Park life: Tokyo, the latest city to get a high line

A section of disused railway in central Tokyo has been converted into a pretty paved lane – a welcome sanctuary in the world’s largest city

New York and Paris have one, Singapore and Seoul want one. London can’t make its mind up. High lines – regenerating the elevated sections of disused railway lines to make new public spaces – have become a must-have for many cities. Like Tokyo.

One metro stop from the tourists walking Shibuya’s “scramble” crossing is an urban village, still in central Tokyo, called Daikanyama, where Log Road is the world’s newest high line. The best thing is: it’s also the most low-key.

Log Road is a collection of wooden cottages built on top of the old Tokyu line tracks, where trees and plants sprout next to benches. After the madness of Shibuya, walking through the tenements and green spaces of Log Road is an unfamiliar Tokyo experience.

Visitors sit on a park bench, amid trees and wooden buildings, on Log Road, near Shibuya, Tokyo.

Number 1 Log Road is Spring Valley Brewery, owned by Japanese brewer Kirin. Local hipsters queue for lunches of Okinawan pork sausage and beer flights out on its terrace (try the sweet On The Cloud and bitter Afterdark). Or get a seat in the industrial interior, which shows off huge fermentation tanks through glass cases.

Crucially for this high line, there’s plenty of outdoor space. If you can’t get a table at Spring Valley or outside at Garden House Crafts, go to the end of Log Road: there’s an elevated space with picnic benches. This particular afternoon, the sun shines and couples are taking selfies in front of the district’s low-rise buildings. I’m drinking a flat white and eating a green matcha doughnut. A moment of peace in the world’s largest city.

Cathy Adams

The GuardianTramp

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