japanese city?  This should have been flagged a long time ago!  (Stats for 2010 are available here) For the Osaka data, Wikipedia cites Singapore’s Land Transport Authority: Which in turn cites a Japanese government survey: However, the Land Transport Authority appears to have interpreted … Continue reading The Truth About Osaka

Directions to IHJ (International House of Japan)

I have two recommendations for walking to the International House of Japan (IHJ): A 10 minute scenic tour. A 10 minute mole tour (if you want to minimize your time outdoors). The scenic option offers a complete crash course in walkable urbanism, hidden in the most mundane details. As I have written elsewhere, most of our knowledge about how to build a walkable city has yet … Continue reading Directions to IHJ (International House of Japan)