If Nakameguro is the Hampstead of Tokyo, then Shimokitazawa is the Shoreditch of Tokyo. If you’re not familiar with these areas of London (and Tokyo, respectively), then read my blog post about Nakameguro and I’ll try to describe Shimokitazawa: it’s trendy, full of vintage shops and cafes, lots of young and fashion conscious people, it has a laid back atmosphere and is really great to hang around in. I think, if I lived in Tokyo, I would probably try to get a flat near this area.
Continue reading “Shimokitazawa”
Akihabara is an area in Tokyo which for me looks like how I imagined Tokyo before I ever came here for the first time. Neon advertising and manga characters everywhere. Vending machines for little manga character phone charms and key chains, DVD shops rammed full of DVDs that I have no idea what they are about. Tons of different books of cartoons.
Continue reading “Akihabara – the home of manga nerds and their girlfriends”
While there is a big wholesale fish market, there is also a consumer and tourist friendly fish market where you can sample all sorts of fish. It probably doesn’t get any fresher!
Getting up early is recommended, although I think that’s really more for the wholesale fish market, where the hustle and bustle happens before 8am. This part of the fish market is probably open throughout the morning.
Fish flakes! I really like them. When they are served on top of hot food they look like they’re dancing.
This guy was grilling oysters.
He’s just coming from the wholesale market…
All photos taken by me on my LC-A+ and LC-Wide on Kodak Portra 400 35mm film.
I can confirm that there is indeed a yummy mummy lunch and coffee area in Tokyo. And that area is Nakameguro.
It’s a lovely area but it definitely has an element of wealthy young mums showing off the latest baby fashion and hi-tech prams. Luckily Japanese children are quite well behaved compared to their western counterparts.
I went to that area the other day because it was near the Airbnb flat that I had rented and I had come across the area a couple of times when I was researching my Tokyo trip. Words like “hip”, “designers” and “subculture” came up which made me curious.
The neighbourhood’s focus point is the Meguro river. Apparently it used to be heavily polluted but as it got cleaned up in recent years, more and more cafes, restaurants and boutiques opened along the banks. What originally started as a hipster area with quirky little shops has now become a bit more of a grown up area with more expensive independent shops and many European style restaurants.
It’s nice to spend a couple of hours walking up and down the river if it’s sunny out. I ended up having lunch in the Hawaiian restaurant at the top of this post. It was nice to sit outside and do some people watching. The food was good too. I had a rice bowl with something like chili con tofu (there was no carne on offer).
All photos taken by me with my Fujifilm X10 digital camera. Trying out digital for convenience… but it’s just not the same!
If you’re interested in seeing some photos of another trendy Tokyo neighbourhood, check out my post about Shimokitazawa.
The wholesale fish market was definitely an amazing experience. It was super busy with people on little vehicles driving up and down, empty Styrofoam boxes being thrown around, water and melted ice everywhere. People chopping up fish and sweeping up fish remains and pouring buckets of water and ice into bigger buckets of water and ice… A dangerous place for a tourist who doesn’t want to get wet and smell of fish all day!
When I asked him if I could take a photo, he pulled this funny face.
Judging by the pool of blood on his work counter, you can guess what’s coming next…
A lot of the bigger fish vendors had these lovely ladies sitting in a little box office. While the people handling the fish were all men, the people in the boxes who counted the money were women. That’s how it should be!
I was a bit later than I probably should have been, so people were just finishing their cleaning and most of the fish was already sold.
There were so, so many of these vehicles whizzing around. It was really dangerous! They didn’t have any consideration for tourists…
This was a mini shop that was just outside the big wholesale market. I assume this is where the fishermen buy their newspapers and drinks after a hard morning’s work.
This guy was chopping off fish heads the whole time and then threw them into that blue basket in the foreground. You didn’t want to stand too close because there was a lot of splatter when the heads landed in the basket.
This guy is enjoying a cigarette and a rest after work.
All photos taken by me with my LC-A+ and LC-Wide on Kodak Portra 400 35mm film.