Planned community: Mejiro Cultural Village 目白文化村 (1922)

Originally posted on the tokyo files: urban design 東京の都市デザイン:
Mejiro Cultural Village 目白文化村 めじろぶんかむら was a luxury residential area (高級住宅街) said to be modeled after Beverly Hills (source). I will provide some of the general details, but if you are interested in the details of this development, I suggest you refer to the following website, which is…

Tokyo transportation and subway museums 東京の交通博物館

Originally posted on the tokyo files archives 東京ファイル:
People often reach my blog with the search terms “Tokyo Transportation Museum”, “Tokyo Subway Museum”, or “Tokyo Train Museum”. Fair enough. Let me tell you what I know. There are several museums in the Tokyo area related to trains, subways, and transportation. The ones I know are: (1) Tobu Museum of…

Monorails and more: Tokyo’s amusing train lines

There are 158 rail lines in Tokyo. That’s a staggering number. Instead of describing all 158 lines, let me tell you about the 18 most interesting. These include monorails, streetcars, people movers, and more. And a glass-bottomed train! The numbered list below corresponds to the following map: I. Monorails (1) Chiba Urban Monorail 千葉都市モノレール The Chiba Urban Monorail…

Walking on water: the underground rivers of Tokyo 東京の地下河川や運河の地図

Underground rivers and streams course below the surface of Tokyo, making fascinating walking paths all across the city. The Tokyo Files is mapping pedestrian paths and “green roads” that follow the route of old rivers and streams. This is a travel guide to Tokyo’s rivers of the past.

Sazae-san and Sakurashinmachi: Sunday sanpo on the Nomikawa Green Road

Originally posted on the tokyo files archives 東京ファイル:
Sazae-san サザエさん is an incredibly well-known cartoon in Japan. It’s author, Machiko Hasegawa 長谷川町子 lived in Sakurashinmachi 桜新町, a leafy Tokyo that served as the comic’s setting. Several statues of the cartoon characters are on the sidewalks, including this one (below, left) near Sakurashinmachi Station 桜新町駅. South of the station is the Hasegawa Machiko Art Museum 長谷川町子美術館, which covers Sazae-san…

The rise and fall and rise of Asagaya Housing danchi 阿佐ヶ谷住宅

Originally posted on the tokyo files archives 東京ファイル:
The Asagaya Housing danchi 阿佐ヶ谷住宅 came to my attention while researching a separate danchi for another post: Ghosts of Showa: the Karasuyama apartment complex, gated communities, & the fight for Tokyo’s soul. I promptly visited, twice, in 2012, and immediately caught danchi fever. Now I’m a full-fledged danchi moe 団地萌え (danchi geek/nerd). I even started to write a comprehensive history of danchi and…

Danchi train stations in Japan 日本では「団地」駅

Two of my Japanese obsessions are a match made in urban planning heaven: 1) Japan’s vast passenger rail network, and 2) danchi 団地, the large housing complexes that became popular in post-WWII Japan. (I even started a separate blog:the tokyo files: danchi 東京団地萌え). Danchi are characterized by uniform rows of unremarkable building that are sequentially numbered so that…