Japan used to be foreign to me, but after living here for more than 7 years, it’s very familiar. However, there are times that I see things that feel foreign to me. I lived in the Ofuna area of Kamakura for 4 years, and ever since I moved to Fujisawa, I’ve returned to find changes. That’s one thing about Japan, there’s constant redevelopment happening. When people move out of their old house, it’s usually demolished, then replaced by a couple newer, narrower, taller houses. Since moving from Ofuna, I have seen that several new buildings have been constructed, some torn down, and some renovated. The building right next to my old apartment is gone, and is currently surrounded by a white construction fence. Probably one of the most noticeable changes near Ofuna Station is the demolition of half of the station’s main entrance staircase. They’re installing an elevator. But this is what makes things so foreign to me. As things slowly change, my familiarity with the area decreases, even though I return there on a weekly basis. This is certainly foreign to me.
Demolition at Ofuna Station.
This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge at WordPress’ Daily Post blog.
Japan has an interesting mix of new and old architecture in its cities. Next to a shiny skyscraper, you can actually find an old wooden house. A lot of older buildings are torn down when vacated, especially when a family moves out of a house. A new house is usually built to replace it. There’s a constant regeneration happening in the cities. One particular place is about to undergo regeneration. That’s the south side of Futamatagawa Station in Yokohama. At the moment, it’s occupied by a bus terminal and a small commercial building called Green Green, which includes a Sotetsu Rosen store and Yokohama Bank. One building has already been torn down, previously occupied by a bookstore. There are plans to build a major road through this area, as the road network isn’t very convenient.
This building, Green Green, is slated for demolition, possibly later this year.
Here’s a closer look. It’s kind of old looking, isn’t it?
Replacing Green Green will be 2 buildings. One is a highrise apartment/condo building of about 29 floors (or so I’ve heard). The other is a highrise commercial building with a shopping centre. I’m looking forward to watching it go up.
In Japan, you can always see buildings being constructed. Big or small, they have something in common. They’re enshrouded by a fabric, most likely to prevent falling objects leaving the construction site, as well as keep the construction workers safe from the elements, such as wind. Because of this, we can never see the building under construction. It’s always under wraps. This is different than Canada, as we can always see the building frame and the walls going up. Below is a picture I took of a new apartment building under construction in Shonandai.
I believe this building will have 11 floors.
On a side note, this was my 400th blog post!