“Tokyo Review 006” Daikanyama area-1
This time, I would like to introduce “Daikanyama”, a fashionable town which is already well known even among foreign travelers. Tokyu Toyoko Line Daikanyama Station is a small station next to Shibuya. Express trains do not stop here, and there has not been a conspicuous commercial accumulation in the surrounding area for a long time. Even the area near the station had natural forests until the Meiji era. However, being located close to Shibuya and Ebisu, the area gradually changed to become a quiet residential area with rich greens on the hills. After the Great Kanto Earthquake, in 1927, Doujunkai Daikanyama Apartment was completed near the Daikanyama station. I would explain about it in the next post.
“Daikanyama Hillside Terrace” is the project which made this area famous. One Lord family from the beginning of the Meiji era, once owned almost the whole area around Shibuya. This family was suffering from the heavy inheritance tax, so they gradually reduced their properties. They wanted to utilize the remained lands along the Old Yamate-Dori Avenue and planned to build a low-rise residential combined with stores. The first phase was completed in 1969 by Mr. Fumihiko Maki’s design.
After the launch of the 1st phase, the Hillside Terrace continued to create fascinating spaces facing the street such as small plazas, pretty cafes in each phase up until the seventh phase which was completed in 1998. Although the buildings themselves are neat figures without much assertion. The combination of small squares, cozy corners and shadows made by the buildings have made a keynote of the elegant cityscape of Old Yamate-Dori Avenue.
Inspired by the Hillside Terrace, small stores dealing with young fashion items and accessories, international restaurants and cafes had been accumulated around the Daikanyama station, the old Yamate Dori Avenue and the Hachiman-Dori, including the narrow streets connecting them. These spontaneous elements form the regional brand image of “fashionable town, Daikanyama”.