'Little Kyoto' to emerge in Dalian
DALIAN, China (The Japan News/ANN) - 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”