Up until very recently, depending on where you were on the spectrum of social politics, Miyashita Park was either a safehaven for those rejected from society, or a neighborhood blight that is breeding ground for trouble.
But on April 30th a brand new Miyashita Park opened to the public and, despite the same name, it is unrecognizable to anyone who knew it prior to its reincarnation. What used to be home to hundreds of homeless, the blue tarpaulin, cardboard boxes and tents that comprised their dwellings are now nowhere to be seen. What used to feel like a space so far-removed from civilization it felt like a different country, has now, perhaps by force, been integrated into the hip mega-district that is Shibuya. More on that here.
With funding from Nike and blueprints provided by renowned architects Atelier Bow-Wow, a brand new space for the local community, equipped with everything from skating ramps to rock-climbing walls, has been put in place. Theoretically, efforts were made to preserve some remnants of what is now past. For example, park tables are made from the old concrete walls of the park. However, it’s sad to think that the majority of people who are now enjoying this space have no idea about what it used to be.