Walking and the pedestrian environment
September 30, 2006
Cow Cry Rise (Tokyo)

牛鳴坂 うしなきざか
Ushinaki-zaka, Cow Cry Rise

Between Akasaka 4-1 and 4-8

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

The official description:

Cow Cry Rise map, 1905
Named after the grunting cows that pulled carts on the poorly surfaced Atsugi Road, which ran from Akasaka to Aoyama. Also called Saikachi-zaka.

Unofficial explanation:

Cow Cry Rise, bottomThe current rise starts at Aoyama Boulevard (青山通り, Aoyama Doori) and runs to an indefinite spot towards the top of Under Sheriff Rise. Aoyama Boulevard was built to straighten the main road for streetcars, already present in the 1905 map.

Cow Cry Rise, topBefore that, the Atsugi-Ooyama Highway (厚木大山街道, Atsugi Ooyama Kaidou) was the name of the route, and it came up from Akasaka Gate (赤坂御門, Akasaka Mikado) and Akasaka Lookout (赤坂見附, Akasaka Mitsuke), crossed a bridge over the outer moat and Tameike, passed through a wide square at the intersection with Kurogu Rise, and headed up Cow Cry Rise. The whole road from the moat up was probably Cow Cry Rise - it was a long, slow rise with no breaks, so beasts would be tired and panting by the top. Another name was "gentle rise" (なだらかな坂, nadarakana-zaka). These days, even on rainy days the roads are the same, and the cries are from semi-truck and delivery truck engines gunning for the end of the hill from Outer Moat Boulevard (外堀通り, Sotobori Doori).

Cow Cry Rise, topAnd the only beasts to be found on the rise are three tiled camels at the Akasaka Jewelry Design School (赤坂宝石彫金学院) toward the top of the rise. By the way, I should explain the other name mentioned in the official description. Saikachi (皀角子 or 皀角子, さいかち) is a tree with thorny branches. Through the Edo period, the branches were broken off to build painful fences. Presumably they were planted along one of the estates on either side of the rise.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at September 30, 2006 8:18 PM
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