(16) Suburban Tokyo: Tokiwadai Housing Estates 常盤台住宅地 (~1935)

Tokiwadai Residential Area 常盤台住宅地 (map) is a suburban development in Itabashi-ku that was motivated by the opening of Musashi-Jobu Station 武蔵常磐駅 in 1935 (now ときわ台駅 Tokiwadai Station) (source). The station, on the Tobu Tojo Line 東武東上線, is just an 11-minute train ride from the hustle and bustle of Ikebukuro Station; because of the neighborhood’s quiet character (and its history), Tokiwadai is referred to as the “Denenchofu of Itabashi” 『板橋の田園調布』 (See: Denenchofu: Japan’s first “garden city”).

See below for a (1) plan of the community, (2) photos of the planned site, from marketing materials, (3) aerial photo from 1945/50 of the site, and (4) the community today:

Features of the town include:

  • A tree-lined プロムナード (散歩道) “promenade” that circles the development:

A handful of 「クルドサック」 cul-de-sacs, a street type unusual for Tokyo (map):

Several 「フットパス」 footpaths, which provide pedestrian access between various roads:

ロードベイ」 “road bay”, a small protected park area (map) designed to provide a set-back for houses from the road and provide ‘shelter’ for pedestrians, similar to how a bay protects boats from an ocean. (The following site uses this term in reference to another area.)


(I) Tokiwadai is home to the Japan Calligraphy Museum 日本書道美術館 (map)

(II) The Tokiwadai Photo Studio 常盤台写真場 (map), built in 1937, was moved from its original location and is now on display at the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum:




『常盤臺住宅地御案内』 Tokiwa Residential Land Information


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