When looking for some photos the other day, I found this old shot of a distinctly grungy looking Tokyo fruit and vegetable shop. It’s a business that always fascinated me. Partly because of how it looked, and partly due to its location in a dark and dingy Shibuya alleyway.
But that was then and this is now and sadly it doesn’t exist anymore, so seeing the photo again brought back how truly out of place it always seemed. Almost everything was wrapped in plastic too, which is unusual for such a small shop. However, when passing by one evening, that aspect at least suddenly made sense, as I saw the owner frantically trying to shoo away a couple of rats that were clearly not going to give up on a fresh fruit buffet without a fight.
I was enjoying this until you mentioned the **shudder** rats……………..
Sorry, not the nicest of things I know. No shortage of them in Tokyo though…
In China I have seen small vendor stalls in crowded markets devoted to selling many varieties of rat poison. Are there similar sellers in Nippon’s cities ?
Don’t think I’ve ever seen any, but I’m sure there must be plenty of poison options, as particularly in more central areas, rats sightings aren’t uncommon at all.
There is a brand called Nippon. I wonder if it is big in Japan.
Well, I learnt something today. Seems it’s a Japanese brand too. Dare say they use a different name here though.
The stall looks like a beautiful jewel lit the way it is in that dank alley.
One of the live streams I have running on my spare monitors is a street in Kabukicho. It looks great in the rain, and the sound is atmospheric too. Once things slow down though the rats come out, usually between 1 and 5am after which the garbage collections have emptied the bins. I’ve seen several at once weaseling around the building edges in looking for snax. You can tell the locals from the occasionals in those hours. The locals walk down the centre of the street, the occasionals along the edges, where they can be seen performing the “There’s a rat.. there!” dance. I’d love to see a racoon – but no luck so far.
It was a very unique little spot that’s for sure. Out of place in so many ways. Such a shame it has gone.
Aside from Tsukiji market on a holiday (that was truly shocking), Kabukicho is where I’ve seen the most. All times of day and night too.
Had the nice surprise of seeing a raccoon near me once. It was nonchalantly sauntering along beside the train tracks.
Plastic display fruit or a few well placed traps might be useful although there could be a few problems with open toed footwear in the latter case!
Perhaps that is why owl and pussycat cafes are popular.
Yes, that would have likely scared away customers as well as the rats.
Haha, good point. Mild mannered pets by day, but ruthless city hunters at night.
I like the atmosphere but I don’t think I would want to buy fruit from there.
No, as great as it looked , it probably wasn’t the best spot to be selling fresh food.