June 21, 2009


Things have been a quite on this blog over the past few weeks as work and other commitments have got in the way a bit, and I have a backlog of postings to do, starting with this Yamanote Line posting about Yurakucho. The pictures were taken about a month ago and it wasn't quite so overcast and wet at that time.

Close to Tokyo Station and Ginza, Yurakucho gives easy access to lots of izakaya and old world eating and drinking dens, but it also offers one of the classiest shopping experiences in Tokyo.

Lottery ticket promotion in front of the station.

The huge Marui store in front of the station is one of the recent additions to the area, as everything gradually gets modernised.
Sign on the second floor of a building near the station ~ not sure what kind of business it is.
It's a short walk to Ginza, one of the world's top shopping districts packed with flashy buildings housing exclusive boutiques, with most of the world's top brand names present. While shopping at top end shops doesn't really appeal to me, the architecture is nonetheless impressive.

This building, which houses the Wako department store is one of the few in the area that survived the war, and it can be seen in a number of pictures from the occupation period in the late forties/early fifties.

Fire hydrant with a character reference.

The Kabuki-za theatre is one of Tokyo's landmarks, and it stages plays for locals and tourists alike. The building is scheduled for demolition in less than a year's time, however, with the theatre moving to a new home, so if you're visiting Tokyo soon, it may well be the last chance to see the theatre in its current form.

The number of days left before the theatre closes its doors.

My kind of place, though I didn't go in this time, having got my caffeine fix elsewhere just a little earlier in the day. Will have to keep it in mind for the next time I'm around.

It was the 'jazz lounge' part of this sign that initially caught my eye, though it soon became clear from the smaller sign on the door that Badd Girls (sic) is written in bolder letters for a reason. Entry for women is free, men have to pay an arm, a leg and the shirt off their backs just to get in, with no real explanation of what that money pays for. More sleaze pit than jazz lounge I suspect.
Moving to the other side of the station to Hibiya Park I found that despite it being late May, there was the Hibiya Oktoberfest (go figure), organised by the same committee that do the Yokohama one in the autumn.

Mid-afternoon was a little quiet, but it seemed rude not to have a quick beer in the sunshine. No doubt it filled up after 6pm.

Underneath the arches of the Yamanote Line is always a good place to look for food stalls and bars that go back a few years.
This particular establishment had loads of vintage film posters plastered on the walls, and they looked dog-eared enough to be originals.

Yurakucho offers a fascinating blend of uptown and downtown as well as old and new and it's worth spending a little time wandering around.

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