Tokyo is in a constant state of flux, and over the last several years or so that pace of change really has gone up a gear or two, with countless post-war and wonderfully patched up structures falling foul of the continually circling demolition crews.
Thankfully, in a city so large, old bits do remain, and the street below provides the perfect example of how the city was, along with how some of it still is. The concrete and glass towers may well be making inroads, but on ground level at least, life goes on just like it has for goodness knows how many decades.
I love these so much. They have a water pump! ):
Thank you, and yes they do. Certainly not something many streets can boast these days.
Awesome pictures. Would like to visit this spot. Do you have google maps location detail? Please share.
Thanks a lot. I don’t give locations out here cos it’s not what I do and it’d be a never-ending task, but it’s not that far from the old fish market.
These are so peaceful and all the greenery. You are right, so lovely!
Yeah, the greenery makes it even more special. Still winter too. Must be even more stunning in spring and summer.
Ken C says
I love these little old streets and am often amazed when they can be found just a few metres away from a major Dori full of offices, banks etc.. Can sometimes find weird shops as well, I once found one that only sold car seats…the whole seat, not just the covers. I suspect that it may be a convenience store by now!
Exactly, turn a corner and you are suddenly in a completely different world. That’s brilliant. What an odd and totally unexpected find. But yeah, sadly very likely…
It is reassuring to me that there are still neighborhoods like this in Tokyo. While they may get even more dingy in the coming years, I still hope some of them remain as a reminder of the fact that the ‘simpler’ life is still viable.
I hope you share more photos like these. Stay safe and well in the midst of the Omicron surge. It is getting better where I live. It will in Japan, too.
Yes, so do I. Being such a big city they’ll still be around for a while yet, but they are very visibly disappearing.
Definitely intend to, and thanks. Be better once the booster rolls out properly. Hopefully that’ll be soon.
So interesting to look. I also loved the water pump! It’s needed for all of those plants.
To look at**
That’s a very good point. Hence the bucket there too. Really wanted to see someone using the pump, but that would have been incredibly lucky timing indeed.
There are even some prewar buildings left. I remember a building in Kanda whose front was covered with copper sheets. In the Sendagaya area there there are a few mansions the look to be pre-war. When I was living there in the 1980’s, I read that there was a Meiji period (1868-1912) wooden tenement building in Yanaka, but I doubt that it has survived.
Unfortunately, old building generally don’t get plaques showing when they were built. Homes that last only one generation (around 30 years) is the norm for urban Japan.
Still some of the copper sheet covered buildings left. They are always nice to see.
There was a photo series done on what I believe was the, or one of the oldest apartment buildings left. Not sure if it was Yanaka or not though. But the photos were taken before the planned demolition…
That’s a collection so full of detail it’s a struggle to move on from one to the next.
The area looked familiar to me and, after a little hunting, sure enough it is a stones throw away from one of my bookmarked locations to visit on our next trip, a beautiful little temple down a tiny alley set under the most enormous zelkova(I think) tree that grows up through the temple and spreads out over the nearby old houses. I even have the walking route from our hotel planned out – and now I’ll be able to add a few more locations in the area to visit. Marvelous. Thank you 🙂
You are very welcome.
There’s such a lot to see, isn’t there? I kept noticing things when I was editing the results. Things I’d missed when I was actually there.
That temple is incredible. Never seen anything like it. Found it by accident a few years ago and couldn’t believe what I’d stumbled upon.
Rob Mayo says
Any of these places available for rent?
Not sure about these, but sure some in the area would be.
Colin Canfield says
Really gives a glimpse into what Tokyo would have looked like, not even that long ago.
Hopefully these hints will be around for a long time to come…
It really does. Must have been a very different place that’s for sure. But like you said, hopefully it won’t all disappear.