Denenchofu: Japan’s first “garden city” 田園調布の歴史

Some notes about the history of Denenchofu, the first “garden city” in Japan, whose success was accelerated by the great earthquake of 1923. Denenchofu’s wide, leafy streets are a departure from much of central Tokyo.

the tokyo files: urban design 東京の都市デザイン

I will eventually write something more coherent on this topic, but for now, let me list some helpful resources concerning Denenchofu 田園調布, Japan’s first “garden city”, and currently one of the most desirable locations in Tokyo for upscale, suburban living (while still having access to good public transportation).

The place name is fairly literal: Denen田園 means “garden” or “countryside” or “rural”; and Chofu is a local Tokyo place name (e.g. Chofu city 調布市 in southwest Tokyo.)

For reference, here’s a Google image search for “田園” – I suppose this is what the developers wanted to evoke in naming this suburb.

Den-en rural garden countryside Japan photo.jpg

Here’s a map and aerial photo of Denenchofu today. (Google Maps)

(1) Notes from “Garden city Japanese style: the case of Den-en Toshi Company Ltd., 1918-28”, by Shun-Ichi J. Watanabe

This article was published in Shaping an Urban World, edited by Gordon E. Cherry 1977/1980 (pages…

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