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Realistic Map of a Metropolis

A Most Detailed Map of a City Which Doesn’t Exist

Enchant, Inspire

A Japanese designer made an incredibly realistic map of a metropolis which existed only in his mind.

Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” 

—Italo Calvino

Anyone who has visited a Japanese city knows that its configuration (and, therefore, its essence) won’t resemble any other city. With these unique patterns in mind, the Japanese designer Imaizumi Takayuki invented his own city, Nagomuru, in the imaginary region of Naira. He created plans with so many details that it seems incredible that the metropolis existed only, ever, in his imagination. The maps, divided into 30 districts, are part of the Let’s Go to The Imaginary Cities project.

The meticulousness of Imaizumi’s work has made his imaginary city the subject of exhibitions, gifts, and even a book. On the designer’s site, it’s possible to review the lost property of some of the inhabitants of Nagomuru. Included, of course, are credit cards from the central bank of the metropolitan area. The description of the fantasy city includes train lines, stations, temples, housing complexes, convenience stores, schools, logos of the brands in the city and even antique maps of Nagomuru.

This project was conceived by Imaizumi when he was ten years old and is part of the long list of fictional cities that inhabit the imagination (many of them are recorded in the fantastic book, Imaginary Cities by Darran Anderson). If Italo Calvino’s premise in The Invisible Cities is true, that “a city is the desire for a city,” then the Japanese designer’s exercise is an act nearly of magic or illusionism, one which allows a nonexistent space to take on an individual materialization. (And this opens the way to all of the possible stories we could imagine of the inhabitants of a city that is almost real.)

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