Yamate-dori is a roughly north-south avenue that runs all the way from Itabashi in the north of Tokyo to Shinagawa in the south-east.
It runs through Nakano-sakaue, which is where I followed it south from for a couple of hours the other day.
Walking south I first called in to Joganji Temple with its multitude of statues of the Buddha (one particularly touching one pictured here).
Further down the street at various intervals between the often somewhat dreary architecture of the area the silvery space-age lines of Shinjuku Park Tower (actually one building, although built like three) in Nishi (West) Shinjuku (just a little south of Tocho the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings) would become visible on the right hand side of the avenue.
Just a little further on and Yamate-dori is completely dominated by a new massive overhead highway under construction (at right) and due to open in December of this year.
As I just mentioned, the architecture in this area is, like much Japanese cityscape, nothing to write home about, but sometimes, in spite of itself, it comes up with scenes that grab you.
This one (below) of the parking building and apartment block with the BMW sign on top and the stripey garage beside it is one of them.
After about three kilometers I was in the Yoyogi area.
I called in briefly to Yoyogi Hachiman Shrine (below) looking for a toilet more than anything else, but found out that in going in I had walked right past the only toilet available – on Yamate-dori. So back out to the street again without further ado.
After another couple of kilometers my legs were starting to feel it, so when I came to the Keio Inokashira line I decided I’d had enough, turned right and walked as far as Komaba-Todai-mae and took the train back to Shinjuku.
Japan Tokyo Yamate-dori
Wednesday, February 21, 2007