Re-Urbanization and the Local Food Culture : The Case Study of Central Tokyo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 5:45 PM
Room: 424
Oral Presentation
Naoko TAKEDA , School of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
This research focuses on the developing process of the local food culture in central Tokyo. Regeneration of the central district promoted to develop the local food street and a local food identity. The purpose of this research is to analyze how the urban regeneration deepened the local food culture.

This research area called 'Tukishima' is located in the water-front area adjacent to the urban center. The Water-front mega-projects in the 1990's opened new large business/commercial district on the reclaimed island which attracts international and domestic tourists. The new subway lines were constructed through Tukishima, the number of tourists come to Tukishima increased.

  The traditional local shop owners in Tukishima changed their business, they opened special local food restaurants. This special local food called ‘Monja' used to be a common afternoon snack for working-class children here. About 60 Monja restaurants made the distinctive street of local food. Many tourists come to eat it at lunch time. After lunch they go sightseeing and shopping at the water-front. Tukishima became a popular tourist spot. This is the first impact of urban regeneration on Tukishima.

 The second impact of regeneration is the boom of building super high-rise condominium towers. Tukishima is very close to the business district both of urban center and the water-front, it became the area filled densely with high-rise condominium towers where professional service class live. Tukishima is  gentrified, and new residents enjoy to eat Monja as a traditional local taste.

The third stage of regeneration is about to begin. Tokyo has been chosen to the host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The venue is very close to Tukishima, high-rise tower residents can see games from their window. The price of condominiums goes up. Local food will be popular to visitors. The new era of Monja is about to start.