30 Oct 2010

twelve zones, the city defined - a week of infrastructure

Zoning map above shows the Setagaya-ku which mainly is filled with dense and low buildings (coloured blue). The red/pink shows commercial developments, around railway stations or along roads. Just to be clear, the green areas doesn't imply a park or vegetation. Even if parks can be green in the map.
The Japanese zoning system contains rules about use, floor area ratio, building height, building coverage area and other things. There are 12 zones in total. The maps show the pattern of development of the urban fabric.

29 Oct 2010

constructing landscape - a week of infrastructure

Around the edges of Tokyo Bay[Wikipedia] all land is artificial, if you look at the link you will. This process of constructing an islands and extending land has been going on for a long time, it is used for many different things, Haneda airport, housing, industry and entertainment. But now the end of this process of landfill is in sight. This is the story of island that is supposed to be the last one. This is the sea forest proposed by Tadao Ando, article here.

28 Oct 2010

2 roads: shuto expressway - a week of infrastructure

Shuto Expressway route C2, meets route 4, Shinjuku-line. Above the intersection of Koshu Kaido and Yamate-dori.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway is without doubt the most outstanding and important structure in the fabric of the city. Massive concrete and steel beams support a vast network of roadways that weaves its way through the entire capital, its tentacles stretching as far as the outlying districts of Yokohama, Saitama and Chiba. This traffic roller-coaster flies through and over the cityscape, skimming low-lying rooftops, snaking between towering office blocks and diving into underground tunnels. It adds a further dynamic dimension to the hilly Tokyo landscape, drawing attention to the constantly changing levels and differences between areas, whether industrial, residential or commercial. This three-dimensional, sequential space has no comparison worldwide.
Tajima N. - Tokyo: A Guide To Recent Architecture, 1995.

27 Oct 2010

1 railways - views

Tokyu Toyoko from Linus Yng on Vimeo.

More than just transport and flows, the railways can provide a view of the city in movement. Above a film from Tokyu Toyoko (Tokyo-Yokohama) line by me. Below are pictures from two other lines worth  travelling with for the radically different view they provide of the city.

1 railways - a week of infrastructure

The city as a composition of lines representing railways, subways and streetcars. Tokyo is defined by public transport.

0 introduction - a week of infrastructure

Since this blog started in Swedish once upon a time I will review some of the contents in English. It is copying, but I'm copying myself and also revising the posts a little bit. First out, railways later today.

22 Oct 2010

Tour updates 22 Oct

Meguro-ku, 23 Oct, Saturday Cost is ¥1000 or ¥500 for students. Starting point, Segafredo next to Nakameguro station (Google map). 13:00-16:00. Similar but not same as Extra architour. Weather tomorrow seems to be close to perfect, about 20 degrees, sunny and 0% chance of rain. The cycling tour should take about 3 hours from 13:00.
All tours have been reviewed for contents and shortened to provide more a varied experience of the city.
More info about future tours here.

19 Oct 2010

Running in the city

Plot of distances covered since august, scale in km, from myasics.

There are many theories about running. About where to run, how to run, what to wear, what to eat or drink. All kinds of things. And there many places for learning more about these things.  This is about where to run for long slow runs in Tokyo. For intervals, nice parks or tracks are better. For recovery or shorter runs to options are fewer. But with long runs the possibilities open up, as a non practising road cyclist this makes me happy.
Tokyo is going through a running boom at moment and races sell out very quickly.
Since running is for distance is about distance it is possible to do it by running around in a park or the nice loop around the Imperial Palace. But since I don't live or work close it doesn't make sense. For the long slow run I propose the usage of paths following water. I has the following advantages: almost flat, linear, varying landscapes suchs as Danchi areas, houses, parks and so on. If you want to add hills you leave the path for while and come back. The following paths are mostly useful if you live between west of Yamanote-sen in the general areas they occupy. However, both to the north and to the south there are many different paths that can be used. They all are constructed somehow. More reading about some of these paths.

I you like me don't like to run the same path in both directions these paths have possible connections such as Tamagawajosui to Inokashira-koen and Kandagawa back. The others are left as an exercise for the reader.
Five linear paths I use for running. Screen shot from Google Earth, Google map here.

The different lines show from north to south.

  • Zenpukuji-gawa 10.4 km, 善福寺川, yellow. Flows from Zenpukuji-koen and joins Kandagawa in the west. A big park along it between Kanpachidori an Kannanadori.
  • Kanda-gawa 10.8 km, 神田川, green. Starts from Inokashira-koen and after being joined with Zenpukuji and entering Nakano-ku changes character, here the trail on the map ends. Eventually ends up in the outer imperial moat at Iidabashi.
  • Tamagawa-jousui 41.2 km, 玉川上水, red. From Tamagawa in the east to Shinjuku station. Not a river but at all, but a waterway built to supply Edo with water, work started in 1653. While it follows Chuo Expway and sometimes disappears underneath, is is not always that fun. Also nice because it is at the top of the topography, many nice views along the way. Mostly covered from when it joins the Chuo expressway and towards Shinjuku, but still very nice. An open stretch near Sasazuka and when it goes under Keio-main line close to Daitabashi-station. 
  • Kitazawa-gawa green road 7 km, 北沢川緑道, blue. Very good variety of scenery. A covered river road. Joins with Karusuyamagawa and becomes Meguro-gawa.
  • Karasuyama-gawa green road 8.4 km, 烏山川緑道, orange. A covered river road. Joins with Kitazawagawa and becomes Meguro-gawa. Not fully mapped, continues on the other side of Kanpachidori. 
Before you follow any of them please check the maps carefully, it is mostly very easy to follow them but there are parts when you have to go around obstacles that aren't that intuitive. 
I would like to run the complete Tamagawajosui sometime in late January. Somebody aiming for Tokyo-marathon who wants to join? 
Along Kitazawa-gawa green road.


18 Oct 2010

suginami tour

Plants against a wall. The rest of this post is mere variation on a theme. In it self, this variation, this repetition is what Tokyo is about on many levels.

17 Oct 2010

in Suginami-ku

All maps are reductions. This one has five layers. Water, important roads, railroads, parks and two loops for getting to know the city of Suginami-ku. To find your way in city there are are many way you can combine different features of the of the urban fabric to a linear path leading somewhere, looping around, going somewhere.
Let this be intro for the tour Today.

16 Oct 2010

An Office

The Oym office building by Niizeki studio, 2009 on Inokashira dori. Close to the clinic in a previous post.

A building closed of to the street, only a revealing gap letting out light is visible.

From close it provides a glimpse of an interior environment promising a lot.

15 Oct 2010

A short walk in the dark

No comments really, maybe the stair has more glass than the apartment facade. 
A linear park following Tamagawajosui in the dark.
A neighbourhood shop.
A more traditional house. Note the stone at the corner.

A back street.

Extra architour

Some of the things we saw at one architecture cycling tour.
Yutenji apartments - Koh Kitayama.

14 Oct 2010

a clinic

A clinic on Inokashiradori. A metal facade offsets the orange background. Feels inspired by QR codes.

The effect with sunlight from the side.

At night.

The reflection of the light from a Lawson behind the camera on a passing truck.

13 Oct 2010

street garden

A street next to a railway is transformed into a passage trough a garden.

12 Oct 2010

Tour updates.

Some changes of dates. Suginami-ku is coming quicker.
More info here.


The replacement for Tokyo Tower. Tokyo Tower has be surrounded by tall buildings which interfere with the television broadcast.  The height of the Tokyo Sky Tree will be 634 m. More info here.

10 Oct 2010

the olympics

Yoyogi National Stadium, the classical Olympic arena from the games in 1964 by Kenzo Tange is considered one of the best buildings in Tokyo. Look at drawings at Great Buildings Online, here.

It is the construction of the roof that sets it apart and mirrored plan.

Also take a look at St Mary Cathedral.

8 Oct 2010

Tour updates!

Setagaya-ku Ward Office
  • Setagaya-ku tomorrow is moved to Monday due to 80% rain forecast. New weather forecast says (for Monday): partly cloudy, 20% chance of rain, 19-26 degrees.
  • Extra tour on October 14, Thursday.
More info about tours here.

a theatre

Jimbocho theatre - Nikken Sekkei via Tomohiko Yamanashi. A resolved vision of high precision.

7 Oct 2010

the centre

The geographical zero distance marker. The centre of Japan. Nihonbashi.

The canal covered with the motorway, the new infrastructure on top of the old.

Street scene under motorway.

The multiple levels of movement.

Setagaya-ku cycling tour

Route approximation.
Nodai Museum by Kengo Kuma
More and up to date info here.

6 Oct 2010

chiyoda walk

The building is covered.

Multiple generations of buildings on block, the scale goes down and age up closer to the corner.