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Posts tagged shitamachi

The meeting of the Fukagawa (深川) and the Sumidagawa (隅田川) – past and present

Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji 富嶽三十六景 Fugaku Sanjurokkei ukiyo-e Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai

While walking to my daughter’s soccer game in a shitamachi area of Tokyo called Fukagawa (deep river) I came across this marker of one of Hokusai’s famous scenes from his series “36 Views of Mt. Fuji.” The title of the ukiyo-e is “Under the 10,000 year bridge over Fukagawa.” The bridge is no longer there so I’m guessing its existence ended up being only a few hundred years at most.

Turning the corner a bit and looking down the Sumidagawa (a much larger and much deeper river than the Fukagawa–it’s the river in the background of the above which the Fukagawa is draining into) yielded the following modern view.

No chance of seeing Mount Fuji from here anymore with most of the buildings being over 10 stories high. Perhaps if you were on top of one of the buildings you may occasionally have a glimpse. The blue bridge in this image is the Kiyosu-bashi (清洲橋). You can still see fishermen (the guy in the bottom of the photo has three fishing poles in the water) though. Some things don’t change.

If you can understand Japanese, here is some more information on the Katsushika Hokusai ukiyo-e.

Quintessential old-style Tokyo house

war time japan housing

This kind of Tokyo home is becoming harder and harder to find. I suppose Tokyo was loaded with these kinds of structures after the war. Most are now long gone, although some neighborhoods still have some clusters. The one pictured above was all by its lonesome, wedged between a gasoline service station/car wash and a bar. The location isn’t down some back alley in a shitamachi as you may expect. This home is right on Meiji Dori between Ebisu and Hiroo Stations.

Sunshine City

sunshine 60 from waseda night photos TZ10 photography toden street car tokyo japan

Perhaps today’s picture works better with this quote than the photos I originally included with it. The train line is the Toden Arakawa Sen. The corner I took it from was Meiji Dori and Shin Mejiro Dori. The skyscraper in the distance is Sunshine 60 in Ikebukuro, once the tallest building in Japan.

Cherry Blossoms at Zenshoan (全生庵)

Zenshoan is best known for its ghost scrolls (幽霊画), which I hope to see this August, but in late March it can also be a nice place to visit with the blossoms beginning to bloom. The gold statue of the Buddha in the background is quite large. It overlooks the cemetery (墓所) on the grounds. Located in “Old Tokyo” in Yanaka (谷中), the shitamachi neighborhood is fun to stroll around.

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