Dec 10 2021 9 CommentsTattered shops in old Tokyo Suitably weatherworn old shops on a windy Tokyo day.
I don’t see many stores open…….
Happy to say there are some, so you can at least get the basics. But yeah, a lot of shutters.
This is a visible, and sad, example of how Japan’s low birth rate is affecting the country. Since the so called bubble burst in the early 90’s young people have had less opportunity and less hope for the future.
Yeah, things have definitely changed that’s for sure. This danchi area is very reminiscent of countless places I’ve seen outside the big cities. Way more shuttered premises than open ones. But in Tokyo it’s much rarer.
When we were in Japan in Nov/Dec 2019, we saw lots of shuttered stores in these kinds of shopping arcades. Not having been there in 10 years I was surprised by this. It is difficult not to be pessimistic about the longer term prospects unless the government can change some of the underlying economic and social dynamics fueling it. So far it has not been able to take the admittedly challenging steps required.
This area will likely be rebuilt in the not too distant future. Some of the adjacent old apartment buildings have already been demolished, and this arcade, along with the homes above will go the same way. There are already newer housing blocks nearby.
Outside the cities, however, it’s a very different story. With an ageing and shrinking population, it’s hard to see those places recovering in any way shape or form. Immigration would be the obvious solution, but this is Japan, so…
It is heartening to know that apartments in the area have already been rebuilt. And that the shops will, hopefully, follow the same route.
I agree about more rural areas. And that immigration in Japan is a very complex issue, to say the least.
Thanks for the photo and for sharing your thoughts!
Easy Rider? not the mondegreen soundbite ‘Lady Writer’ (Dire Straits); her hair is certainly not falling round her face.
The shutters in Blighty seem fuelled by the pandemic and online shopping…and maybe a few things political, and the world is burning nicely with the current population, but it is a great photo in yellow quotes of either someone on a mission and/or having a fun cycle; I’d like to think primarily the latter.
These shops were shuttered long before the pandemic reared its ugly head, although it is Tokyo, so it’s hard to say why exactly that should be the case. Lots of (admittedly old) tower blocks in the area, so no shortage of people. Or at least there wasn’t…
I hope it was the latter too. With so many shops now shut she likely has to cycle further and further to get what she needs, but hopefully she’s come to enjoy those journeys!