Had a wander through the recently completed Tokyo MidTown this weekend – and whilst it is a shopping mall / office complex and the mere thought of wanton consumption makes me want to doze, the space and the way it enables visual and actual interaction with its surrounding neighbourhoods is, for Tokyo, impressive. And so so different from the techno-utopia that is Roppongi Hills.
A subtle cultural assumption evident in the local signage – that a pet is by default caged, and indeed cage-able. And to jump forward a little – extrapolate to the ‘caged’ equivalent of autonomous or semi-autonomously moving objects.
Yesterday was Respect for the Aged day here in Japan – so how better to celebrate than to take in the mountains for a day? Many visitors to Japan assume the density associated with places like Shibuya is pervasive, and whilst its possible to travel 60 clicks straight without encountering so much as a field it doesn’t really take much to get away from it all. One for you keen cyclists out there: follow the 76 down from Sagamiko – it takes 6 hours to ride a decent pace. Oh, plus 2 hours of hiking – the recent typhoon rains have bitten serious chunks out of the road so there are significant stretches of carrying your gear over rock falls and even the odd downed power cable. Landslide upside? Perfect solitude on the mountain roads that survived the downpour. Downside? It slid for a reason. A truly human scale.