Traditional shotengai (shopping streets) are everywhere in Tokyo. Areas both big and small that are always interesting due to their independent little stores and eateries. For me personally, however, it’s the older and decidedly rundown ones that are the most appealing, and due to the people in particular, they are places well worth regular re-visits. An approach that allows for a more accurate and thorough document of both the streets and their structures.
That desire to return again and again was something I felt keenly when in Osaka recently, as the dated shotengai there are truly fascinating. Long, criss-crossing and mostly covered streets that while similar to those in the capital, also feel quite different. Routes that I walked back and forth for days. A period of time that was both fulfilling and, it has to be said, slightly frustrating, as the more I saw, the more I wanted to return. Unfortunately that won’t be anytime soon, so until I do, here is a small taste of what I witnessed.