Japanese train station built around massive 700 year-old camphor tree

February 1, 2017 by  
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The Japanese reverence for nature has been well established, especially in the world of design. However, if anyone still has doubts, they should take a stroll through the Kayashima train station in Neyagawa, a northeastern suburb of Osaka. The train station was carefully constructed around a massive camphor tree that has stood on the site for 700 years. The Kayashima Station opened in 1910 and was built next to the large tree , whose exact age goes back before local records. As the local population began to grow, it became clear that the station would need to be upgraded. In 1972, plans were approved to expand the site and, according to Spoon and Tamago , those plans called for the tree to be cut down to make space. Related: Mecanoo designs gorgeous green-roofed train station for Kaohsiung Although the history of the train station’s upgrades is a matter of records, there are multiple stories behind the tree’s intact presence today. Some say that it was indeed the Japanese respect for nature that saved the tree from being chopped down . Yet, others say it was nothing more than pure superstition. Apparently, the tree had long been associated with a local shrine and deity, and its impending demise caused quite the uproar by the local community. Stories began to swirl that the tree was also angry and would curse anyone that dared to cut it down with bad luck. Whatever the case, station officials were persuaded to keep the tree, and ended up incorporating it into a new elevated platform . The construction was completed in 1980, and features a large hole cut into the roof of the platform where the tree majestically sticks out over the roof. Just to be on the safe side, the officials surrounded the base of the tree with a small shrine. Via Oddity Central Lead photo via Kosaku Mimura/Nikkei . Additional photography via Studio Ohana.

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Japanese train station built around massive 700 year-old camphor tree

New elevated cycleway in China soars over traffic

February 1, 2017 by  
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Even China is getting on the bike wagon with a soaring new cycleway in Xiamen. The 4.7 mile-long bike path is 16 feet higher than the road at its tallest point, and allows for rapid, clean transportation through the city, connecting six public transportation centers. Over 2,000 bikes per hour can travel on the new aerial path. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1sxEUEnQ4A Curbed reports the elevated bike lane is China’s first and the world’s longest. It is 16-feet-wide and includes both a pedestrian path and bike lane. Part of the path stretches beneath an elevated road utilized by rapid transit buses, which now serves the double purpose of keeping bikers dry in the rain. 30,000 lights adorn the cycleway so people can ride safely at night. There are 11 entries, which provide access to two subway stations and 11 bus stations. Related: London mayor announces plan for two new bike superhighways The aerial bike lane provides a green transportation alternative for people in three business areas and five major residential areas, and is now open for a month-long trial. Locals already seem to enjoy it. One resident, Chen Yimin, told Xinhua the commute from home to work on the bike path only took 10 minutes, which is the same amount of time it would take to drive. Another local, Wu Xueying, said at first the height was intimidating but the guardrails made biking high above city streets feel safe. Xiamen City Public Bicycle Management said during the trial period, the bike lane will be open from 6:30 AM till 10:30 PM for private and public bicycles. When finished, it will be equipped with on-ramp gates that will shutter if the cycleway is too full. Xueying told Xinhua, “It’s nice to ride a bicycle under the blue sky in the sunshine.” Via Curbed and Xinhua Images via screenshot

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New elevated cycleway in China soars over traffic

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