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chlorophyll cleansing

In a recent survey on the world's most expensive cities, Osaka was listed in eighth position. Although city officials were disappointed at not coming first, they were delighted by good news from another survey, the results of which were released yesterday.

The survey, called City With The Least Amount Of Greenery, had Osaka in first place. Here are the results:
(Figures in brackets indicate % of city with greenery.)

1. Osaka (0.01%)
2. Kabul (4%)
3. Baghdad (6%)

Tourists on the train from Kansai Airport to the city centre can often be heard to utter, "There's a lot of concrete, isn't there." And they're not wrong. This is largely the result of the authorities moving about the city under the cover of darkness, engaging in what has become known as chlorophyll cleansing.

Here is an aerial shot of paved Osaka:

Parks are banned, as are grass tennis courts. People nurture plants in their homes at their own risk. All this just to ensure that Osaka maintains its top spot as the city with the least amount of greenery.

However, one patch of grass remains undiscovered by the authorities. Residents living close to it guard it religiously and use it on a rota basis. In the photo below a man enjoys reading a newspaper during his 20 minutes of allotted time.

Though most of the city has been paved over, Mother Nature is fighting back. Recently I stumbled across something quite extraordinary. A plant actually growing out of the concrete. By the looks of it, it's been growing for a quite a while, somehow escaping the attention of passers by. But one wonders how long it'll be before a car runs over it, a person steps on it, or the authorities drop by with their cleansing equipment....

The courageous plant, proudly mocking the authorities by having the cheek to grow in an unexpected place.

a miracle in osaka
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On Sunday, 24 June, 2007, Blogger Gavin said:

Ha Ha, funny, but what about Osaka Castle! Actually the lack of greenery made the Castle grounds look very impressive, maybe more then they really are.  

On Sunday, 24 June, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where is that last patch of grass, Englishman? You can sign me up for guard duty...you can count on me!  

On Sunday, 24 June, 2007, Blogger Zac Bentz said:

Do you have a link to this survey?  

On Monday, 25 June, 2007, Blogger BIGmog said:

What about the large park all around Osaka castle?  

On Tuesday, 26 June, 2007, Blogger owenandbenjamin said:

It's good to be number 1 in something. At least they are ahead of Bagdahd.  

On Thursday, 28 June, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

We leaving the glass at Osaka castel to be enjoyed and evenly walked on by masses. Osaka castel glass is for the peoeple and by the peoeple. Necessary if we feel to take, we will painting green the ground looking like glass.  

On Thursday, 28 June, 2007, Blogger Citizen_Stu said:

I'm going to travel to Osaka and sell grass (not the smoking kind). I'll make millions.  

On Thursday, 28 June, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why are parks banned? Or greenery? No logic.  

On Thursday, 28 June, 2007, Blogger Unknown said:

This post - like the rest, is total genius!


On Thursday, 28 June, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Funny as always :)
I thought exactly the same when I went to Osaka.
Kyoto seemed like Tokyo but with some trees, and then I went to Osaka and realised that Tokyo is like Osaka, but with trees.
And the endless suburbs with no green areas... it's kind of depressing  

On Tuesday, 03 July, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

The first thing that hit me when I came back to London from Japan was the amount of trees we have. The joy was short lived when I realised we have shit customer service.  

On Tuesday, 07 August, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Very funny indeed. But then you have to laugh or...

When I came in on the shinkansen from Tokyo, it was like travelling through Saitama. And then you arrive- and it still looks like Saitama! The yakuza shirts sure liven the place up though...  

On Sunday, 12 August, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:


being a dog in osaka must be tough, no where to piss...

so the owner nd 2 carry a enviro bag 4 me poo n a PET bottle 4 me piss..

wat a dogs life..  

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