Mike Stevens | May 22, 2008

That sounds quite ominous, doesn't it? Lengths of concrete reinforcement steel—"reo" in tradey speak—sneaking out and wrapping itself around the feet of unsuspecting pedestrians, gorging itself on the sustenance needed to multiply and cover the city in more and more highways... Alright, too much sci-fi in my house perhaps.

With Japan being such a densely packed nation—nearly 125 million people (almost half the population of the entire United States) squeezing themselves into an area only 1/3 bigger than the Australian state of Victoria, home to only 5 million—its people have learned over time to make the most of the available space. From living in smaller homes and sleeping in beds that fold away during the day, to reclaiming land from the very sea around them, they've actually become quite adept at it.

It's no surprise then that Tokyo, Japan's glittery capital city, would have one of the most complex series of elevated roadways in the world. Made famous among the west's young car enthusiasts by manga comics and video games like Wangan Midnight, it's startling—even confounding—just how intricate this system is.

What might seem like an eyesore to many is probably one of the more seductive sights for most car enthusiasts. With high concrete walls for your turbo or exhaust to reverberate off as you power past Camrys and Accords and very few hidey holes for clever police boys to hide in, it almost seems like the car lover's version of a deserted island in paradise. Except with concrete. And overhead lights. And other people.

For some idea of just how beautiful these massive structures can be, get yourself a gander at Ken Ohyama’s Flickr account.

Do you have any photos of beautiful urban road systems that you've taken yourself? Why not send us one or two of your favourites? Maybe, just maybe, we might just have a special little prize or two for the wiz behind our favourite submission.

[via Japanese Nostalgic Car]

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