Quiet streets, a surprise around every corner, chatting with friendly locals, photographing the quieter side of life in village Tokyo, ‘nether’ Tokyo. Away from the neon, what I’ve christened ‘Nether Tokyo’, is what is known in Japanese as ‘shitamachi’. Literally, shitamachi [下町] means ‘under city’ and was once used to describe neigbourhoods in Tokyo on the east of the city, typically Adachi, Arakawa, parts of Chiyoda-ku, Chūō, Edogawa, Kōtō, Sumida, and Taitō wards and low part of the city along and east of the Sumida River. Shitamachi has, more lately, also tended to be a phrase used to describe older parts of unspoiled backstreet Tokyo.
However, it is many of the those traditionally shitamachi eastern Tokyo neighbourhoods that have the most to offer when it comes to peaceful, olde-worlde charm.
At the start of this week I spent most of one day walking from Kinshicho, up through a series of neighbourhoods that are close to the Sky Tree (like Hikifune), to Shirahigebashi, over the river to Yoshiwara and then down into Asakusa.
Read more and see a gallery of 80-something shots, here at my Japanorama website:
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