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Tokyo's threatened Jingu Gaien park placed on 'Heritage Alert' list by conservancy body

By Stephen Wade

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This country loves pouring concrete over any green space.

3 ( +35 / -32 )

As if flying over the concrete sprawl of Tokyo wasn’t already depressing enough!

3 ( +26 / -23 )

 an adjoining baseball stadium where Babe Ruth played.

So, any place in Japan that Ruth was at should be preserved? It's not like this stadium was his "home!"

Jingu needs to be rebuilt, and I am sure there are architects and city planners that could manage to design and get it done, without destroying all the greenery!

But the stadium isnt the issue really, it's the skyscrapers and more importantly the $$$$$$ that will fill the coffers of Tokyo.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Hey, if they don't respect their own heritage then why should anyone else? You can imagine the furore if there were a foreign connection encroaching on the heritage and greenery of a beloved space - you know, something like the Zaha Hadid-designed Olympic proposal nearby - or if, say, a foreign tourist wrote his name on a pillar in a temple. But actions speak louder than words. Yes, their country, their heritage, their decisions, but we can take our cues from them.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Is relocation of the trees and cultural heritage structures an option? . . . . Additionally, as people need oxygen in the air they breathe, it is important that oxygen produced by trees, be replaced by other trees . . . .

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I support the proposed plan to preserve the vista of Yoyogi’s ginkgo-lined street, limit the height of buildings around those trees, and transition to three stadiums/grounds (from the current number of five), thus increasing open space and greenery percentage.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

we don't need trees in Tokyo. You can see them in Niigata.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Is relocation of the trees and cultural heritage structures an option? .

Simple answer, for trees of that size, no. The amount of damage to the root systems and trees themselves may kill them off, not to mention the incredible amount of money and space that would be needed to, prepare to move them, prepare new locations for them, actually uproot them, transport them, and replant them, and take care of them. (Ginko trees are transplantable, but the size and cost is prohibitive)

Dont forget that those trees are old, and have extensive root systems that are huge and more than likely intertwined with the other trees.

One tree alone might cost around ¥10,000,000 or more, with an iffy chance of success.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Put this matter up for a vote and let Tokyo residence decide.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

we don't need trees in Tokyo. You can see them in Niigata

Niigata is quite far away. And trees are something that Tokyo desperately needs.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Save the trees!!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Not everything old is worth saving. Cut down one tree, plant two should be a rule.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Why Japanese government not encouraging building these kind of sky scrapper outside Tokyo instead of building in a crowded city?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Any trees that are able to live in Tokyo need to be honoured.

However, in Japan greediness usually wins…

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Babe Ruth?

How much more does this country look up to America?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I've been in this area a few times and always thought it was a nice area with the trees and greenery. I never thought they would purposely destroy this area for development.

The government pushed for the Olympics on the green theme and also constantly bark about SDGs and such but it's rather hard to believe, isn't it?

5 ( +9 / -4 )


Today 09:24 am JST

Any trees that are able to live in Tokyo need to be honoured.

> However, in Japan greediness usually wins

This is not exclusive to Tokyo or Japan!

Look up "Green belt scandal" I Ontario.

My guess with a little investigative journalism here, we will find payoffs and backroom deals between politicians and corporations just like what is now being revealed in Ontario.

As always follow the money!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Leave Jingu Gaien alone. It's fine as it is.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Can you ever the imagine what would happen if property builders proposed building on Hyde Park or Hamstead Heath in the London. There would be a civil war, no joke.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

The big issue facing Japan right now is the declining population. Tokyo has the lowest birth-rate in the whole of Japan - not surprising - life in the big city is just not conducive to raising larger families. As Japan's population declines, Tokyo's has increased because jobs and public services in smaller places are disappearing, so the people remaining in those smaller places have little choice but to move to Tokyo. They move here and then either have no children or just one, whereas if the lived in a smaller, cheaper town with more space, they might have had two or three. So, it's a vicious circle.

With that in mind, how does a huge development like this make any sense? Presumably, those two massive towers are going to be residential - that's another 2000 condos in the middle of Tokyo, making the city even more crowded and with even less green space - two big reasons why people in Tokyo don't want to have many children in the first place. If the towers are going to be offices, then again, more jobs in the center of Tokyo meaning more people move here and have fewer children. This country should be encouraging developments such as this in smaller, regional cities well away from Tokyo/Osaka/Nagoya.

4 ( +7 / -3 )


Can you ever the imagine what would happen if property builders proposed building on Hyde Park or Hamstead Heath in the London. There would be a civil war, no joke.

They can't because they are protected lands by covenant.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Here’s what I don’t understand. There are a plethora of articles on how Japan is trying to reduce the population of Tokyo and get folks to migrate out of the city and into rural areas. If this is true, why would you build more at the expense of history, environment, and peoples desires just to foster in a project that encourages growth and a reason for population increase? It’s like encouraging already struggling people to have kids but raise the price of food….oh wait….

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Can you ever the imagine what would happen if property builders proposed building on Hyde Park or Hamstead Heath in the London.

Quite. Japan, especially places like Kyoto, would look much better if it had been looked after by Europeans.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

Botanists says the ginkgo trees will be under threat from any new construction.

Ginkgo trees are tough trees. You rarely see one fall over by a typhoon but you will see Keyaki trees just break in half, decapitated, on Aoyama-dori after a typhoon.

Gingko trees survived the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.

Ginkgo trees were some of the only living things to survive the bomb in Hiroshima, which they managed to do because their roots grow deep enough in the soil that they were protected from the incinerating heat.

Scientists estimate that during the A bomb explosion, the ground temperature ranged from 3,000 to 4,000 degrees Celsius.


Ginkgo trees and their root systems have survived the construction of the Yokohama subway Green Line. This is the strongest argument against the perceived threat from any new construction for the Gaien Ginkgos.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Every day CNN airs advertisements promoting tourism in Japan. We can safely assume that we taxpayers in Japan are paying for this. It must be costing us a bomb! And in many of these fatuous ads, many of which are targeting youthful people, Ms Koike exhorts foreign "nature lovers" to enjoy the abundance of "nature" in Tokyo. I've never been impressed by the presence of nature in Tokyo-to — ever. Any spot of green there is precious, and yet Ms Koike has to receive an open letter to tell her about the destruction of trees and 'development' in an historic park.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

When I first came to Tokyo over a decade ago, I was wholly impressed by scenes of nature and Japanese architecture (ancient and futuristic) intermingled. Now I honestly find myself horrified by how quickly and easily they destroy the nature that made this city beautiful.

By the way, I heard that they want to build office building towers over where these trees stand, but at the present moment, the number of vacancies in current office buildings has already increased significantly since the pandemic. Why tear down the few pockets of nature we have left to build something you already have abundantly available to you??

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I am happy I live in a place surrounded by mountains and the leaves turn yellow and red in the autumn.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

raze and rebuild a historic rugby venue and an adjoining baseball stadium where Babe Ruth played.

This is written poorly. Jingu is also a historic stadium - second oldest in the country. The Babe Ruth thing is a fun detail, but not the reason why it shouldn't be torn down. New stadiums are shiny but lack character. Save Jingu.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More than 300 Ginko Beloba Trees to be Chain Sawed, Tokio?

More than 50 more than a hundred years old, Tokio?

Are! you!! gone!!! cuckoo crazy !!!! Tokio? Japan??

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

 ICOMOS, which works with the United Nations body UNESCO

Is wasting its time. UNESCO's only interaction with Japan is to ordain aspects of Japanese culture with Treasured Heritage Status, so we can all marvel at how Japanese Culture is marvelous and must be preserved.

But when the LDP/Concrete/Yak cartel smell money, that's when genuinely unique, irreplaceable, historic cultural sites can forget it. Smash it all down and build them towers for the Saudis and the Russian Oligarchs.

This is a national disgrace.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Stop this development-destruction NOW… No cutting any threes

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stop Gaien destroying NOW

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Never vote for Tokyo Governor Koike again. The investors of this disgusting "leader" and CEO of Mitsui Fudosan, Takashi Ueda, should be voted out of the board immediately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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