Walking and the pedestrian environment
October 1, 2006
Cat Rise (Tokyo)

猫坂 ねこざか
Neko-zaka, Cat Rise

Between Akasaka 5-5-7 and 5-5-26

This article is part of the special feature Akasaka on the Rise. Check it out in my Live Maps Collection.

The official description:

Cat Rise map, 1905
There is no official description for this rise. Likewise, it can not be found on any map. It only exists in the oral tradition of people who live or work in Akasaka.

Unofficial explanation:

Cat Rise, bottomThe rise is based at Akasaka Boulevard (赤坂通り, Akasaka Doori) and runs up a long flight of stairs to One Tree Park (一ツ木公園, Hitotsugi Koen), where it meets up with Three Bit Rise. The entrance from the top is a bit obscured, so I recommend entering from the bottom. Many cats can be found on this hill, because of the people feeding them from the subsidized housing block at the top of the hill.

Cat Rise, midThere used to be a road where the current TBS building is (highlighted on the map above), that according to hearsay geisha used to feed cats along.

Cat Rise, foodWhat's indisputable is that cats are being fed today. There is a quite elaborate food house just below the top of the steps, created with a number of clear plastic umbrellas. The umbrellas are held down by chunks of concrete to make sure they don't fly away.

CatBesides brief mention on a couple of websites, this rise's greatest source of information is an article written by TV talent Tamori (タモリ) published in One Week in Tokyo (TOKYO1週間, Tokyo Isshuukan). Other rises from his series appear in the 2004 book Introduction to Tokyo Street Rise Aesthetics (TOKYO坂道美学入門, Tokyo Sakamichi Bigaku Nyuumon).

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at October 1, 2006 1:06 AM
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