An embarrassment of riches from editor-in-chief Gordon Price from his first full day in Tokyo. One could say he’s having a green party.

If you’ve never been, anecdotal evidence would not bring one to associate Tokyo with trees and parks; indeed, whether you rank by density of tree cover (where Vancouver ranks first in the world), or by public green space allocation (where Moscow rules with an iron fist), Tokyo is well down on the list of naturally green cities.

The difference, perhaps — the city puts trees and gardens where people can see them, and even live within them.

It’s quite striking, and perhaps uniquely Japanese, as are many of the publicly visible artefacts of urban planning and design. Have a look.

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Japanese aesthetic.

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Japanese aesthetic.

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The Existential Map of Tokyo

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Garden City

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Willow street

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Freeway park interior

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Comments

  1. I love Tokyo. I feel like Tokyo can have nice things because its denizens want nice things. Vancouver cannot have nice things because we vandalize, steal, smash, trash, pollute nice things.

    And, I love how bikes, people, and cars all share busy laneways. They don’t need to segment off a section for each mode because everyone just uses common sense and courtesy. They all just somehow get along without attitude nor entitlement.

  2. Why no pictures of bicycles?
    Pity Michael Moore didn’t include Japan in his Eurocentric documentary: ‘Where to invade next’. We’d have more to envy besides France’s school cafeterias, Italy’s vacation days, Norway’s justice system …
    ‘Photos that prove Japan is like no other country’ is worth looking at – kids tidying their schools; spectators staying behind after soccer to clean up; someone sleeping with their fat wallet and cellphone on the table in front of them …
    Japan had 250 years of peace during the Tokugawa reign. America probably hasn’t managed 25 days. As George Carlin points out: Americans love war.

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