Walking and the pedestrian environment
October 14, 2006
Stumble Rise (Tokyo)

転坂 ころびざか
Korobi-zaka, Stumble Rise

Between Akasaka 6-5 and 6-9

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

The official description:

Stumble Rise map, 1995江戸時代から道が悪く通行する人たちがよくころんだために呼んだ。一時盛徳寺横の元氷川坂もころび坂といった。
Draws its name from the fact that the road was tough to travel, and people stumbled on it since the Edo Period. Old Hikawa Rise was also called Stumble Rise.

Unofficial explanation:

Stumble Rise, bottomStumble Rise begins at Hikawa Rise. It's gentle at first, then takes a sharp grade as it heads up, with no curves, to Hikawa Park.

Stumble Rise, midThere are a number of Stumble Rises, or rises with that alternate name, around Tokyo. Often the explanation will claim that there were many trees which blocked light at night and with roots causing tripping hazards. Sometimes there will be an attempt to create a romantic image of geisha walking home and tripping in their geta. That could all be true. I'm tempted to imagine, though, that there were some well-known party houses or drinking establishments on the hill, which led to drunken walking.

Stumble Rise, topNear the crest of the rise, construction walls line both sides of the street. Considering that white-washed walls were the norm for estate boundaries in Edo, this might actually be a reasonable simulation of the rise two hundred years ago.

Stumble Rise, Hikawa ParkAt the very top is Hikawa Park (氷川公園, Hikawa Koen). The park used to be park of the estate of the lord of Hiroshima. Now it specializes in roses (the photo is from fall), which there are an abundance of. Below the park is a parking garage, accessible from the back alley.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at October 14, 2006 5:54 PM
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