"We can characterize the culture in an area in direct connection with native conditions such as climate. But in the age of free and rapid cultural exchange, it is also important to identity a culture through the influence of adoption and transformation of non-native cultures. Here, the author has tried to identify Japanese space by investigating the modern history of its urban design which is considered to be a process of constant rebuilding, taking Western cities as models. Japanese native culture had developed sufficiently during several centuries of national isolation to construct pre-modern cities. Main cities called "Jokä-machi", the largest one of which was Edo, the former Tokyo, had an identifiable townscape we can see in the "Meisho-zue", a series of pictures of noted places in cities. After the turning point of the Meiji Restoration (1867), Japan opened to the world and actively imported Western culture and technology to modernize the country. As for urban design, elements such as streets, parks, buildings and planning theories on them were imported from Europe by means of literature, invited professionals and the influence of a few Japanese who inspected or studied in Western countries. These imported design forms served as the model in rebuilding their pre-modern cities. Today, after a century-long effort, Japanese urbanscapes have completely metamorphosed from the pre-modern ones but have not emerged like their Western models. In Tokyo, where the largest energy was devoted, this has happened in spite of two excellent chances to rebuild most of its urban structures after great disasters. The models are realized only as parts scattered in cities and they are transformed to some extent when compared with the originals. This fact tells us something about Japanese preference in urbanscape design.This paper examines firstly the kind of Western urban design forms chosen and interpreted as their model and secondly the way in which the realized examples were transformed and the influence of the matured pre-modern urabanscape design. Vista composition is a noted example. Vista scenes realized in Japan were modified to a more informal taste so that, for example, too foliaged trees along approach street often obstructs the clear view of the focal building. Another example can be found in the design of street crossings. Western style structures often appeared here first but the concept of positive space surrounded by building in a united style was never realized. Striking buildings, symbols of the West or modernity were placed together in locations regarded from the Edo era as nodes in the city. These studies have uncovered some characteristics of Japanese urbanscape design as follows; 1) a preference for undefined and weak connections between elements composing the space rather than for physically defined space in geometrical form. 2) an emphasis on the meaning of elements and episodes related to them rather than on visual form. This tendency allows for the distortion of form and the juxtaposition of different elements. These characteristics are deeply rooted in Japanese traditional urbanscape design and at the same time they can explain well the vital but chaotic situation of today's urbanscape. They are therefore worthy of examination as a key to set a new model for the next century."