Google+ Rurousha 流浪者: Location


I live in a suburb called Taitō in Tokyo's shitamachi.

Tokyo has historically been divided into two main parts: the eastern shitamachi or low town where merchants, artisans and the hoi polloi lived; and the western side where the samurai, aristocracy and upper classes resided. That distinction continues to this day: eastern Tokyo is poorer and never appears on the list of most sought-after suburbs, yet it is generally agreed that this is where the spirit of old Edo lingers. The eastern side has history, traditional customs and "hard-headed but sentimental characters who are fast to anger but first to laugh about it", in the words of Donald Richie. Western Tokyo, on the other hand, is wealthy, upmarket and cosmopolitan.

I love the shitamachi, and my only frustration is that even if I could live in this area for a thousand years, I would never be able to explore all its alleys and secret places.

Different sources draw different borders around the shitamachi, but it usually includes the physically low part of the city east of Sumidagawa: Taitō, Sumida, Kōtō, Edogawa, parts of Bunkyō, parts of Chiyoda, parts of Chūō. Some sources also mention Adachi and Arakawa.

(The woodblock print is "Kinryū-zan and Azumabashi" by HiroshigeKinryū-zan is better known as Sensō-ji, and Azumabashi spans the Sumida River between the temple in Taitō-ku and Tokyo Sky Tree in Sumida-ku.)


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