Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Monday, June 26, 2017

This City Was Made for Walking: The Higashi-Yokobori River

Osaka is flat and I mean FLAT.  It's great for walking or bike riding.  As I mentioned in an earlier post it's hard to get lost if you know more or less where the canals and rivers are.

http://www.suito-osaka.jp/suito/en/projects/projects.html
This morning I set out early and followed the Higashi-Yokobori River all the way up to Nakanoshima Park where the Okawa River meets the Tosabori and Dojima Rivers (no. 9).  As you can see from the map the waterways in central Osaka form a square.  Once upon a time there were smaller canals within the square and merchants could move their products around or out of the city.  I read that most of the canals were gone by the late 1960s but there are still many small businesses and warehouses in this area though goods are now moved by truck.

The Higashi-Yokobori River route must have really been something in its day.  Every few blocks there are small bridges - some of them quite beautiful.  Alas, someone decided years ago that this was the perfect place to put an elevated freeway.  What was a nice tree-covered promenade along the canal has been closed off to the public and is untended along long stretches.  What a darn shame. The city has projects for improving it (Aqua Metropolis Osaka) but I think the freeway isn't going anywhere unless nature intervenes.  I sure wouldn't like to be anywhere near it during an earthquake.   Remember Kobe?

http://www.earthguide.ucsd.edu/earthguide/imagelibrary/earthquake1.html

Here are a few pictures from this morning.  There is a happy ending to the walk - another beautiful rose garden.

The pylons for the freeway are sunk into the middle of the canal

One of the many small bridges over the canal

An old house surrounded by apartment buildings
 
More pylons and still water

And finally here is where the canal meets the rivers.
 
And here is the happy ending - the rose gardens at Nakanoshima Park

 
But the freeway continues....

2 comments:

Tim said...

Perhaps this is one area that America is more advanced than Japan given that Seattle is in the process of tearing down the hideous Alaskan Way Viaduct and Boston has already torn down it's Central Artery Freeway 15 years ago.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Tim, I think many places have a similar problem - old infrastructure. Here the problem is where would they put the freeway? I'm not sure that a tunnel is possible.