When I returned Japan for the late summer vacation three weeks ago, the most notable changes occurred in the suburbs. More restaurants, more mobile phone service stations, more small offices, more DIY malls. They indicated two trends.
1. The sceneries are getting uglier. In order to fight for attention, these buildings boast colorful billboards and eye-catching structures. There is nothing wrong with them, it is just that they totally lack unity. No coherence, no orderliness, no cooperations. If rows of them stood side by side, as in Hong Kong or downtown Taipei, they would have made a sensational, Blade-Runneristic cybertown. But they don’t. Instead they are meshed up with rice fields, electric poles, vegetable fields, and traffic lights. When focusing on individual buildings we might find some evidence of local architects trying to do their best artistic work despite mounting limitations. Putting together, all they give us is a gigantic chaos. Structured, but chaos. We’ll see. Maybe someday, something interesting will come up from this gotchas.
2. People are relying on restaurants and shops more than ever. Goodbye to the days of DIYs and local communities, welcome to the isolations and shoppings.
Changes always bring both good and bad side effects – for those knowing the old days (like me), good things are likely filtered out. If I am missing a good trend, what might it be?