Hokkaido – the urban response
I just returned from a couple of weeks in Sapporo and surrounding areas. In all my time living in Japan and subsequent trips there, I’m still amazed at how well they have managed to get so many cities feeling like well activated urban spaces with distinct boundaries to the rural areas. IE no pointless urban sprawl like we have in NZ. Sapporo has some great urban parks and an awesome vibrant feel at night.
Sapporo has a population of about 2 million, but there are never any signs of car traffic congestion. Why? It has simple effective public transport, and everyone uses it. Sure, a subway train can get crowded at rush hour, but that doesn’t slow anything up, and everyone always gets on. Compare that to Auckland ……
The main pic above is of a typical shrine we passed by while walking through Nakajima Koen (park) in central Sapporo. As a contrast, below are a few other random shots around the city. Note the overnight bike parks.