Tokyo | Micro-analysis: Kabuki-cho

For this blog,  I would like to delve more specifically into one of the districts of Tokyo, Kabuki-cho, located in 500m to northeast of Shinjuku station, the major subcenter of Tokyo.

Tokyo | Kabuki-cho Development
Tokyo | Kabuki-cho Development










The reconstruction of Kabuki-cho near Shinjuku station became an admirable example of the reshaping of the city. The very success of the Kabuki-cho district raises the question of what Tokyo might have been like, had planning and active co-operation between planning authorities and property owners been the norm and not the exception. The Kabuki-cho district is exceptional, as reconstruction took place over a large area and was not limited to the damaged areas alone. Furthermore, Kabuki-cho stands out as a rebuilding by an association of private citizens, and as a collaboration between local and metropolitan leaders.

Kabuki-cho development of cultural identity was achievable due to multiple reasons. A primary structural asset was the geographical advantage gained from Kabuki-cho’s location close to Shinjuku station, which handles the largest number of passengers of any station in Japan. In contrast with Kengo Kuma’s 1960 plans, the advocacy in proximity of transportation hub with public facilities has resemblance to each other. The elimination of smaller blocks (Shinjuku used to be packed with small local shops) to create bigger blocks for theatres has also brought about the upgrade in scale to suit metropolitan Tokyo. In terms of scale of city, Kabuki-cho urban development reached up to the visionary Kengo Kuma Tokyo Bay plan.



HEIN, C. (2003) Rebuilding Urban Japan After 1945. Palgrave Macmillan: New York.


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