July 30, 2007

Seven riddles suggest a secret city beneath Tokyo - Why would there be secret tunnels under the streets of Tokyo?

Former television journalist turned author Shun Akiba says he has evidence of tunnels under the city of Tokyo, Japan, that are not a part of the nation's transportation system, but that officials deny they exist and refuse to divulge any information. This is a rather elderly article, but worth a look.

  • That's where they hide the giant robots.
  • Glad you got that out of the way first.
  • Interesting.
  • Funny, this is all over the internet this morning... I figured it must be viral marketing for some up-coming movie, but metafilter's got an fpp back in 2003, so I guess it's just... viral. Every single web-sighting that allows comments has some iteration of the "giant robots" gag, by the way.
  • I was going to say that same thing, Nick, LOL. The article is from 2003, & Akiba is legit. Can't find his book on Amazon. Probly hasn't been translated.
  • Funny that this would pop up like that. Doesn't seem all that surprising to me, especially in a city like Tokyo. I recall reading about similar tunnels years back while doing my studies in urban planning (I don't recall if these are the same or not). Nonetheless, quite fascinating. Joe Nishizawa: Japan’s underground photography Dark Roasted Blend has some goodies up as well.
  • Well, the Japanese were masters of underground base building on occupied territory during WWII, so it isn't surprising that they did it at home.
  • So, abandoned military defense tunnels currently used for... storage? Testing? Japanese military development was quite the no-no for a long time, but it seems unlikely that it would have stopped altogether, doesn't it? Or maybe just kept classified for unspecified future use.
  • "In London, for example, some lines are near the surface and others very deep, for no obvious reason." Some reasons, off the top of my head: 1) some early lines wer ebuilt by 'cut and cover' methods, so are, essentially, in a big ditch with a lid on. Hence, near the surface. 2) London has varying subsoils, so lines have to be built at varying depths to cope with the different material (I am not an engineer) 3) London has some steep hills, therefore Highgate Station (at the top of a hill) is rather 'deeper' than Chalk Farm (at the bottom of the hill. 4) some lines are new, some are old. Tunnelling techniques have altered in the 120+ years that the tube's been around.
  • 5) Secret underground temple of Gog and Magog+reservoir for blood of sacrificed children.
  • It's where they keep the pickles.
  • Reference- 1. Tony Blair Christmas Card 2004-2006.
  • This calls for a fact-finding scouting trip. "Your mission, Gomi, should you choose to accept it..."
  • Big O! Showtime!
  • I'm scared of the dark! But it's pretty well known there are tunnels everywhere. Not sure how one would get permission to access them though.
  • tl;dr - no, I will, I just don't have time at the moment. this is more a response to the comments about London: check out a book called London Under London, which is a heavily-illustrated history of all kinds of tunnels and workings under London, including the river(s) which have disappeared to the underground levels. I don't know if it has THE answers, but it has SOME answers.
  • Fascinating article, cheers HM. I'll pop down the London tube next time I'm on a site visit. I know we're working on using the old extended shelter tunnels for something, and of course Aldwych station still has posters from the 40's in it. And as for the old Post Office Railway... "Mind the doors!"
  • Meanwhile, in Paris...
  • Strange...