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)

Major Sky-Level Decks #デッキ論

This list is not comprehensive, but here are some of the largest Deck Level developments in Japan: Senri-Chuo shopping center in Osaka (on airport monorail line): huge deck level.  Surrounding park areas are connected by pedestrian bridges, creating near total grade separation of vehicles and pedestrians.  Very much like Tama Center. See also: http://senri50.com/c4489.html Tama Center: Wide deck level stretching 1100′ NW from Keio Tama Center … Continue reading Major Sky-Level Decks #デッキ論

Versus! – Jiyugaoka vs Little Italy

Jiyugaoka (自由が丘) is located 4 miles outside the Yamanote line, Tokyo’s equivalent of New York’s Manhattan. Little Italy is in the middle of south Manhattan, and has the highest WalkScore of any neighborhood in New York City. Jiyugaoka: 37 bars within 0.2 kilometers . Little Italy: 12 bars within 0.2 miles . Jiyugaoka: 74 coffee within 0.2 kilometers . Little Italy: 69 coffee within 0.2 miles . … Continue reading Versus! – Jiyugaoka vs Little Italy

Jiyugaoka – Shop Distribution

How many shops are within walking distance?  While Jiyugaoka.net lists 1,937 shops*, not all of them are close to Jiyugaoka Station.  It appears that roughly 3/4 of these are within 6 minutes of the station, but the distribution varies; super markets are more evenly spread, while restaurants are highly clustered. *This includes public facilities, service businesses, parks, and over a thousand listings under “gourmet“.  This allows a … Continue reading Jiyugaoka – Shop Distribution

Sasebo – 佐世保

Sasebo is a small city with a vibrant commercial core.  Most stores and businesses are within a couple blocks of the 20 minute walk shown below: The main commercial area is unified by a continuously roofed arcade (全蓋アーケード) fully three fifths of a mile in length.  It is managed by two Shotengai Associations. Sankacho (aka Sun Plaza) in the NW half: Yonkacho in the SE half: The following diagram … Continue reading Sasebo – 佐世保

Hierarchy of Japanese Streets – Sorakuen Garden (相楽園)

The area southwest of Kitano-cho (the western halves of 中山手通 & 山本通) is notable for hosting many educational institutions: St Michael Nursery, Kobe Kakyo Kindergarten, Kobe Elementary School, Shinko High School, Kobe Chinese School, and Kobe Yamate University.  How safe are the streets for students walking to school? As described previously, streets in Japan can be analysed hierarchically, and classified on a five rank scale.  The streets in this area occupy only … Continue reading Hierarchy of Japanese Streets – Sorakuen Garden (相楽園)

Hierarchy of Japanese Streets – Illustrated

Pedestrian movement paths in Japanese cities can be decomposed hierarchically, proceeding from the narrowest residential laneways to the busiest shopping streets (near rail stations). – As described previously, the highest levels of the pedestrian hierarchy are completely separate from the vehicular network. – The following illustration shows the structure of these streets near Sannomiya station dark green: subway tunnels light green: shopping arcades blue: nightlife alleys peach: … Continue reading Hierarchy of Japanese Streets – Illustrated

Hierarchy of Japanese Streets

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 (woonerf), but for the most part, they are completely separate. Both of these networks are hierarchical in form: Hierarchy of Driving 1. Woonerfs – slow and very narrow streets where people and cars mix. 2. Narrow Streets – streets just wide enough for a … Continue reading Hierarchy of Japanese Streets

Road Diet in Kobe: Fukiai-Minami (葺合南)

  The city of Kobe is currently moving forward with major street improvements which will culminate in the total pedestrianization of downtown’s Sannomiya area (a major commuter rail hub with no less than six stations).  This will greatly enhance the overall appeal of central Kobe, and could be a real game changer for international tourism. The following is a rough translation of this press release, which describes … Continue reading Road Diet in Kobe: Fukiai-Minami (葺合南)