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Category Archives: japan


I saw a lot of very tight parking conditions in Japan and thought that m2 per car is probably abut proportionally relative to m2 per person there. humans seem able to squeeze into tighter and tighter homes, only fair that cars should too, as clumsy and inflexible as they are. Melbourne’s density is a 10th [...]


Following the crucial elements of Starbucks, urban farming and lush islands, here is a fourth facet of japan: Its rivers, and the distinct lack of water-front development. Not quite the result of a deep respect for the natural path of water through land; Tokyo’s rivers have a history of extreme engineering from the Edo period’s [...]

Naoshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea

We were on a high from Hiroshima, where the reflections of trees and orange sticks had been especially vivid. Hiroshima has a Lower East Side grid without the attached Downtown. We happened to eat at a nose-to-tail style restaurant and ate top pork ribs and chicken wings instead of noses and tails. Felt like there [...]

farms in the suburbs

seems the relentless and desperate annotation of architectural drawings with “green wall” labels has given birth to a new cynicism of urban agriculture. fair enough, but not to discount it. roof-top and community gardens might attract eye-rolls from over-use in planning and design prose, but really there is absolutely nothing bad about them. urban gardens [...]

in praise of starbucks

of course, the coffee is not as ‘good’ as Seven Seeds (Melbourne) or Wilton’s (for those in Hackney), but let’s admit that coffee is not good, no matter how fair-trade it is; the free market martyrdom of agricultural land from local sustenance to international stimulus etc. As a tourist with no Japanese language in numerous [...]

welcome to japan

I think this is complementary whale sushi, rich and tasty; in a single mouthful rendering all great white hopes unknowing hypocrites.