Unexpected beauty: 1940’s Worker’s Quarters (Warabi, Saitama)

Aerial photographs from circa 1945 show a dense group of buildings in Warabi City 蕨市, Saitama. (The closest train station is Nishi-Kawaguchi Station 西川口駅). Maps from that era label this ‘Worker’s quarters’ (source, map 3).

The surrounding area developed over the years, and some buildings were replaced. However, the street design in 2018 is identical to the way it was in 1945.

The design of this neighborhood is notable because most of the houses are clustered around a series of small parks, all of which are named after a different species of tree. The parks are clearly visible in aerial photos from 1945 and in maps from 2018. The parks are more numerous than in most dense residential areas in the Tokyo area. Only two neighborhoods in the Tokyo are are comparable: Denenchofu 田園調布 (1918-1928) and Tokiwadai Housing Estates 常盤台住宅地 (~1935), both of which were built as ‘garden cities’ for the wealthy.

The parks include:

(1) Keyaki Koen けやき公園 (Zelkova Park)

(2) Matsunoki Koen まつのき公園 (Pine Tree Park)

(3) Hannoki Koen はんのき公園 (East Asian Alder Park)

(4) Shiinoki Koen しいのき公園 (Castanopsis Tree Park)

(5) Suzukake Park すずかけ公園

(6) Sakura Park さくら公園 (Cherry Tree Park)

(7) Tsutsuji Park つつじ公園 (Azelea Park)

(8) Ichō kōen いちょう公園 (Ginko Park)

The southern edge of the neighborhood is defined by Warabi-shi Minami-cho Cherry Tree Promenade 蕨市南町桜並木遊歩道:

To find this neighborhood, click here for Google Maps, or see below for

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