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

Kobe: Itayado Arcades (板宿商店街)

Itayado Hon-dori (板宿本通) runs north from Itayado Station, and together with a number of branch arcades, it connects 18 city blocks with a continuous glass roof (with the proviso that Shin-machi-dori is not fully connected, strictly speaking). At ~640 feet long, Itayado Hon-dori is one of the shortest arcades in Kobe.  Altogether, this group of arcades has a combined length of only ~1900 feet.  And yet, as … Continue reading Kobe: Itayado Arcades (板宿商店街)

Nagoya: Bus Terminal (Oasis 21) 栄バスターミナル(オアシス21)

“Oasis 21” is an enclosed bus terminal attached to an open-air shopping center.  It is located at the intersection of two major subway lines (and the terminus of a third), and is directly connected to the large underground malls of the Sakae area (e.g. 森の地下街、クリスタル広場). It is a “3D” station, with four layers.  From top to bottom: A publicly accessible glass roof.  This “Spaceship-Aqua” is covered in water, save … Continue reading Nagoya: Bus Terminal (Oasis 21) 栄バスターミナル(オアシス21)

Kobe: Shinkaichi & Shinsen-ichiba (新開地・新鮮市場)

Green: covered arcades. Orange: slow street (curves have been deliberately added to street to slow traffic). Blue: underground halls and malls attached to subway stations. Stats: Length: 5,450′(from north end of arcade to south end of highlighted slow street). Spans roughly 1/2 the total width of Kobe (from the mountains to the sea). Change in elevation: 60′. The arcades running from Shinkaichi 3-chome to the Shin-Minato canal in Higashiyama-cho have … Continue reading Kobe: Shinkaichi & Shinsen-ichiba (新開地・新鮮市場)

Kyoto Photo Tour: Shopping Arcades – 商店街

Kyoto has a cluster of three arcades.  The longest is the Teramachi Arcade, which runs parallel to the Shinkyogoku Arcade, and orthogonal to the relatively short Cupola Sanjo Arcade. East end of Cupola Sanjo: North end of Teramachi Arcade (looking south): North end of Teramachi Arcade – just inside: . South end of Teramachi Arcade (looking north): South end of Shinkyogoku Arcade (looking north, with … Continue reading Kyoto Photo Tour: Shopping Arcades – 商店街

Tokyo Photo Tour: Ebisu Skywalk (恵比寿スカイウォーク) from Ebisu Garden Place

Have you ever wondered why moving sidewalks are confined to airports?  Why aren’t there any moving sidewalks leading to the train station? In Ebisu, there are. This tour starts in spectacular Ebisu Garden Place, spins around a bit to take in the view, and then proceeds north along the Ebisu Skywalk to Ebisu Station (JR Yamanote). If we back up about 250 feet, we see this: … Continue reading Tokyo Photo Tour: Ebisu Skywalk (恵比寿スカイウォーク) from Ebisu Garden Place

Roppongi Hills – 洋風 or 和風?

Have you ever heard somebody confuse the words “modern” and “western”?  It’s a very unsettling experience.  Perhaps because it seems to come not from any maliciousness or intentionality  per se, but from a deeply subconscious assumption that anything cutting edge must be western in origin. Deconstructing the Discourse of Westernization Superficially, the steel and glass structure of Mori Tower contrasts with the wooden construction techniques of traditional … Continue reading Roppongi Hills – 洋風 or 和風?