Kayashima: The Japanese Train Station

The large camphor tree is older than most records but officials believe it to be around 700 years old. Kayashima Station first opened in 1910. At the time the camphor tree stood right next to the station. For the next 60 years the station remained largely unchanged. But an increase in population and overcrowding began to put pressure on the station and plans for an expansion where approved Picture2.2in 1972, which called for the tree to be cut down.

But the camphor tree had long been associated with a local shrine and deity. And when locals found out that station officials planned to remove the tree there was a large uproar. the station officials eventually agreed to keep the tree and incorporate it into the new elevated platform’s design. In 1973 construction began and the new station was completed in 1980. The station even surrounded the base of the tree with a small shrine.

I feel like this is a beautiful example of how nature and architecture can work together. This inspires me to look at things in other ways. In this case they should not have simply planned to cut down a 700-year-old tree. Instead they should have started to explore other avenues with their original plans, to include the tree from the outset. This also shows me that even if you think that things are not going to plan, they can often end up evolving to something quite stunning. This building would loose it’s significant individuality if the original plans had gone ahead! The intertwined tree encompasses more than mere history, it has become an integral part of the structure steadfast in it’s surroundings.

 

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