Chuo-Dori, the Main Street of Nagano, runs north to Zenkoji temple from near JR Nagano Station. This tour shows only the section north of Showa-Dori, where the vehicular road has been narrowed, and the pedestrian infrastructure has been upgraded.
This street is a quasi-S.L.O.W. street; it shares most of the characteristic physical qualities, but has traffic in both directions. It has many parallels to State Street in Santa Barbara; one lane each direction, frequent mini-bus service, no on-street parking, plenty of trees, and mostly 2 story buildings.
The intersection of Chuo-Dori and Showa-Dori is landmarked by TOiGO, with SBC (Shin-etsu Broadcasting Co) & the city of Nagano’s life-long learning center over two floors of shops:
TOiGO is a 10 minute walk from JR Nagano or a 3 minute walk from Shiyakusho-mae subway station (www.toigo.co.jp/access/).
This photo tour covers the upgraded portion of Chuo-Dori, proceeding northwards from TOiGO towards Zenkoji.
Note the stone bollards, frequent trees, human-scale street lighting, facade-to-facade pavers, and #curbless design.
Scramble crossing at Showa-Dori (glass clad TOiGO buildings on east side):
7 benches in front of TOiGO West (more in TOiGO plaza):
Two benches under shade umbrella:
Bus stop with 2 benches (note the wayfinding map in the background):
Bus stop with 2 benches:
bus stop with 2 benches:
2 benches, back-to-back:
Umbrella tables outside “Matsuya” and “go slow“:
Bus stop with 3 benches:
1 bench in front of shoe store:
2 benches in the shade (on a fairly wide #widewalk):
Umbrella table outside “World Trek Diner & Guesthouse“:
Umbrella table outside the Gondo Shopping Arcade:
Bus stop with 2 benches (note the red benches across the street):
Red benches in front of the Kitano Bungeiza (there are 4 on the west side, and 3 on the east side):
Here begins a long bench-less section:
Past, Present, and Future seem to all co-exist:
“Japan, however, is like a huge spiral that spins constantly. The past is projected into the future, and history is created by layers. The past always remains visible next to the present. The notion of a trend is totally irrelevant as history is created every minute. Previous ideas don’t become irrelevant and out of date, but inspire future ones.”~Nicolas Gwenael in Interior Design
Great architecture & great variety:
2 metal benches:
Bus stop with 2 benches:
Bus stop with 1 bench (and no roof!):
Scramble crossing (intersection of Chuo-Dori and National Freeway 406; 4 lanes, 31 mph). This scramble crossing marks the end of the #curbless section.
Umbrella tables on both sides:
2 benches with 2 shade umbrellas:
The end of the “Main Street” section of Chuo-Dori, with umbrella tables on both sides:
Chuo-Dori continues as a car-free street to Zenkoji temple:
70+ benches in just a 12 minute walk (900 meters ~ 3,000 feet):(Same 12 min walk shown at two different scales)
2 thoughts on “Benches of Nagano: Chuo Street”
When are you next in Tokyo? Love your posts and agree with them.
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Thank you! Probably won’t be in Tokyo before 2020 though.