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Kyoto’s Road to Somewhere
Recognize This Place?  --  Oofuse Tunnel (大布施トンネル)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/9, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Recognize This Place?

Five and a half years ago — 1,609 blog posts ago — I postedKyoto’s Road to Nowhere”, about a bridge that led straight into the rocky face of a mountain:

Bridge to Nowhere 5½ years ago  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright  2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Bridge to Nowhere
5½ years ago

On a mountain fall-foliage-photography drive yesterday with Paul Barr and Damien Douxchamps, we came across the same bridge, now with the addition of a tunnel (the Oofuse Tunnel; 大布施トンネル))...

Kyoto's Road to Nowhere Now goes somewhere 京都市左京区花脊大布施町 ( sorry for the over-the-top processing; I was just playing around in Lightroom )  --  Oofuse Tunnel (大布施トンネル)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 140mm — 1/400 sec, f/9, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto's Road to Nowhere
Now goes somewhere
京都市左京区花脊大布施町
( sorry for the over-the-top processing; I was just playing around in Lightroom )

It's still a monumental waste of money, considering the expense that two bridges and one tunnel must have cost, and the total lack of apparent benefit in bypassing a few hundred meters of pleasant road.

One can hope that it's merely the first step to some purposeful multi-decade plan to turn the almost-unused lazy mountain road into some kind of life-giving transportation artery for some far-flung population of taxpayers languishing in dire need, but it's much more likely that the local ward had to expend the money one year or risk having next year's budget cut by the amount unspent. As wholly unfathomable is it sounds, that's apparently how it works in Japan. (And by a quirk of Kyoto geopolitics, the “local ward” of this far-flung place an hour's drive away is actually the same ward that I live in, so it's my tax yen paying for it. Ugh.)

I've still not driven on the bridges or through the tunnel; we opted to spend the extra 30 seconds to take the more pleasant long way around.

Sorry, no wigglegrams this time.


Comments so far....

“that’s apparently how it works in Japan.”

Not just Japan. I have heard of similar situations many, many times here in the US, too. Especially state departments worried about budget cuts if they don’t spend every dime allotted. My husband works Dept of Corrections in South Dakota. They spent thousands of dollars on a fancy rope course to teach the youth at one of their corrections facilities, thousands more on training staff to use the course – all to use up excess funds. And all while they nitpick about overtime with understaffed, overworked employees.

— comment by ladysaotome on November 27th, 2012 at 2:06am JST (1 year, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Now that I see the original picture I understand why you were so puzzled! The place changed a lot…

— comment by Damien on December 2nd, 2012 at 4:23pm JST (1 year, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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