Shane Sakata from The Nihon Sun recently put out a call to Japan Bloggers to take a snapshot out their window and post it along with some narrative. I did this same thing a couple days ago as the inaugural entry in my new incarnation of Picture of the Day, but I thought I’d post a higher-resolution photo and longer narrative here.
This view is from the window directly behind my desk in my 6th-floor office by Higashi-Nakano Station. The view looks Northbound at the construction on Yamate-dori, which has been ongoing since I came to Tokyo and probably for a while before then. The main result of the construction was the (so far) 6-kilometer Yamate Tunnel on the C2 Loop of the Tokyo Metro Highway. Now that the tunnel has been open for a year, they’re going through and refinishing all the roads that they tore up, as well as building interlocking brick sidewalks and a row of trees on each side of the road.
Having this bird’s eye view has not only given me something to look at when I need to take my eyes away from the computer (my coworkers are now all convinced that I should have been a civil engineer), but it’s also given me great insight into the road construction process. Great care is taken to minimize interruptions to traffic flow. In the attached picture, you’ll notice that the 2 northbound lanes have been shifted onto the sidewalk (rather than simply reduced to 1 lane) to allow for the construction on the island in the centre of the road. You should also be able to see in the right-hand side of the picture, some leftover lines in the road from where the southbound lanes were similarly shifted to allow for the construction there.
This construction (at least on the section of Yamate-dori that I can see from my window) will be ongoing until October, 2009. After that, I guess I’ll have to find something else to look at.