We’ve been staying in a mid rise apartment that is part of a new residential development in the Shinonome District in Tokyo Bay. It is an interesting planned neighbourhood that was put in about ten years ago. It is a block of ≈15 story buildings (a mix of rental apartments and public housing) ringed by a road and a series of condo highrises. Most of the residents do not have cars (it is very expensive to register a car in Tokyo). It has several bike share and car share stations, and is within a 1 – 1.5 km walk to three different subway stations on two different subway lines. Here is a view of the neighbourhood from one of the pedestrian bridges that leads to a subway station.
This flyer gives you an idea of the pricing of condos in the highrise towers. Apparently the popularity of the 50 story towers went down after the Fukushima quake. At current exchange rates, this is $568K Canadian dollars for a three bedroom 77 square meter unit, which is a bit higher, but not double the price that you would expect to pay in downtown Toronto. It should also be noted that mortgage rates are currently at about 0.7% here.
This is what the interior of the development looks like at ground level.
There are small retail shops off the courtyard, and the entire block is anchored by a large “AEON” discount department store that has groceries, pharmacy and liquor on the ground floor, and varied merchandise on the second floor. The third floor has car parking, which is free for the first 3.5 hours.
All the mid rises have secure bike parking with two level racks.
The units on the lower level slide sideways to allow for denser packing of bikes.
The ones on the upper level hinge downwards to facilitate loading and unloading.
1000 yen a month gives unlimited usage. 1000 yen a month also buys a membership in the car share, but you burn through the basic fee in about 90 minutes of driving. You can rent a bike for the day for 500 yen, and take it for an hour for 100 yen. The kiosks have no instructions in English, but there is more information about the system on this page.
Crosswalks have markings separating bikes from pedestrians.
Also, I note that all drivers are very careful about bikes and pedestrians. At the same time, no one crosses a crosswalk against the signal.
There is still a lot of empty land here for further development. It will be interesting to see how this district evolves in the next decade, particularly since Tokyo Bay will be the primary venue for the 2020 Olympic Games.