Saturday, 6 July 2013

Koriyama Cityscape

The demolition of this town continues apace. This is the top end of Station Road (Ekimae-dori) looking towards Koriyama station. Shops have been pulled down and there's a big empty space where a quarter of the main street should be! It's been like this for over a month with no sign yet of any new construction. If you turn right where the blue car is in the above photo and walk past Usui department store towards the multi-storey carpark, you'll see this: 

... three major buildings being pulled down, including the Abe Bldg and an upmarket boutique. 

This is the Abe Bldg. coming down (View Plaza shopping centre and View Hotel behind). Continuing south (to left of above picture) you'll see this space (photo below). The Toho Bank, a handsome 1920s building used to stand here. But at least the bank is going to build a new branch here.

As a friend posted on Facebook the other day, ' I so hate the crunch of a wooden building being torn down. Not a week goes by that there isn't a building being torn down on one of my routes to and from work. The landscape of my city continues to change.'

One can only surmise that people have finally got the grants and insurance payments to go ahead and pull down those buildings - many of them cheap 1960s construction - that didn't stand up to the earthquake. There are more and more empty spaces but there is some rebuilding. Kashiwaya, the local Japanese cake firm, has pulled down its flagship store in the main street but is rebuilding. The restaurant Kakusan (角さん) has just moved into much bigger premises and Marushin (丸新) which moved out of a damaged building near the station has opened a splendid new restaurant further out. (Incidentally, I can thoroughly recommend both these restaurants: upmarket iizakaya.) No encouraging news about a replacement for the old Marui Store near the station. It's being demolished but I hear there are no concrete plans yet. 

The rainy season's started at last. Drizzle and high humidity. There's a new term on the weather forecast, the discomfort index (fuyukai shisu 不快指数) which factors temperature and humidity. Over 85 is unbearable. I'll let you know how we get on though generally it's not too bad up here.
All the best

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