The new access ramp for the Ikejiri interchange
on the Shuto Expressway has opened!
I can hear you thinking, “So what?”
That’s what I thought. It’s a massive construction project that took years to complete, but being the non-driving, car-hating dinosaur that I am, I just shrugged…until there was a bit on the news about the free public garden up on its ninth floor roof.
The ramp structure is completely enclosed, so despite the hundreds of cars and trucks rumbling past below you, there’s hardly any sound. And the designers managed to incorporate some lovely elements of traditional Japanese gardens in the landscaping.
I say well done. There are so many hideous concrete constructions in Japan—paved over rivers, shored up hillsides, pylons completely obliterating whole stretches of seacoast*—but this garden is so tastefully done it makes my list of oases in an otherwise chaotic, crowded,
loud, lurid, dirty, dismal, smelly, stifling city.
The old and the new rubbing elbows,
sometimes clashing violently,
but often in blissful ignorance of each other.
*See Alex Kerr’s Dogs and Demons for more about this.