Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Tree in the Road

Been a couple of months since I posted anything here. The only excuse I have is that I`ve been busy writing a thesis that was supposed to write itself but has thus far been entirely uncooperative.

I thought I`d once again try to revive the blog with a post about a tree.

Not just any tree. This tree:
This is a side street on Hakozaki campus, not far from the architecture department. I love this tree. Its existence is absolutely mind boggling to me. In any country having a tree growing in the middle of a road would raise a few eyebrows, but in Japan it is virtually unthinkable.

I once had a friend who was an engineer working for the Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure. He explained to me the difference in road building strategies between Japan and Canada.

`In Canada` he explained, `if they come across a hill when building a road, they just build around it. In Japan, we just get rid of the hill.`

An exaggeration to be sure, but anyone who has driven down one of the major expressways here probably knows what he was getting at. Which makes me wonder why they didn`t get rid of this tree when building this road.

Its not a particularly old tree, nor is it an endangered species or anything. Just your standard black pine.
And there it is, blocking traffic. Wonderful. I hope when they move the campus to Ito whoever takes over the land leaves this tree in place. It is probably the coolest thing on campus.


Bryan Ochalla said...

Ha! I think they'd take that down in most parts of the world, Sean. Regardless, it's kind of cool that someone there decided to leave it as is :)

Sean said...

Thanks, Bryan, I think so too!