Hi, I’m Mark and I’m a Smith’s teacher at Smith’s school of English Fukushima. The Fukushima school is located very close to Osaka’s northern business area known as Umeda. Sometimes when I have some free time between lessons I like to go for walks around the Fukushima and Umeda areas. Last week I was out walking together with a student when we came across an amazing piece of Japanese engineering. At first it is hard to believe your eyes but upon close examination we discover our eyes have been truthful. There it is, right there before you. It is an expressway going through a building. I know this expressway is called the Hanshin Express-way and carries cars coming into Osaka from the northern areas including Itami airport. The building is called the “Gate Tower Building”.
The student I was walking with has lived in Fukushima since 1992 and so I asked when this expressway / building combination was built. He said this tunnel was already built when he first arrived in Fukushima. Now although I was not able to find the exact date we do know the expressway has been passing through the building at least since 1992. Now when we think about this we must agree 1992 is quite a long time ago. Possibly in these modern times we might even think that this highway is not such a special thing but back in 1992 this kind of engineering would have been at the front of world class engineering. Truly amazing for 1992. Truly interesting in 2013.
There more I think about this expressway going through a building the stronger one question grows in my mind.
Which came first, the building or the expressway?