Monday, 11 November 2013

Two tales of one city (2)

Today we were in the Ueno Okachimachi area.  I wanted to go to Ueno to buy some chili and other spices that are more easily available from the underground wet market than they are locally.  It's about 5-6 km from Marunouchi / Ginza where we were yesterday, but it couldn't be more different.
For starters there wasn't a shred of evidence of Christmas (not a bad thing in early November)... and then the rest...

I don't think this would make the cut for a Marunouchi Naka dori
sculpture series.

Stepping back the garbage bin & vending machine make it an even less likely candidate.
An Indian / Nepalese "Namaste" Oedo restaurant...
I'm still bemused by the incongruity of Nepalese and Oedo
A darts bar that serves guinness 
The extend of the vandalism in the area
Hotel New Tohoku. Hiro was relieved it wasn't a love hotel...
The trains from Tohoku used to terminate at Ueno and there
is a lot of cheap accommodation near station.
Houses build out of corrugated iron. The proximity of the car park suggests that
there is someone waiting to buy out the residents to construct an apartment building on the site.
Housing which is presumably very basic 
The heart and soul of the shitamachi resides in these kind of houses.
If the locals are forced out by gentrification, the Tokyo matsuris
will find it increasingly difficult to continue.
A chook at the Shitaya shrine
Everything at the Shitaya shrine seemed just a bit wonky.
It was 7-5-3 today - children go to the shrine in kimono.
The inari jinja (fox shrine) in the background
Temple people doing maintenance work.
A beat up radio - it's a symbol of a certain generation of Japanese men -
walking around listening the baseball or sumo or whatever... it wasn't on.
The Shitaya shrine
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The shrine entrance.
Corrugated iron, but unlike some of the others near by did not seem abandoned.
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Rurousha said...

You were in my backyard! (^0^)

"The proximity of the car park suggests that there is someone waiting to buy out the residents to construct an apartment building on the site." Damnit. Another anonymous condominium complex. The brochure will bleat about a view of Sky Tree.

I should take some photos of the newer houses that have been replacing the corrugated iron ones in my neighourbood. Houses, not apartment buildings. Still small, square and relatively basic, but also functional and rather attractive.

LS said...

I stumbled upon your blog a couple of years ago when I was planning my first trip to Japan, and I've really enjoyed your photos and travel stories since.

Coming out of lurking to say I actually stayed at Hotel New Tohoku during my last visit this past March! You're correct, it's not a love hotel :) I was on my way to Singapore and I wanted to spend a night in Tokyo to break up the flight. Hotel New Tohoku was surprisingly inexpensive, right next to the Keisei Skyliner station, and I'd never explored Taito-ku/Ueno on my past trips.

I really wish I'd known about Shitaya shrine, though. Keep up the great posts.

Cecilia said...

Thanks for coming out! There's something a little gratifying knowing that someone is reading it! What a coincidence on the New Tohoku! I'm surprised to hear you stayed there. I didn't imagine it would have been publicised or accessible for people outside Japan.
Next time for the Shitaya Shrine! It's very charming in a very understated and shitamachi way.

Cecilia said...

Ru, it is you backyard and I was thinking of you while I was there. Would love to see house pics; I didn't see any new houses in my wanderings (which were cut short because I had bought too much at Takeya and it was getting heavy...).