3 in 30 - 2000.07.23

Grey stone contrasts with white tile

Walls of grey stone contrast with smooth white tile

While wandering around unnamed streets and alleys in our neighborhood, it impressed me that the variety of construction and design could be a study in itself. This week's snapshots are from the same position at a corner somewhere in the middle of Matsubara-cho.

As mentioned before, the terrain makes a drop toward the river, so in places, the differences are quite noticeable, such as where this wall shores up the higher ground. The wall is constructed of smooth river stones all about the same size. At the left edge of the picture, you can see a bush on the near side of the street. The street is probably just under four meters wide (12 feet). The house to the right is faced with white tile, a direct contrast to the stone wall next to it. You can see a circular stairway at the left edge of the house.

White tiled house with grey stone walls. south end of house

White tiled house with grey stone walls

From the same corner, is a view toward the south end of the house. The stone wall which begins to the north, continues at the south end of the house. An attractive, modern looking house, it has a second floor patio shown in this snapshot. The small roofed structure on the patio may just be a simple roofed entrance gate from one part of the patio to another. That is is made of wood and in an older style is an interesting contrast.

The white tiled house seems to be a relatively large house, and using the stone wall as a reference, Saito-san says that these people must be quite rich. The streets are narrow, away from any major traffic, so it must also be a quiet area of the neighborhood.

”Middle class” exterior wall.

”Middle class” exterior wall

Just across the street is this middle-class house (again Saito-san's estimation). This brick-faced wall separates the street from the property. Between the wall and the house is probably only half a meter or so, just enough to walk around the house.

The entrance to the house is on the left, behind the sliding gate while entrance to a parking area is uphill on the other side of the house. Note the combination of materials in the wall construction; cast concrete footing, brick facing, and aluminum or steel grating. The stone wall above is topped with concrete block. Often, walls will have a variety of materials. One of my favorite fences (or walls), in a different neighborhood we see on the way to Takao-san, is made of wood posts set in the ground with horizontal runners supporting wood slats. It is topped with a narrow metal roof running the entire length of the fence. The roof has the same pitch as the roof in the gate on the porch above.

This file was last updated on 04 Feb, 2023