Tokyo explained

Why is the number of cycle couriers in Tokyo increasing?

More people desperate enough or alternative enough to take the job??

Why do they play the Astro Boy theme tune at Takadanobaba Station?

“[It’s] where, in the original story line, the Ministry of Science was located and… Tezuka Productions is in real life headquartered today.” The Astro Boy Essays pg 13

Why were the first skyscrapers in Tokyo all in Shinjuku?

The ground is supposed to be more stable and hence more earthquake resistant than other parts of Tokyo, especially when you compare it to the reclaimed land like Odaiba. In the 1923 earthquake, it was the least affected area.

Why is the Shinjuku red light district called kabukicho?

Why are there so many Koreans in Okubo, near Shinjuku?

How did the Frank Llyod Wright Imperial Hotel survive the 1923 Kanto earthquake?

spec foundations, saved from fire by chance, not only one

How could Japanese cover Nihonbashi with expressway?

Why did Roppongi become the gaijin bar paradise?

There used to be an American army base there and it is fairly close to lots of embassies

How has the old Tokyo Station survived when just about every other red brick building has been knocked down to be replaced by concrete and glass?

The land is owned by several companies, none of them being JR, and this has held up development and therefore saved the old station building- JR would have knocked it down years ago if they had had the chance, but the public mood on conservation seems finally have turned and it should be safe.

Why is Ikebukuro so scummy?

The people coming in to Ikebukuro are generally coming from somewhere even scummier

Why does Tokyo seem so instantly Asian when you first land, despite being a much more developed place than most Asian cities?

Smelly drains, brightly lit buildings, power lines, narrow streets, small cars, Chinese writing, open shop fronts, small shops, the smell of food everywhere, people eating at all hours of day and night, love of concrete constructions, elevated expressways etc. etc.

Why is Tokyo so ugly and unplanned?

There is little financial and electoral incentive when people are still more focused on life being convenient and modern than on esthetics and keeping their heritage. This is partly because most of the people living in Tokyo and the politicians making the decisions come from the sticks and so have little interest in preserving a heritage they know nothing about.

Why is Denki Gai (Electric Town) in Akihabara?

Akihabara was one of the big post-war blackmarkets, along with Ueno. Similar shops all selling in the same street is a traditionally Japanese and Asian thing, so over time the various markets began to specialise- Akihabara’s speciality becoming cameras and then electronics.

Why is buying electronics in Akihabara popular with foreigners when buying the same stuff in Hong Kong or even back home is cheaper?

Maybe they don’t know that?? Or it’s to tell their friends back home that it was bought in Tokyo??

Why is Omotesando so different from other streets in Tokyo?/ Why does only Omotesando look like a French boulevard?

“This broad, tree-lined promenade had been designed as the ceremonial entrance to [Meiji Jingu] the vast Shinto shrine honouring the Meiji emperor” Shutting Out the Sun pg 146

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