Monday, December 16, 2013

東京オリンピックの準備の為、どうしたらいいですか? What should we do for the Tokyo Olympics?

Congratulations to Tokyo on winning the 2020 Olympics.  There are many proposals on should be done to prepare.


However, what do foreigners want to see when they come to Japan?  They want to see something uniquely Japanese.  They will not be interested in one more steel, glass, and concrete skyscraper.


First of all, do not destroy Tokyo’s culture.  Two places in Shinjuku come to mind.


These are the Golden Gai:


And the Omoide Yokocho.


I know that some people might want to destroy these areas, and build a skyscraper, but they are very popular with foreigners.  Nobody will visit your new skyscraper.


However there is an area that has been overlooked for years in Tokyo, and could be developed.  And this would reflect on Tokyo’s history.


I am talking about recreating a bit of old Edo.  Years ago, when foreigners first visited Japan, Edo was called “The Venice of the Orient”  That is because there were so many canals in the city.  Today, these canals still exist, but the land along them is unused.


Here are some pictures of these canals.


Notice that there is a strip of unused land about 5 meters wide all along these canals.


Here is a map of the canals in Koto ward Tokyo.


Here are some pictures of canals that are tourist destinations in Japan.


Foreigners would love to visit places like this in Tokyo.  Of course, 5 or so meters of space is narrow.  But we could build bars, restaurants, shops selling various goods, with a board walk.  Boats could travel along these canals, carrying people.


I think this is something that would be reasonable.  When foreign tourists visit Tokyo, they go to Shinjuku, Shibuya, the Ginza, Asakusa, and Akihabara.  But in foreigners minds, Tokyo ends at the Sumida river.


By building such a project, it would revitalize the economy of eastern Tokyo, and help to make Tokyo a more beautiful and interesting city in the eyes of the world.