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

Nagano Chuo-Dori

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

Benches of Nagano: Chuo Street

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

Transparency & Complexity

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

Street Hierarchy: Kitano

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

Hierarchy of Japanese Streets (Version 2)

[ 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)