Alleys of Seattle

Tokyo day 4 and 5

Posted in Japan by seattlealleys on December 14, 2010

Before returning to  Kyoto from Tokyo, I met up with my friends Makoto, Taka, and Yosuke, whom I hadn’t seen in six years since studying with them in Eugene.  After dinner I explored Nonbei Yokocho and Shonben Yokocho, two former post war ramshackle outdoor market turned alley bar and restaurant mini districts. Shomben Yokocho, or Pisser’s Lane was a  working class drinking area during and after the war, now attempting to re-brand into Memory Lane.  After meeting my friend Yosuke again, we took a trip through the final notorious alley spaces of Tokyo with Nonbei Yokocho, or drunkard’s alley, which was formerly an outdoor market very near Shibuya’s famous intersection.. This place is a small two lane strip full of two and three story alley bar and restaurants similar to Shinjuku’s Golden Gai, yet more refined, and perhaps less notorious.  We had a great night full of interesting conversations (of which I understood about a third of), drink, and food.

Tokyo is an incredible place and indescribable in image or word.  It literally is a mega city- or a mega collection of towns shoved together, shaken up, and interlaced with rail lines.  It is a fantastic mess.


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