Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers

If you build a building or tear down an old building, you need to be concerned about the neighborhood more than you think.

If people who live near the construction site are angry with the contractor for some reason,
you might not be able to continue to build or the working time might be restricted.

Contractors always make an effort to meet the nearby residents before they being to build..

The numbers in the photo shows the noise level and vibration level in the construction site.
People walking around the place can confirm the noise level and feel that the contractor seems to do well.
When the number is less than the legal limit, the contractor can say that they are respecting the neighborhood.
However, some people might think the sound is too loud even if the number is low.

Anyway the field superintendent needs to be wary of the noize level and complaints in the neighborhood.

Taisho Romanticism In Kawagoe

The Taisho era in Japan was from 1912 to 1926.
The romanticism in Europe inspired the era in various fields like literature, movie, policy and thought.
That is to say that Japanese adapted the Western style in their own way.

You can see that heritage in architecture which is used in various places even now.

In Kawagoe I can find them easily.

This is of a small restaurant into an alley.
This building is registered as a tangible cultural asset
The owner needs to report house’s maintenance to the government but he can receive the subsidy for repair.
You can enjoy eating a full-course meal of French cooking.

This is of a local bank.
This building was built in 1918 and is three-stories tall.
This building remained safely though the massive earthquake happened.

This is of a museum but it was built as an imported bicycle shop in 1915.

On the other hand among the old buildings there are a lot designed from eastern architecture.

Anyway the western and eastern style buildings exist side-by-side in Kawagoe city.


Walking in Kawagoe City Part 1 ”Architecture”

During the Golden Week, tons of people go to various tourist spots.
The road is so congested that we can’t go to far place easily.
So I went to a near tourist spot, Kawagoe City, with my family yesterday.

Of course many people also went to this city to do sightseeing.

I walked around and observed the various styles of traditional architectures again.

This is handmade soba noodles shop.
This architecture, which is registered as a tangible cultural asset, was built in 1930.
Western design old architectures is rare in Kawagoe City.
Even now this shop is popular as you can eat delicious soba noodle.

This is an eel(unagi) shop.
You can find various eel shops in this city and some shops have been opened since 1800.
I love eel set menu but I can’t eat it often because it’s expensive.

This is Kashiya(snack) street. Kasi means snack.
In the past craftsman had made traditional candy in this street.
You can buy various nostalgic snacks, such as candy, rice crackers and dried potatoes.
I guess that this street is the most crowded because of its narrow alley(roji).
People seem to be attracted by this crowded place.

This black building is used as post office.
This black color is like an “Kura” which is a storehouses made of roof tile and clay.

If you’ll build a building in this district, you need to think about the building design
to match the city scape.

It’s interesting that everyone uses an old architectures to repair or reuse for their own purposes.
Or they seem to talk about other architects.

It’s a good vision they have in common that they should preserve this townscape better.
These mindest gives this city the power to compete with other tourist spot.
This city can improve more due to a lot of people visiting there.
This tourist traffic is supported by citizens, merchants and public officers.

I’ll write about Kawagoe food next post. See you next post.

Kawagoe City 01
Kawagoe City 02

Boxer Plans Architectures.

This photo is from Wikipedia commons

The other day I read a Voa article in my online-English lesson which was about the six most famous architects in the world .

One of them is Tadao Ando.
The character of his work is simple and striking concrete.
He controls the light and matches his architecture around nature.

He focuses on detailed drawings and thinks about the dialogue between human beings and architectures.
Examples of his work are all over the world.

However, I’m drawn to his background rather than his work.

When he was young, he was a pro boxer!
After that he studied architecture by himself without entering an architecture university.
He roamed across the world to see and study many styles of architecture.
Ironically, he has become a professor at Tokyo University which is the most prestigious academic school in Japan since ten years ago.
He is a maverick figure.

I hope my daughters will not go through a stereotypical life.
If possible, I hope they will be active on the front lines in the world no matter what they become.


Christchurch hitten by a massive earthquake is very painful.
I didn’t think it’s somebody’s else’s problem. Because I went to Christchurch on my honeymoon eight years ago.
I remembered the beautiful cityscape.
I contributed to the Red Cross for the first time.
I don’t know if the contribution was the best way to help other people.
But it is better than if I didn’t do anything.

The power of the nature is awful though the quake-resistant engineering has advanced.

On the other hand it is said that a massive earthquake will happen in thirty years in Kanto which includes Tokyo and other parts of the east area.
And it is estimated that more than five thousands people would be dead and three million people would have to live in evacuation shelters.
At least the old buildings will be obliged to be tested for earthquake resistance standard in a few years in Tokyo.
But the repair work won’t be mandatory for private property.
Some people don’t want to spend money even the diagnosis which charges two hundred thousand Japanese yen.
I can’t help worrying about the future in Japan.

I pray Christchurch victims’ souls may rest in peace

My house 08 Guide the new customers through our house

When my house was finished, the architecture firm held a tour for some people to look at the house.
These people were thinking about building their own houses someday.
Young families came to my house and heard the story of my house from the architect and the builder.
The architect told about trying various things in the planning of my house.
And the buider told them about how they worked out the job.
The young families said “I feel comfortable and the wood is fragrant. ”

In Japan, if you decided to build your own house, you would  usually visit houses in a show space.
You can see various model houses from many major house companies.
But small builders or architectural firms can’t have a model house.
So they asked their customers to guide the new customers through their house.
A main reason to show the house is probably theri marketing.
But there are showings of wooden houses which were built by the traditional method of construction too
Visitors can touch and smell the natural wood and took out of every window.

“Seeing is believing” or  “A picture is worth a hundred words”

A sequence (Introduction, Development, Turn, Conclusion)

Stone church

While I was sorting out my photographs, I found a picture that inspired me.

This picture was taken at “Stone Church”in Karuizawa. #1
This church was planned by an American architect, Kendrick Bangs Kellogg. # 2

There is a large hotel in the same area. and you can also hold marriage ceremonies in the church.
I like this church because of its harmony with nature and its sequence “起承転結”.

Introduction:This church is on the hill and there are beautiful forests around the church. So you can enjoy while climbing up.

Development:The impressive stone path is a way to the church.You can see the organic shape of the church.

Turn:When you enter the church, you will see a display space about Kanzo Uchimura # 3 under the dim light.You temporarily feel calm.

Conclusion:You suddenly see the bright sunlight through the glass. This place is the center of the church. There is a solemn atmosphere. (I’m afraid that I forgot to take a photo of it. But the photo can be seen from here. )

Japanese temples and shrines also have this sequence.I studied before that Western architecture and city have the same sequencewhich has various scales and shapse. That’s an interesting thing.

# 1 Karuizawa (wiki)

# 2 Kendrick Bangs Kellogg

# 3 Kanzo Uchimura (wiki)

An architecture makes bond between others

I watched a program featured “SANAA” on the TV. “SANAA” is a Japanese architectural firm.They were awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize which is equivalent to the Nobel in architecture. For example, they have planned the Louvre Museum in Paris.

So far, public space was an authoritarian space.But they have tried to create a new kind of public space. They planned museums, schools, parks and the like. For example, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa hasn’t a fixed route along with visitors can walk around freely.And passer-by also can walk in the outer semi public space.
The architect said that an actual contact of people through staying in an architecture is  more valuable than social network.

Changing to a next topics, architecture promote town development. The Naoshima islands had a problem of depopulation. Therefore the architects planned the museum and the art making use of old houses and alleys. The architects considered the specific landscape and the history of settlement.After all new bond between others are made by architecture.
I think that an architecture which was made up of many people’s wishes is wonderful.

The cocoon tower in Tokyo

This tower was newcomer among some skyscrapers in nishi-shinjyuku two years ago.
This tower contains art , computer and medical school and bookstore.
When this tower was built,there was argument over the unique shape.
The landscape policy is difficult theme because everyone has his own ideas and tastes.
In Japan there is a minimum regulation of building which of height ,
floor space and oblique line and some others.
But recently we want to make color or shape of buildings more favorable.
On that occasion we need to bear in mind a balance among freedom of expression, prosperity rights and publicnature.