This a recording of a temple located in Ohara, just outside Kyoto, named Sanzenin. An important site for the Tendai school of Buddhism, this large complex houses many artistic and religious treasures. One of the compound buildings featured a uguisubari (translated as ‘nightingale floor’). This kind of flooring was...>>
Public space is notable for its sounds as well as its silences, and this shifts over temporal and seasonal changes. We would expect that this small park in the heart of Kyoto would sound differently at night than during the day, but the differences between week days and week ends are also illustrative of the changing tempo of daily life in Japan.
During the week, preschool children with their carers and the elderly are common sights at these parks but increasingly we see salaried workers spending their lunch hours reading and relaxing (as in this photograph). The use of parks by office workers demonstrates that the pace of the work day in Japan is changing, and for better or worse, Japanese workers are now interacting more directly with outdoor public space, seeking out a pleasant sensory environments such as these which are much different from their office interiors.