Short short with English summary                              

東京の都心にある日本橋は、江戸時代から今日まで400年間、日本の中心とされている。  最近、日本橋のホテルの標高150mの高さから、東京市街を2週間ほど連日眺める機会があった。 観光の名所として、十分に値する美しさで、特に夜景が美しかった。
間もなく、夏の観光・外国旅行シーズンが始まる。 日本に帰った皆さんから、旅先の食事への満足度・不満足度の話題に比べて、「あそこは良かった。」「あの街並みが良かった。」という感想を聞くことの方が多い。 特に、ヨーロッパ帰りの場合に多い。
これは、町並み・景観・公園見物のことではなく、実は、活き活きとした都市生活を見聞・体験した感想なのである。 だから、市場・小公園の楽しい印象が強く残る。 そこでは、都市生活の日常的な断面を鮮やかに感じることができる、これが理由である。
東京都心部では、オフイスビルをさらに高層化し、大型化する、取壊し・建替え工事が今盛んである。 人の住まない大型ビルに挟まれた並木・小公園・高級志向商店街を建設しても、都市生活者達の生活の質は良くならないし、彼らの人生を幸福にはしない。
Gorgeous skyscrapers
Nihonbashi has been considered as the center of Japan for 400 years. Recently I had occasions to do a sort of sky view sightseeing over the central part of Tokyo from a tower of a hotel in Nihonbashi, from a height of 150m above sea level, for 2 weeks. The spectacles of views were so impressive enough to be ranked as one of the best new sight seeing points of Tokyo. The night views were especially beautiful.
But, the night scenes of the central part of Tokyo which I enjoyed were the skyscrapers after the offices had been closed, i.e. empty buildings. The numbers of the residents in the central part of Tokyo are very close to zero.
In the world, even in the big cities such as London, Paris and New York, the major parts of their central parts have proper residents. Most of the buildings are for residential uses. The street floors and sometimes the first floors can be shops, stores and offices, but above them are flats, apartments. Only the very limited quarters in the really central areas can consist of non residential office / commercial buildings.
Summer is coming. Many Japanese will take holiday tours abroad. When they return from their tours their comments are often that how nice and cozy the cities and towns were, instead of comments on the foods or on the restaurants.
Those comments on the cities which impressed them are actually not on the townscapes or buildings but the urban lives of the citizens they had visited. Therefore the impressions from the markets and little parks have left in their memories such clear and vivid memories.
In Tokyo, the majority of the citizens live in far outskirts, the areas so called newly developed residential areas. Living in the middle and high rise flats or tightly built groups of small houses, and everyday spending on long trips to the central area of Tokyo, they neither enjoy urban lives with rich cultural and joyful consumers’ amenities nor appreciate country lives with clear sun shine, fresh air and promenades in nature.
Today in the central part of Tokyo, you meet many building sites. Not so old buildings, not older than 50 years and quite big ones are being demolished to give space for even bigger taller skyscrapers. The new ones would be over 200m high.
Huge office buildings, between them streets nicely decorated with trees, small parks, and exclusive commercial amenities but without any residents shall not evoke happy urban lives.