Shirokane road widening plan to start this year

Bad news for this stretch of historic shophouses alongside Kitasato Street in Shirokane. On July 25, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced that a road widening plan will start sometime this year that will see the road widened from its current 11 meters to 20 meters. Doing so will probably require some buildings to be partially or entirely demolished.

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Less than 3% of Kyoto’s machiya avoid demolition

A recent attempt by Kyoto City to save its historic machiya townhouses has only resulted in 5 out of 170 properties avoiding demolition. Back in 2016, a survey found that as many as 800 traditional machiya townhouses in Kyoto were being demolished each year. With an estimated 40,000 machiya in the city, they could vanish within the next 50 years, leaving no trace of the city’s merchant past.

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