Kameido, just one stop east of Kinshicho, is an area in Tokyo's east end - in Sumida ward - with a vibe more in common with Osaka than the rest of Tokyo.
Casual, unpretentious, with no aspirations to anything but life and its pleasures as lived day by day, it is not the kind of place you would associate with tourism and sightseeing.
However, for those with an interest in Tokyo as it isn't usually seen, either because it is too far off the beaten track, or because modern development has obliterated the ways of life and architecture of the past, Kinshicho offers insights not to be gotten elsewhere.
I was in Sun Street Kameido today, a shopping center closer, actually, to Kameido Station on the JR Sobu Line than to Kinshicho Station. After lunch at Sun Street Kameido (an excellent 70-minute Japanese-style buffet for only 1,782 yen), I took a few backstreets and stepped back in time.
As can be seen here, that preservation does not necessarily mean preservation in the best of conditions. An old property dominated by a gigantic willow tree covered in ivy was one of the most interesting finds. Its driveway was so packed with junk, that a wall of trash had mounted up against the inside of the locked front gate.
While old does not necessarily mean either beautiful or ugly, both could be found in roughly equal portions in the forgotten streets of Kameido and Kinshicho.
Read here about Kameido Tenjinja Shrine
Saturday, October 24, 2009
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