Under a remaining influence of the jet lag, we opened our Tokyo stay with a trip to Ginza, a downtown of the city, where many designer stores have their flagships, and streets resemble the look of 5th Avenue in New York City. Yet to our surprise, the city scale felt really "human", which in planer-ly language means, creating a sense of comfort and adequate to human being proportions. We have noticed that the main and the side streets create hierarchy extenuated by different dimensions as well as material used in the street design. Oh, by the way, the streets in Tokyo, most of the time, have no distinguishing names, directions are determined based on the relationship with other places.

We have found some pretty amazing elements of the street like: functional flowerbeds/seating spaces, high end buildings, interesting sidewalk patterns as well as this, quite an awe creating pedestrian crossing.

We also saw those interesting bike racks (and even bike parking!!!) nearby the Edo museum. Some bike parking is being created under elevated railways or withing other underutilized utility spaces.

Once we met with Osamu Murao,of University of Tsukuba, , we visited a memorial-cementery for the victims of the 1923 great Tokyo fire.   The 1923 Kanto Earthquake Memorial is designed (1930) by Chuta Itoh. The museum sits in Yokoami-kōen (Yokoami Park), with other memorial buildings and a garden dedicated to quake victims. A pleasant walk connects the park and the Ryōgoku Kokugikan through the Yasuda garden, once the site of the Edo home of a daimyō.  

After a long day of walking within the Tokyo urban spaces, we got treated with some delicious food at a sumo restaurant, and yes, there are sumo tournaments that you can watch while you eat your meal.


Leave a Reply.


    17 Pratt Institute students of City & Regional Planning along with their professors travel overseas to study in Japan.  

    During our 17 days we will hear from 17 different voices about their experiences in Japan.

    1.  Isabel
    2.  Iwona
    3.  Karen
    4.  William
    5.  Sara
    6.  Graham
    7.  Johane
    8.  Sean
    9.  Ana
    10.  Roxanne
    11.  Alexa
    12.  Alix
    13.  Victoria
    14.  Christopher
    15.  Joseph
    16.  Lacey
    17.  Natalie
    18.  Jia