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Friday, February 03, 2006

Japanese skyscapes

空に電線

For an unbroken view of Japan's beautiful blue skies stand not in the suburbs, nor in the paddy fields, nor in the forests even.

The only place you'll get such a view is in the CBDs of Tokyo. Anywhere else - in the suburbs of Tokyo, in provincial towns and cities, and even remote country villages and their environs - to raise your eyes heavenward is to have them caught in a thick inky tangle of powerlines.

Between the shining towers of Tokyo's business centers the sky stretches upwards, unbroken. Why is it that where people actually live the wires are stretched overhead so thickly that it's tantamount to being cooped in chicken wire?

The nation's 'roads to nowhere' are legendary, as are the profligate sums of public money spent on building them.

Why some of it cannot go towards burying power lines as most other governments of economically advanced countries do is a mystery.

Not only does the high voltage cobweb look unsightly, in the countryside what is being strung overhead between red and white pylons is more often than not of voltage levels that you wouldn't want to live in proximity of. Hundreds of thousands of homes do though.

These three photos are random examples of what I am talking about in my immediate neighborhood of Nakano Ward in Tokyo. If you have something to beat this for density, please post in Comments!


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