The “Log Road” commercial facility in Tokyo’s trendy Daikanyama has become a popular attraction for fashionable people looking for an oasis in the heart of the megalopolis. Built on the former ToYoko train lines (the lines were moved into a tunnel to make way for a major reconstruction of the Shibuya Station complex) with the aim of greening the neighbourhood, the five shops making up the shopping street are all fully clad in the highest quality Western Red Cedar and surrounded by cedar decking as well as beautiful landscaping. Here you will also find one of the best Tokyo bakeries with a large patio, clothing and sneakers, as well as one of the first major craft breweries in the city. It is also a popular spot for fashion shoots thanks to the beauty of the WRC backdrop.
As a result, it has become the BC Wood Japan Office’s unofficial second showroom. Located only 100m from the BC Wood Tokyo Showroon/Office, any first-time visitor is offered a tour of Log Road to see one of the best examples of wood use right in the middle of a “fire zone.” Seeing WRC used under such a restrictive building code, architects and builders from across Japan have become inspired to use wood in their own projects. People just assume that wood cannot be incorporated into such urban commercial facilities, but seeing is truly believing.
We have had the pleasure of touring many dignitaries through Log Road and this has resumed with the lifting of COVID restrictions. In May, we had the pleasure of welcoming British Columbia’s Premier, the Honourable David Eby, to Log Road and taking his delegation through the facility. The Premier listened intently as I explained how the project came to be, why WRC was specified, as well as the effect it has had on the neighbourhood. This project also showed his delegation the opportunity for BC forest products in Japan’s commercial sector. After the tour, the Premier’s delegation sat down for a market overview and update presented by COFI Japan’s Managing Director Shawn Lawlor. Shawn and I also explained the importance of provincial funding for our collective initiatives that develop new export opportunities for British Columbia’s forest products industry.
At the end of the meeting, the Premier left Log Road seemingly very happy having learned a little about the Japanese market as well as having been able to visit this little piece of British Columbia on the other side of the world.