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Activists fight Tokyo gov't over historic Jingu Stadium demolition

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By Jim Allen

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Tokyo is now in the final stages of initiating a plan to demolish and replace Jingu Stadium, the world's fourth-oldest baseball ground still used by a top-flight pro team, 

Who uses wording like this? Would it matter any less that up until a couple of years ago the Swallows were far from a "top-flight" team. They typically were a basement dweller!

The point about the age though, is the stadium safe? At that age, there have to be issues, and instead of continuing to pour money into keeping it safe, there comes a time when the old, like this stadium, needs to be replaced.

-19 ( +6 / -25 )

Yachi said the plan was essential to bring the two stadiums and their access up to modern-day standards, while the narrow sidewalk between the nearby subway station and the stadiums, which becomes heavily congested before and after games, needs to be barrier-free.

It's not a temple, it's not a UNESCO site, (kind of surprised) and what he is saying here is right on the mark!

The people protesting about it's closing are doing it out of nostalgia not reality.

-17 ( +9 / -26 )

If the stadium is a dangerous structure there could still be a practice park .

Read this out loud to yourself. Dangerous practice facility? Who's going to practice there? Oh, who is going to pay the up keep? Right, aint no way!

Sports brings family's and people together . How's that for reality !

So, no one said anything about this, rather meaningless statement here.

Perhaps your reality has no fond memories or favorite places.

If all the places in the world that one has favorite or fond memories stayed there, following your logic, we'd still be living in grass huts!

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

dont these relic costs the taxpayer millions every year to upkeep?

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

“ Tokyo is now in the final stages of initiating a plan to demolish and replace Jingu Stadium, the world's fourth-oldest baseball ground still used by a top-flight pro team, and Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, Tokyo's 75-year-old main rugby venue and the home of the Japan Rugby Football Union.

Jingu Stadium, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary if it survives until 2026, is the spiritual home of Tokyo's vibrant college baseball leagues, hosted a pivotal 1934 tour by MLB Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and is now home to Japanese pro baseball's Yakult Swallows. “

Why would they want to destroy this?; that’s right, that magic word: money…; too many businessmen and businesswomen with hollow hearts in Tokyo…; smh(!)

..

“ According to management consultant Rochelle Kopp, three different petition drives to halt the project have amassed nearly 150,000 signatures. Kopp originally got involved in the campaign because the plan would involve cutting down around 1,000 trees -- a figure Tokyo has since reduced to around 500.

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike said the four rows of 100-year-old trees that make up the landmark Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue will be preserved. Yachi said experts had examined the plan and assured the trees would be safe, while the heights of buildings had been constrained to provide ample sunlight to the precious legacy.

However, University of Tokyo professor emeritus Mikiko Ishikawa, who has studied the plan and inspected over 140 individual trees, rejects the government's contention. She said building the baseball stadium within a few meters of the living landmarks will damage their root systems and cause irreparable harm. “

Less midori, more concrete…; nothing new, unfortunately…; I’m not sure if I trust Koike on this one…; there’ll be some kind of damage, that’s for sure…; an incredibly risky move.

YubaruToday  06:56 am JST

Tokyo is now in the final stages of initiating a plan to demolish and replace Jingu Stadium, the world's fourth-oldest baseball ground still used by a top-flight pro team, 

Who uses wording like this? Would it matter any less that up until a couple of years ago the Swallows were far from a "top-flight" team. They typically were a basement dweller! 

The point about the age though, is the stadium safe? At that age, there have to be issues, and instead of continuing to pour money into keeping it safe, there comes a time when the old, like this stadium, needs to be replaced.

YubaruToday  06:59 am JST

Yachi said the plan was essential to bring the two stadiums and their access up to modern-day standards, while the narrow sidewalk between the nearby subway station and the stadiums, which becomes heavily congested before and after games, needs to be barrier-free.

It's not a temple, it's not a UNESCO site, (kind of surprised) and what he is saying here is right on the mark!

The people protesting about it's closing are doing it out of nostalgia not reality.

Two thousand and twenty three, my friend…; anything can be renovated, remodeled, upgraded, maintained, preserved; if you do it right, you’re not gonna “waste” that much money; but hey, it’s just an old, stinky place, right(?); I guess people prefer the cool, new, pretty, shiny, modern stuff, because, you know… there’s “no space” in Tokyo for that.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

It’s just a stadium that’s at its use by date. Build a new one and the games can continue, in a modern stadium, more toilets better evacuation exits?, don’t like the cutting down of trees though. There are few enough as it is in Tokyo

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Renovate or build new, I just want some decent size seats to be able to watch the game comfortably. Anyone who's been to Jingu, or any Japanese ballpark, knows how cramped those seats are.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

aren't politicians supposed to represent the people ?

and if the majority of people don’t want this redevelopment, why is the government going ahead with it ?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

aren't politicians supposed to represent the people ?

This is Japan, the politicians tell the people what they should represent.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

and if the majority of people don’t want this redevelopment, why is the government going ahead with it ?

In a metropolis of over 16 MILLION people, 150,000 is hardly a majority!

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Two thousand and twenty three, my friend…; anything can be renovated, remodeled, upgraded, maintained, preserved; if you do it right, you’re not gonna “waste” that much money; but hey, it’s just an old, stinky place, right(?); I guess people prefer the cool, new, pretty, shiny, modern stuff, because, you know… there’s “no space” in Tokyo for that.

It would cost more to renovate than to just tear it down and build new. Nothing about "old stinky place" either, it's time has come to go!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

while the heights of buildings had been constrained to provide ample sunlight to the precious legacy.

Found it, the only logical point in the article for removing the trees and the park is to be able to raise the height of nearby buildings. Mega Bucks involved in the decision making here. I have been to the stadium and i didn't think it was that bad nothing that a bit of TLC couldn't fix. Obviously the wording was deliberate to make it seem worse than it is. It is far from decrepit.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

It will come down which is a shame.

Not just because its a got a great atmosphere on a warm summer's night with an overpriced beer in your hand, but because it will undoubtedly be replaced with another depressing, cookie-cutter, soulless abomination by modern architecture.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Just Gotta have Jingu Hills Mori Tower or whatever, I guess.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Yubaru the Swallows are a pro team, your opinion on that point…why even bother picking it?

And the point isnt that its beyond salvaging.

Other developers want to turn it into a tightly packed Japanese city block to make them richer but the people think its beautiful. If the other old buildings and temples and landmarks get a fat check to upkeep it, why not this?

It may be cheaper than tearing it up and building 2 glass skyscrapers and also cutting down trees

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wait a minute! Wasn't one of the reasons for not building the Zaha Hadid stadium for the Tokyo Olympics that it was out of keeping with the surroundings buildings? But they had a plan since 2013 to knock down the surroundings anyway?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It may be cheaper than tearing it up and building 2 glass skyscrapers and also cutting down trees

Trees are full of insects and germs, have no place in urban centers. They also fall down and injure people in typhoons and earthquakes. Their roots destroy water and sewage pipes. Cover everything with strong safe concrete.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Who uses wording like this? Would it matter any less that up until a couple of years ago the Swallows were far from a "top-flight" team. They typically were a basement dweller!

It refers to the level of the league, not the performance of the individual teams. There are a lot of minor league stadiums in North America older than Jingu.

It would cost more to renovate than to just tear it down and build new. Nothing about "old stinky place" either, it's time has come to go!

Nothing in the article says that, the Tokyo government never explored the option of renovation so we don’t know which would have been more costly.

We do know that Koshien Stadium, which is even older than Jingu and had the same problems, was renovated instead of being torn down a few years ago. Nishinomiya is a lot better off having a famous, historical stadium rather than another generic modern eyesore.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

one of the city's greenest neighborhoods

Setagaya, Adachi, Nerima, Katsushika, etc.: am I a joke to you?

Just like most foreigners I happen to know, author obviously thinks Tokyo 23-ku is just Shinjuku, Shibuya and its surroundings.

Look it up "Todoroki Valley", or "Nanushi no Taki", "Koishikawa Botanical Park" or even "Mizumoto park" which is totally out of Harry Potter during the 4 seasons.

But surely that little single line of trees in Meiji Jingu is definitely the greenest area in Tokyo, ok.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Just Gotta have Jingu Hills Mori Tower or whatever, I guess.

I see what you did there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am concerned by the trees than the stadium. Avenues with nice trees are too rare in Tokyo.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Where will the Swallows play their homes games ? Will they share the Tokyo Dome and Seibu Dome while their new home is constructed ? Or DeNA Baystars alternative Shinzuoka Stadium ? I can't find any info where they home will be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The plan will keep a members-only tennis club...

This statement makes it obvious this is a public construction works political favor.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Where will the Swallows play their homes games ? 

My understanding is that they’ll stay in Jingu until the new stadium, which is being constructed next to it rather than on the exact same spot, is complete. So they won’t use Tokyo Dome or anything.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hopefully the new stadium won’t be a dome.

watching baseball at an open air stadium & a dome is like chalk & cheese.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I am surprised that they aren't uprooting all of the trees, so that Tokyoites can enjoy having another shopping mall...

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Of course there are merits and demerits to all opinions re knocking down, renovating, leaving as it is etc.

But once again what really sticks in my craw is the lack of transparency.

The collection of "public comments" from August to September 2018 were done with a minimum of publicity, however, and news of the development came as a shock to those most affected by the plans.

"People living nearby tell me they didn't hear anything about it until the public meeting in December 2021, which they found out about through a teeny tiny notice in a ward publication that normally nobody ever reads," Kopp said.

I mean with all of the attention now on the corrupted olympic practices by officials, govt officers, companies (Denstu etc), you'd think such major discussions / decisions would be as open as possible.

But No!

Just keep the Fiefdom rolling along. The Plebs have no say in this. It's Inc time.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Japan has long promoted the interest of business over the interest of people and the loss of public green space is totally unacceptable. Sure, knock the stadium down if it is unsafe, but replace it was public facilities not hotels and more exclusive Tokyo apartments.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Yubaru

Would it matter any less that up until a couple of years ago the Swallows were far from a "top-flight" team. They typically were a basement dweller!

The term “top-flight” refers to their NPB membership. It’s a term used to differentiate teams playing in a top-tier league from those in the minor leagues.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

a dump of an area. Remove all and build a nice park

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

I’ve been to Jingu many times to see the Carp. It’s a historic and atmospheric stadium. But it’s in need of extensive renovations. One time I splurged on seats along the third base line near the Carp dugout. Instead of facing home plate, the seats faced the centrefield scoreboard. In order to see home plate, you need to turn your head at a 90 degree angle. And the seating area is flat, so you can only really see the back of the head of the person in front of you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Keeping only the members only tennis club but getting rid of everything else says a lot about what they think of the average folks who use this spot. We don't need another soul sucking ( ) Hills. They need to make more places like the Jingu Stadium area. More parks and greenery. More charm and soul replenishing sanctuaries.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

probably more important things in life to worry about...

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Tooheynew: Not in Toyko pre season and early season it really cold in the those stands. I don't know how many time it been that cold I decide to move inside and watch it on the TVs. The day of stadium are over. Dome are Air con and prevent rain outs.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

a "top-flight" PRO team. 

Yes, even I was scratching myself on that one. Made me think of Top Flite golf balls. I've heard "top-shelf" or "top tier" used recently, but have never actually heard that word used in my life. I'd have just said NPB, however I realize that many readers of JT are from countries like the UK and Australia that use strange words like that more regularly. Strange to me anyways.

About the stadiums themselves, they are getting old and decrepit. Jingu was actually built with the intended use of the 1940 Olympics that were cancelled. Its got quite a history, but even Wrigley has been renovated and Japan has its own version of Babe Ruth now so just send Ohtani to play in the new stadium and call it a day. Do the activists expect these same stadiums and the same concrete and trees to be around for 150 years?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

To reiterate in more simple words -there doesn't need to be a structure to practice sports other that a painted border and goal posts and a toilet. I was on the British rugger team so i know .

Which goes to show you know squat about Jingu. Which what you initially replied to, in response to my comment!

The MAIN stadium here in the discussion is about baseball! Which you obvious dont know.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There's no point keeping something so old around. Destroy it and make it new again if no other similar facilities are around.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I didn't know Jingu was so old because to me, it just looks like another run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter Japanese ballpark.

Because it is. It only issue because some journalists like it, the facts are that the area needs to be redeveloped, just like Harujuku station. They bitched about the old station but it was old and it had to be replaced.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Yes, Tokyo is one gigantic concrete slab.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

They bitched about the old station but it was old and it had to be replaced.

They also bitched about Tokyo Station and Koshien Stadium and thanks to them instead of just bulldozing the old ones and replacing them with generic ugly garbage they revised their plans to save what was worth saving and improve what needed improving. Way better.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Someone mention seat size. Mate I am 80kg and I been to many Japan's Ballpark. Seibu Dome, Dream stadium, Nagoya Dome, Tokyo Dome and Sendai stadium and being less of them. No, the seat are normal size and big for Japanese. Aomori needs a Dome. They were going to build it but the site had Jarmon existence all over it and had to find another site.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why can this not be about just scrapping or renovating Jingu Stadium and Chichinobu Stadium? Which would mean the rest of the area with its greenery would be unaffected. There are also 3 attractive restaurants with fine terraces along the ginkgo tree street to preserve. It's because major corporations want to take the whole area and spend zillions of yen on a huge area redevelopment. So they have billions to spend on giving big kickbacks to officials involved in the authorisation. Classic corruption. Let people know as little as possible about their plans before everything is signed, of course. Totally disgusting.

It's also true, that millions of the people living in Tokyo really do not give a hoot about nature, and have a horror of insects, etc. Do they care about history, or preserving symbols of it? I fear too many do not care. Tokyo is a major city that is pretty much devoid of the historical vibrations that give old cities their atmosphere. In the end, it seems people get what they deserve if they don't care, and don't fight for their heritage.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's also true, that millions of the people living in Tokyo really do not give a hoot about nature, and have a horror of insects, etc. 

At a suburban park barbecue with Mickelicious Jr's classmates, a half Kiwi kid's first reaction to an ant colony was to grab mummy's ant spray, and douse all and sundry in a cloud of insecticide. The shock nearly killed his (also half Kiwi) vegetarian classmate and his vegan JP mum.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

the way Tokyo Govt is doing this is nothing short of criminal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There's no point keeping something so old around

yet, there’s plenty of them in The government

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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