Let’s Tour: Yokocho Drinking Alleys

Japan is very adept at making sure its past is preserved while building the future in terms of architecture at the city level. It is very common to see a new building complex go up right next door to a 200+ year old temple complex in many cities, even in ever-changing Tokyo. However due to major earthquakes and a very large-scale war taking place in the 20th century, it’s difficult to find examples of early to mid modern buildings and neighborhoods. However you need only wander into a yokochō (横丁) to see how things used to be only a few generations ago. What is a Yokocho? Loosely translated as area next to a major destination, these are a collection of small stalls and restaurants that cropped up at first next to major temples, shrines and way stations on traveler’s routes like the Tokaidō and Nakasendō trails between cities. In those days you’d find yatai stands serving grilled fish and yakitori, small teahouses and izakaya sake bars. You’d also find gambling dens and brothels too in those days. With the Meiji Restoration and the railroad’s spread into all corners of Japan, they started cropping up next to rail stations and became the core part of a neighborhood’s modern day shotengaishopping street radiating away from the terminal. It is here where you will find the last remaining yokocho in the 21st century. How’s the atmosphere? Expect small and cramped conditions; just the right atmosphere for literally rubbing elbows with the locals and…
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Let’s Tour: Yokocho Drinking Alleys
Original Source: www.JapanInfoSwap.com
Let’s Tour: Yokocho Drinking Alleys

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