Downtown Akashi, nestled between the Akashi Strait and the remains of Akashi Castle, is one of the world’s most compact city centers. It is just a 5 minute walk from the station cluster (JR Akashi and Sanyo Akashi) to the waterfront (450 meters, 1/4 mile). JR Akashi Station (and adjacent Sanyo Akashi Station), are 23 minutes from Sannomiya Station, and about 40 minutes from Himeji … Continue reading Akashi
The streets above are highlighted hierarchically as follows: – Magenta: Covered arcades and open-air shopping streets (de-facto car free). – Magenta block on right side: Gondo subway station (長野電鉄・権堂駅). The large building on the west side is a station-direct-linked (駅直結) supermarket & department store. – Cyan: Quasi-SLOW street. – Red: “Busy” Boulevards. – Orange: … Continue reading Nagano Chuo-Dori
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 … Continue reading Benches of Nagano: Chuo Street
Taking R. Ewing’s “Eight Qualities of Pedestrian- and Transit-Oriented Design” as a starting point, I examine numbers 4 & 5: transparency & complexity. Applying these concepts to Nagano’s Chuo-Dori, I demonstrate their usage in describing walkability, and think about ways in which they can be further improved. To start with my conclusions: From a walkability perspective, the key value of complexity lies in preventing walking from … Continue reading Transparency & Complexity
Almost the entire area between the two stations is a pedestrian-priority shopping zone. It is somewhat of a “University Village”, with many cafes and shops catering to students of several nearby colleges. Continue reading Okamoto
The Kitano-ijinkan area is a unique historic neighborhood located in the foothills near Sannomiya Station. This post covers a neighborhood including parts of Kitano-cho (北野町), Yamamoto-Dori (山本通), and Naka-Yamate-Dori (中山手通). The streets above are highlighted hierarchically as follows: – Magenta: A pedestrian plaza and shopping street, with high density of tourists. – Cyan: Single Lane One Way (minimal road width, … Continue reading Street Hierarchy: Kitano
The incredible density of woonerfs / narrow streets is off the charts. Continue reading Kanzakigawa Station & Mitsuya Arcade
Hankyu Juso Station (阪急十三駅), just 3 minutes from Umeda, is a commercial node with covered shopping arcades extending directly from both west and east exit. This post will focus on the west side of the station. Continue reading Juso Station & Arcades
Keep an eye out for these key S.L.O.W. features:
– Absence of parking lanes.
– Frequently spaced trees and/or stone bollards.
– Curbless #SuperFlat facade-to-facade pavement. Continue reading Nara’s Sanjo SLOW Street
[ the original version is available here ] The transportation structure of Japanese cities can be decomposed into pedestrian and vehicular networks. In some places they run side-by-side, in other places they overlap, but for the most part, they are completely separate. Organizing the hierarchy in order of pedestrian volume, from greatest to least: Note that vehicular flow is high only in the middle ranks of … Continue reading Hierarchy of Japanese Streets (Version 2)