Walking and the pedestrian environment
November 20, 2006
Akasaka Rise Link List (Tokyo)

An annotated bibliography of books and sites related to the street rises of Tokyo's Akasaka neighborhood.

This article is an appendice to the special feature Akasaka on the Rise. In that series, I profiled the named, often historic hillsides of Tokyo's Akasaka neighborhood.

Here are a number of sites and a couple of books that were particularly useful to me. Some provided direct information, some background information, some just a sense of perspective.

Unfortunately I did not catalog every site that I visited during my month-long crash course leading up to the series. For example, I visited the sites of several small cities in England which convinced me to use "Under Sheriff" as the translation for 弾正大弼, based on the similarity of office. I'm also not exactly sure what page made me go with "rise" as the translation of 坂. From an urban design standpoint, I was dissatisfied with the image of the standard translation, 'slope'. After my luck with "Under Sheriff" I know I started trolling sites in England and poring over online maps. At some point I decided "rise" was a common enough term for old, steep streets in London. I feel that being able to refer to these sites would bolster my credibility, but thems the brakes.

Oh, it's worth noting that all of these sites and books are in Japanese. Most have nice pictures, though.

"Tamori's Introduction to the Aesthetic of Tokyo's Street Rises". TV personality Tamori ran a series of eclectic articles in the magazine One Week in Tokyo profiling street rises around Tokyo. This takes the best of those, includes some nice color photos, a cute map with a walking route, and profiles a few shops (mostly restaurants or cafes) along the way. It's the first real mass-market walking guide book to historic rises in Tokyo.

"I'd like to walk Tokyo's rises, part 2". Profiles of rises across Tokyo. Includes 9 in Akasaka. Book.

Kissポート:港区スポットガイド:道シリーズ(1) 坂道を訪ねて
"Minato Ward spot guide: Street series 1, Taking street rises". Walking tour starting at Akasaka branch ward office, through 3 Akasaka rises, and down through adjacent communities. Site is run by Minato Ward's sports and culture outreach office.

"Tamori / Tokyo Rises". List of all rises covered by Tamori's series in the magazine "One Week in Tokyo".

One Week Sakamichi.
Official blog for Tamori's book, it uses Yahoo maps, photo and text from the book, plus some additional text. Someone's just being paid to churn out a pseudo-blog for promotional purposes.

"Slope Society page". Website for the Slope Society of Japan, made famous in the postlogue of Tamori's book.

"Akasaka rise trip". TBS' profile of rises in Akasaka

"Mikawa Roots". Gone. The site is still there, a sake dealer in Akasaka, but this page is removed in the new design. This was the only place that described Fukuyoshi Rise. I provide a link to the most recent copy of this page in archive.org.

"Origins of the place names of Minato Ward". Great history of place names in Minato Ward. This is a very thorough and useful site, and has similar pages for each ward of Tokyo.

"Street Rises of Tokyo's 23 Wards". More than 600 rises are profiled on this site, ranging from a photo with canned text to a slideshow with detailed information. 23 of the rises on my site can be found here. Most are under Akasaka parts 1 and 2, but a few are in the Toranomon listings. On that page are the author's take on where Three Valley Rise and Festival Drum Rise are at.

港区観光データベース 「赤坂地域の坂」の検索結果
"Search results for 'Rises in the Akasaka Area' from the Minato Ward Sightseeing Database". Minato Ward page for all rises in the Akasaka area (they list 22), with addresses. Included is New Hackberry Rise, one of the few sites that it's mentioned.

印象に残る景色 - 坂
"Scenes that leave an impression - Rises". Profiles rises that have left an impression on the author, including 23 in Akasaka.

"Tennox Rises of Akasaka". Tennox, a construction company specializing in concrete piles, has an area of its site dedicated to profiling Akasaka. Most of the rises in Akasaka are included, with a photo, the statement from its post, and maybe a bit of additional information.

"Street rise strolls". Part of a continuing blog walking the rises of Japan. Includes 23 of Akasaka's rises, with a journal entry, photos and descriptions of the rises. Significantly includes the author's take on where Three Valley Rise and Festival Drum Rise are at. Also, photos taken by the author on a similar walk in 1997.

"Three Valley Rise". Another author's take on the location of Three Valley Rise. Part of a series, 'Azabu seen from rises'. Azabu is the community just south of Akasaka.

Tokyo TV1
A public outreach arm of Mitsui Real Estate, Tokyo TV1 provides information on the neighborhoods where Mitsui does business. Included are some very nice videos that capture what Tokyo is really like. Minato Ward is one up from the bottom of the right column; Akasaka is covered in the top two listings in the pop-up.

"Index of roads and rises". An ongoing series profiling street rises around Tokyo. Currently includes 16 Akasaka rises.

"Street rise collection". Brief information about a growing number of street rises in Tokyo (currently 568).

-赤坂エクセルホテル東急- 赤坂の坂案内
"Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu - Akasaka Rises Introduction". Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu's profile of surrounding rises. The page appears to be gone now, so I provide the archive.org link.

日本の坂 百選
"Best 100 Rises of Japan". Profile of slopes around Japan. Included is a photo collage and video of each.

"Rises of Edo still here today". A long discussion of street rises, and their importance to Edo. Then a profile of a small set of rises, none of which are in Akasaka.

赤坂インターシティin溜池山王 興和不動産とホーマット -東京インディケーター
"Akasaka Intercity in Tameike Sannou". Profile of Akasaka Intercity in a Tokyo webzine.

"Time Bells of Akasaka". Description of the bell system used for time keeping in the Edo period. Focus on the Akasaka bell.

"Nakahara Kaidou 1, Sakuradamon to Gotanda". Description of the Nakahara Kaidou's first segment.

鮫 河 橋 と 呼 ば れ る ス ラ ム が あ っ た
"There used to be a slum called Samekawabashi". Description of the slum that existed at Shark Stream Bridge.

"Edo Daimyo Names". Information about the various daimyo of the Edo period; their lineage, size of fiefdom, etc.

"Kuroda-kei". Information on the daimyo Kuroda family, rulers of Fukuoka fiefdom.

Japanese Historical Maps
This wonderful archive of historic maps contains a number for Tokyo. Without this site, I would have no perspective of the lineage of the rises. And it's not a gimmick like the Google Earth layer, which is a couple of hundred meters off in alignment.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at November 20, 2006 5:02 AM
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