The tofu shop below always fascinated me. It was so old and ramshackle that each crack and layer of grime seemed to conjure up some sort of story. Photographing it, on the other hand, was easier said than done, as the little alleyway it was located in is way too narrow, so I just enjoyed stopping by and looking at it every time I was in the area.
In the summer of 2014, however, the owner unexpectedly appeared, allowing me to get a shot of him, and a bit of the building.
Then, just shy of 3 years later, I had the good fortune of seeing him again. It was a surprise to get another opportunity, and similarly surprising to see how much he had aged.
But sadly there won’t be any more such sightings, or indeed photos, as I dropped by at the weekend — my first walk in that area for several months — and not only was the owner absent, but so was the shop. The plot of land it once covered is now a car park. A nondescript, freshly tarmacked rectangle that strangely, but understandably, offers no hints at all about what stood there before.
No Tofu, no tackle (the last closed shop image, no bar (an even earlier one).
The Asahi logo and his hair somehow made me think of Araki. Maybe he was working on a late career move!
Via today’s detour, Araki’s wordplay for his colour photos – 好色な日記 made me think how much photography is about attempts to capture the momento and how much it is just some lust for life in terms of either the ‘lust’ of ‘good colour’ (好色) or the ‘eroticism’ of B&W as another well known fella commented. It’s a kind of magic either way.
Yeah, a lot of places disappearing…
He did seem to be going for a bit of an Araki look, didn’t he? Interesting you should mention the great man, as this was shot in Minowa, where Araki grew up and his father had a geta shop. More magic.
That’s far out! I certainly didn’t know that, or much about geta shopping, but the onomatopoeic and wonderfully retro http://www.karankoron.com/ might help me.
Not at all. Glad the info was both interesting and useful. That is a great name, and yes, very retro!
So sad……….. 🙁
Yes, inevitable, but no less sad. Not at all what I was expecting when I turned the corner.
For a moment there I thought this was this one…
which I had found and bookmarked in street view for a future visit. But is wasn’t, phew, and as an aside street view has been updated showing the loss of sign you posted about a few weeks ago.
The impersonality of a car park seems a cruel fate for a place that will have seen so much like and community over many decades, but change is inevitable, and I suppose on some level necessary. But, to paraphrase Marie Kondo the sight of this sparks sadness in me.
Luckily that one is part of a row, so should survive for a good while yet. Interesting to hear street view has updated it already. It’s uch a good resource for tracking small and much larger changes.
Yeah, if it had been a house or another shop, it wouldn’t have seemed quite so bad, but that pristine and lifeless bit of tarmac did seem especially cruel. It was a development across from the shop that allowed it too. A big apartment building has gone up there, which resulted in a widening of the alleyway. Before that there’s no way cars would have been able to get in and out. Well, unless it was this particular car driver: https://www.tokyotimes.org/tokyos-least-practical-parking-space/
Oh, you took me here. I took a photo that turned out to mostly be a great shot of the Asahi cooler 🙁
Yes, that’s the place. At the time a huge new apartment building was under construction across from it. That was clearly the beginning of the end, and probably why it’s now a car park.
Seeing the last picture reminded me of Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, with a lyric repeat of “it ain’t paradise, put up a parking lot”.
As usual at great set of pictures.
I wonder how much I will find changed once I get out farther than my local part of our small city after the pandemic.
Take care, I saw on Asahi Shinbum that Tokyo had 224 cases in the last 24 hours. Renita in NC
Thanks. That line sadly fits perfectly.
I thought that when the state of emergency lifted here, but things are mostly the same. I did find this of course, but likely it happened before, or at the very least was unconnected to the pandemic.
Thank you. Yes, yesterday’s numbers were the highest ever, but considering the size of the population, we are somehow still avoiding the horrors so many other people are dealing with. And with that in mind, you take care over there. I hope things start to get under control soon.
Brendan from Meiji Gak here (well, now from Toronto). Glad to see you’re doing well. Just thought I’d pop by as I’ve been thinking about maybe picking up a good camera for street photography and I know you’re all about that! Sad story about the tofu shop but all too common. How long will it be before all these old shops are gone and neighborhoods are nothing but houses and car parks?
Good to hear from you. I hope all is well over there. Dare say you don’t miss this time of year in Tokyo.
My advice would be to go mirrorless. That doesn’t exactly narrow it down, but definitely the way to go, plus lots of options in regards technology, looks and cost.
Yeah, so many are disappearing. Thankfully still lots left, but due to the age of both the buildings and the owners, the pace of change has really picked up over the last few years. Something that it is only going to continue…