In Japanese, shitamachi (下町） literally means "lower city" – in other words, down by the river. But it's as much an economic distinction as a geographical one: shitamachi neighborhoods tend to be ramshackle and full of collapsing buildings. (of course, the "new trendy" sections of Tokyo are often full of super expensive apartments the size of closets, while on the other hand, shitamachi people often own their own property, so who is to say you should judge a book by its cover?)
Anyway, I like shitamachi places because they often have a cool, post-war vibe. The buildings look like they were thrown up in a hurry after the bombs. It's not slick or kawaii. Actually, shitamachi is popular with native Japanese for the same reasons!!
Anyway, here are some photos from an east-Tokyo neighborhood called Mukoujima:
The cluster of buildings above is so random it looks like some Katamari Damacy shit!
The "haunted house" above? that's actually A DENTIST'S OFFICE. Let's see more:
Fuck! Wonder if they get a lot of repeat customers??
Above: the Dove shopping mall in Mukoujima.
(actually all the bombed-out ruins are ALSO in the mall).
Below, some classic "tiny as fuck" tokyo architecture, in Meguro:
below, another haunted house (オバケ屋敷） （’obake yashiki')
In case you dare to knock on the door: it's at
Sumida ku, Agatsumabashi, 2-chome-5-9.
Don't be too scared, though .. . it's right next to a high-class jewelry store.
I imagine there have been words exchanged.
Below: Asakusa 3-chome shitamachi:
a18 comments Tags: asakusa, mukojima —