The main lesson from Japan is how urban cities are evolving with their major focus on turn on turn up and go metro rail networks supported by apartment buildings in mixed use precincts. There is an efficiency to the use of space and of how people can move across metropolitan areas. At the inter-city scale this is symbolised by the Shinkansen Bullet train as it glides across the Japanese landscape at an incredible speed.
There are many things Australia can learn from Japan in the development of their cities. There is an incredible number of metro style train lines through Tokyo supplemented by an efficient bus service. There is the prefabricated building system with its attention to detail and there is the balance of urban form and nature. Australian cities are close to Japan with a time difference of only two hours. While Japan’s population at 180 million is well above Australia’s it is predicted to drop to around 120 million in 40 years time. This will clearly have implications for the amount of new housing needed and Japan is now discussing options around this.