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Saturday, December 07, 2019, 14:19
'Little Kyoto' to emerge in Dalian
By The Japan News/ANN
Saturday, December 07, 2019, 14:19 By The Japan News/ANN

Construction work for the “Kyoto-Style Street” project is under way in a suburb of Dalian, China, Nov 11, 2019. (PHOTO / THE JAPAN NEWS)

DALIAN - A mega project to recreate a Kyoto-style townscape is underway in the Chinese seaport city of Dalian, Liaoning province.

 A Chinese real estate developer plans to erect a group of buildings modeled after shopping streets in front of temples and shrines in Kyoto and traditional Japanese houses to sell them as vacation villas and commercial facilities. Such a project with a Japanese theme is unusual in China.

Dalian Shuyuan Group plans to erect a group of buildings modeled after shopping streets in front of temples and shrines in Kyoto and traditional Japanese houses to sell them as vacation villas and commercial facilities

A signboard that reads “Kyoto-Style Street” stands in a corner of the Jinshitan resort area — about 40 kilometers northeast of central Dalian — where construction involving heavy machinery is ongoing.

According to the project’s developer, the Dalian Shuyuan Group, this is a huge project with a total area of 630,000 square meters and a total investment of 6 billion yuan (about US$853 million).

Construction work started in July and will be completed in three phases.

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The first phase, covering about 160,000 square meters, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020. This development is modeled after the Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka slopes near Kiyomizudera temple, both famous sightseeing spots in Kyoto. A Japanese architect will design the Kyoto-style townscape, with roofing tiles to be imported from Japan.

 “In the future, I hope that stores from Kyoto will join our commercial area and operate shops,” an official at the developer said.

The megaproject was triggered by the popularity of Japanese-style villas and hot spring inns that the group developed and started selling in 2015.

The group’s vice-president, Zhang Yang, 63, who is responsible for this project, showed her confidence, referring to the ancient capital city of Heian-kyo (modern-day Kyoto) constructed in the 8th century, which was modeled after a capital of China’s Tang dynasty (7th-10th centuries).

“The Kyoto townscape is popular among Chinese people, because Heian-kyo was influenced by the Tang dynasty,” said Zhang.

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Zhang said: “Kyoto has beautifully preserved its buildings influenced by the Tang dynasty. Showing respect for Kyoto will lead to a reevaluation of the Tang culture.”

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