A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Plans for the New City Hall Building

If you want to talk to someone at the Board of Education, you have to go to the Toyosato Branch Office of Tsukuba City Hall. If you want to update the details on your Alien Registration card, you have to go to the Sakura Branch Office of Tsukuba City Hall. If you want to talk to the mayor, you have to go to the Yatabe Branch Office of Tsukuba City Hall.

Confusing? Yep, it sure is. The reason there are so many city government buildings in Tsukuba is because Tsukuba was originally made up of separate towns and villages that had their own local governments. When the towns and villages merged to make what is now Tsukuba City, the old local government offices were taken over by the new city government and each given a slightly different task.

While this system is commendable, in that it made good use of buildings that were already there, it is outrageously confusing to people who have just arrived in Tsukuba, and not a little bit frustrating to anyone who has had to visit several different buildings in different corners of the city in order to complete some official business.

This is all set to change. Plans are afoot to build a new, integrated city hall building 500m to the west of Kenkyu Gakuen Station. The building is going to be 7 storeys (34m) tall and 20,385m2 in total floor space, set on a 66,000m2 campus. It is set to be completed in the Spring of 2010 (although after all the waiting we had to do for the Tsukuba Express to start operation, I am not holding my breath).

Here are some pdf files that will give you an idea of what it is supposed to look like.
View of Exterior
View of Interior
Assembly Hall
Design Plan (in Japanese)

Source: Tsukuba City Hall Website

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