Hanshin Expressway Plows Through Building


This is the Gate Tower Building in downtown Osaka, an otherwise nondescript office high-rise except for the fact that the Hanshin Expressway plows right through the middle of it.

How did this happen? Apparently it’s the result of a freak zoning loophole that can be traced back to the Meiji Era. Construction negotiations stood at an impasse for five years, and when the builders finally reached a compromise, this is what happened.

The highway bores through levels 5 through 7 of the building, but lest an errant car come barreling through some hapless office worker’s cubicle, those floors contain no tenants, only elevator shafts and stairwells. In somewhat comical Japanese fashion, this most obvious trait was completely ignored when nicknaming the building, which has been christened¬† “the beehive” due to its busy atmosphere. Follow the jump for one more photo of what it looks like as you’re about to drive through it.

[Image: Wikipedia]

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3 Responses to Hanshin Expressway Plows Through Building

  1. salvador hugo said:

    That is cool…. I would worry about the noise since majority of their highway has some sort of sound proofing. Driving around Japan is no Joke specially if you’re so used to with the U.S system. Every where you go when using the expressway has a lot of toll charges and the worst part about it if you dont know exactly where you going and somehow get lost, you will be spending a lot of Yen just to get back.

  2. Bob said:

    That is awesome.

  3. Kimico said:

    Wow! That is very impressive having an expressway going right thru a busy building. Only in Japan my friends, only in Japan.