Photo 1: South view from the top of one of the high-rise buildings. © Yasuhiro Iye.
First of all, let's take a brief look at the history of the location for Kashiwa Campus: Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture. During the Edo period (early 17th to mid-19th centuries) the area was known as Koganemaki and was a small corner of Katsushika district in Shimousa-no-kuni. It was used as pasture land for the battle horses of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Following the Meiji Restoration in the mid- to late-19th century, development of new rice paddies was implemented and villages and communities were given names based on ascending numeric values, including Hatsutomi (one), Futawa (two), Misaki (three), Toyoshiki (four), Goko (five), Mutsumi (six), Nanae (seven), and Yachimata (eight). The district that includes Kashiwanoha was known as Toyofuta, or No. 12 district. In the 1930s Kashiwa Air Field was constructed for military use. Following the end of the Second World War repatriated Japanese civilians and former military personnel settled in the area to deal with food shortages, but upon the outbreak of the Korean War what is today the Kashiwanoha district was acquired by the United States military and put to use as a communications base. This U.S. base was finally returned to Japan in 1979. The history of the district as a military base is the reason why such a large tract of land within 30 km of central Tokyo remained undeveloped for so long.
Photo 2: Aerial photo taken from the southwest. © Kashiwa Administrative Office.
The initiative to build a third campus at Kashiwa that would act as a third base for the University of Tokyo together with the campuses at Hongo and Komaba was promoted and advanced under University presidents Arima, Yoshikawa and Hasumi. The first phase of development began with the acquisition of a 12 ha piece of land that forms the eastern part of the campus today, and construction started in 1997. It was at almost exactly the same time that the national and local governments took the initiative to develop and construct Kashiwanoha Park, the Customs Training Institute, the National Research Institute of Police Science, the Kashiwa Training Center of the College of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and Tokatsu Techno Plaza, all of which are nearby. In 1998, the first building to be completed on Kashiwa Campus was the low-rise laboratory of the Institute for Solid State Physics and the first groups to move in and start work were the laser and high-field magnetics groups. At the end of 1999 the main buildings for the Institute for Solid State Physics and the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR) were completed and both these organizations transferred all their operations to Kashiwa. In October 2000, at a point when much of the major infrastructure on campus had been completed, including linking roads within the site, an official unveiling ceremony took place. Subsequently, phase two of the campus project was launched with the acquisition of a further 12 ha of land on what is now the western side of the campus and construction of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences and Kashiwa library was started. Since then further facilities have been added, including the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli-IPMU), the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute and Kashiwa Research Complex 2. The campus is currently home to approximately 3,000 teaching staff, graduate students and researchers and the 24 ha site is already close to reaching full capacity.
Photo 3: Western side of campus (Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences). © Yasuhiro Iye.
Photo 4: Eastern side of campus (Institute for Solid State Physics, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR)). © Yasuhiro Iye.
Photo 5: Night view of the campus. © Kavli IPMU
Photo 6: The cafeteria in the evening. © Yasuhiro Iye.
Let us now take a look around the campus. In photograph 1 you can see the view from the roof of the Institute for Solid State Physics, looking southward in a panorama stretching from east to west over almost 180 degrees (the photograph was taken using swing panorama* which causes the slight distortion at the edges). From the left-hand side you can see the National Cancer Center, the group of high-rise condominiums around Tsukuba Express Kashiwanoha Campus Station, and the baseball ground and all-purpose stadium within Kashiwanoha Park (home ground of J-League team Kashiwa Reysol). On an extremely clear day it is possible to see Tokyo Sky Tree and Mt. Fuji in the distance on the right of the photograph. In the foreground the greenery of Kashiwa Campus can be seen. There were originally a variety of trees on the site, to which have been added others, which have been transplanted from other locations. These include the large laurel trees that were moved from the former Kashiwa Golf Club, which closed down following the start of construction on the Tsukuba Express train line, and the cherry and plum trees that were brought from the former Roppongi Campus. Photograph 2 is an aerial photo taken from the southwest. This photo shows that Kashiwa Campus is built on an East-West axis, with a central row of 32m-high buildings, beyond which (on the north wide) are the special laboratories (low-rise buildings). Photograph 3 shows the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute (left side of the photo) and the research building of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, which are situated from the western edge of the campus through to the center. Photograph 4 shows the Institute for Solid State Physics, Kavli-IPMU, and the research building of the ICRR, which are situated from the center of the campus through to the eastern edge. Photographs 5 and 6 are night views of the campus. The blue and purple lights that can be seen in the center of photo 5 are the LED illuminations on the roof of Kavli-IPMU. In the cafeteria in photo 6 you can make out the figures of many graduate students who are taking an evening meal in advance of their long hours of research until late at night. In addition to the cafeteria there is also another snack bar called "Plaza Ikoi," in addition to which there is the university's one and only sushi bar on the corner of the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute.
Photo 7: Snowscape at Gorokurou Pond. © Yasuhiro Iye.
Photo 8: Stone sculpture and Newton's apple tree. © Yasuhiro Iye.
Photo 9: Campus promenade and colonnade of Japanese zelkova trees. © Yasuhiro Iye.
On the southern side of the campus there is a storm water reservoir that has been named "Gorokuro Pond," (literally "5-6 Pond") with a nod to "Sanshiro Pond" at Hongo Campus (literally "3-4 Pond"). Koi carp that have been donated by local benefactors swim in this pond and ducks swim across its surface. Photograph 7 shows Gorokuro Pond covered in snow. There are many wild birds on Kashiwa Campus and from time to time you can even see a Japanese pheasant. Photograph 8 shows a stone sculpture that is located in one corner of the campus and behind that, surrounded by fencing is a tree with an ancient and honorable pedigree—it is the descendant of Isaac Newton's own apple tree, provided by Koishikawa Botanical Garden. Photograph 9 shows the promenade that runs in front of the high-rise research buildings. The Japanese zelkova trees that were planted at the time of the establishment of the campus have now grown to around 10m in height.
Photo 10: Kashiwa Campus Open Day and Chiba Prefecture mascot "Chiba-kun." © Kashiwa Administrative Office.
Photo 11: Kashiwa Campus Open Day. Exhibition in the lobby space of the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute. © Kashiwa Administrative Office.
Photo 12: Blackboard at Kavli IPMU. © Kashiwa Administrative Office.
Kashiwa Open Campus is held every year in mid- to late-October. Each year some 6,000 visitors come to the campus on the Friday and Saturday of the open day. The red bear surrounded by female high school students in Photograph 10 is the official mascot of Chiba Prefecture "Chi-ba kun." From the side "Chi-ba kun" is shaped to match the actual shape of Chiba Prefecture. Unfortunately, unlike some other more famous prefectural mascots "Chi-ba kun" is not well known and does not enjoy a nationwide following. Photograph 11 shows an exhibition in the high lobby of the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, where a touch pool was created, containing such creatures as sea urchins, starfish and sea cucumbers. Photograph 12 shows the massive blackboard that has been set up in the corridor of Kavli-IPMU. Here the remains of previous discussions about the origins of space and physics are left on the board for all to see. The local residents who visited the facility on the open day looked at the formulae on the board with a sense of wonder.
Kashiwa Campus is surrounded by a rich natural environment and is a perfect place to engage in research and also other activities, not least of which is sport. We hope that the campus will continue to grow and develop, while maintaining its green credentials.
* Swing panorama: An automated composite panoramic photography function developed by Sony.