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The next Kanazawa Life Map issue will focus on
Yuwaku Hot Springs

A 1300 year old hot springs, hidden back near the mountains of Kanazawa.
Vol.005 "Yuwaku Hot Springs"
A 1300 year old hot springs, hidden back near the mountains of Kanazawa.
Vol.004 "Oyama Shrine"
A shrine dedicated to Toshiie Maeda. An innovative gate structure.
Vol.003 "The 50 Meter Road"
The Connecting Aorta between Kanazawa Station, Ishikawa Prefectural Office, and Granzella.
Vol.002 "Kenroku-en"
Located in the center of the city, it's one of the 3 famous gardens in Japan.
Vol.001 "Kanazawa Station"
Granzella is just a 5 minute drive from the gateway to the Hokuriku area!

Dec. XX 2011 A.D. - The expedition team wandered into the mysterious Green Zone. The beautiful landscape, the fluttering of autumn leaves falling... I know I've seen this somewhere before. Ah, yes, it was at Kenroku-en Garden. Did I unknowingly stray there?

The mysterious Green Zone suddenly appeared in front of Kanazawa.

There was a puzzling encounter in the unknown Green Zone. Suddenly, all at once, a space opened before our eyes! Wha-, what in the world...? Why is this beautiful Green Zone in the middle of the wide road? First of all, I was surprised by the fact there was such a wide road going through Kanazawa. Apparently, if you can believe it, I what thought was a park area until now, seems to have been a median strip on the road.

The road is three car lanes wide on either side of the median strip.
Located in the median strip, amongst the vegetation, lies a canal. Where does it lead?

Actually, it was discovered later, after our investigation, these are the same photos shown at the end of our website. We pressed ahead with the investigation in the fall, the website's photo was taken in the spring. The pictures are the same, but the difference between them is the season. Our survey team didn't know about the original picture.

Boasting Kanazawa's widest road, this road measures 50 meters across.
What the?! I see you! You're about to close the browser!
Because it's just a road?!

Well, I want you to at least wait until I explain about its thickness.


Initially we referred to the 50 meter road as the "aorta." However,
after receiving several opinions we've reconsidered and decided that
"pulmonary vein" might be more appropriate. For this, we apologize.


Kanazawa's Sub-center

The section of road from route 60's Hiro-oka intersection to the Kanazawa Port intersection is commonly referred to as the 50 Meter Road. In this prefecture, it's unusual to see a three-lane per side road, that has a width of 50 meters. Originally, development was concentrated on the east side of Kanazawa Station. However, with the rapid development in the last few years, starting with the relocation of the Ishikawa prefectural building in 2003, this road became known as the sub-center of Ishikawa. Because it's an important road linking the region, it became generally known as the 50 Meter Road to the local citizens. Now, needless to say, it's name has become famous due to the launch of Granzella.


Kanazawa Tower's future look - A force that rivals the Prefectural building.

Kanazawa Tower Plan?

Granzella, in order to contribute to the development of the sub-center, is in the process of furthering various plans. One of these plans is called the "Kanazawa Tower Initiative." The aim of this is to set up a tower called "Kanazawa Tower" across the 50 Meter Road from the prefectural building. This will serve the purpose of increasing tourism and strengthening defense.




Taken from the north west side, this is considered to be the front.

At the east end of the 50 Meter Road there is an exceptionally eye-catching monument in the western plaza next to Kanazawa Station.
Kanazawa born metal sculptor, Shugoro-Hasuda, created this piece in 1989. The monument is named Yu-Yo. This character is outside the standard Kanji characters used in Japanese and it's difficult to use. However the meaning is roughly "soar into the spacious sky."

More than 60% of the people surveyed said that it looks to be some sort of character.



Exactly what this mysterious shape represents has not been disclosed, interpretations are left to the viewer. These questionnaire results are from the 2006 Urban Design Conference.

References: Urban Design Conference Hokuriku Block (2006) The Citizens' Views of the Kanazawa Public Art Project, 20-21.
The green light emitted from the Moongate changes direction depending on the time. It alternates between a single beam pointing at the sky, a single beam connecting the two monuments, and both beams connecting the monument and pointing towards the sky.





The revolutionary warriors are finished with the day's work. When returning home, some may notice a ray of green light rising towards the sky along the 50 Meter Road to the west. Where is this light being emitted from, and why? In order to unravel this mystery, we sent a research team west along the 50 Meter Road. When they arrived, they couldn't believe their eyes! Further west, past the Ishikawa prefectural offices, the light emanates from monuments known as the Moongate. It was established in 2002 with the motif of "Moon," as the name suggests. The purpose of the emitted light remains unknown, but it's still quite pretty.

Above, we explained some of the various mysteries surrounding the 50 Meter Road. At the time we were finishing the report, a member of the research team uttered a question that had the potential to radically alter the survey. "Is this road really 50 meters wide? It doesn't seem like it..."

If it's not actually 50 meters wide, then it's a big problem! We have to start an investigation immediately. But... How does one measure a road? We wanted to buy a machine to measure the distance, but it would be a waste to only use it for this article. Then suddenly one of our colleagues suggested to use his bike. It was a genius idea. Measure the number of tire rotations on the bike while crossing the road. Wrapping a string around the outside of the tire, we were able to learn the circumference of the tire was 2.17 meters. We made note of this number and began to measure three pedestrian crossings.

I don't even have an ordinary tape measure, I'll have to use a ruler. This is state of the art!

 

As we mumble counting, "3, 4, 5, 6..." people are suspicious of us as they cross the road. We are the Granzella Revolutionary Warriors!

We measured 23 rotations. We used a ruler when the remaining length was shorter than a tire rotation.


The Typical cross section view. The non-road areas are actually quite wide.

Finally the measurement is complete. The results are shown on the left. They're quite surprising. The road really was almost 50 meters across! We were betrayed at the last minute by a researcher speculating, "It's not 50 meters wide!" We're sorry for doubting. The 50 Meter Road will continue to be the 50 Meter Road from now on.

 

 

Well how about that... Our investigation team has been featured in reasonable themes such as Kanazawa Station, and Kenroku-en Garden, but this theme, the 50 Meter Road, is unbelievable. I thought, "What the heck could be so interesting on just this road?" We thought for sure it was a prank! But, as you've read, there were some interesting things! However, we'd like to choose the next spot. If you're keeping track, this is the longest article by far. It just goes to show that even on your daily commute, if you stop to look around, you can find some interesting things.

 

Where are there some interesting things along your commute?


The 50 Meter Road


A shrine dedicated to Toshiie Maeda. An innovative gate structure.
"Oyama Shrine"
It's not just the shrine gate. Oyama Shrine has amazing variety!