Saturday, August 13, 2011

Very Old Houses in Tokyo (1)

Sometimes, smack dab in the middle of one of the most crowded and expensive cities in the entire world, you see structures and houses that are just mind blowing.

This is one of those.

The other day I went to Azabu 10 ban station for a meeting. There I had to walk ten minutes, towards Ebisu station, to get to where I was going. On the way, I found this old beaten down and broken house.

The amazing part about this place is that someone actually still lives there which is evidenced by the laundry hanging out to dry!

Here is a street view from Google maps:

This building looks like it could fall over at any second. 
But there it still is. Note the laundry hanging out to dry. 

This is not newsworthy, nor is it earthshaking. I just think that I am going to take photos of these places whenever I see them. I can't imagine that this place will still be there standing in 30 years.... But, then again, perhaps someone said the same thing about this building 30 years before today too! 

This also says a lot about strong building and earth quake proof construction in Japan.


Anonymous said...

This looks like a shack, really nothing special, imho.

Perhaps I was lucky, I was allowed to stay in a home that was totally Japanese old world,... and now that I've seen this photo I suddenly realize how lucky I was to experience it.

For all I know that old house was destroyed by an earthquake,

And to think, at the time, I thought it was little more than a mud hut. Perspective is such a tricky thing.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Today - Azabu 10 Ban is one of those highly aspirational areas to live in. The locals know that these old 'shacks' exist, but people from other areas often have no idea.

There is a point in taking pictures of such houses as it's all a part of history.

In some cases, due to legal reasons, it won't be possible to build a new house in the same location and that's why the houses are still there. In other cases, the family owning the property are not doing financially very well and can't afford to rebuild or do maintenance.

In either case, it will be a record of how not every Japanese benefited from Japan's economic growth.