Capital of the East

I used to live in Shitaya (下谷) in the old Shitamachi (downtown) area, just up from Ueno. I lived in a sharehouse in an old nagaya (tenement house)...

Tokyo is of course the ultimate megalopolis, and there are many centers to this sprawl, many Tokyos if you like, one for each of the functions that it performs. According to the map, Tokyo Station seems to be the center of the city, but this is not necessarily the case. For many tourists, Tokyo is the pedestrian crossing at Shibuya.... Shinagawa, port city, gateway to the south...

There are 23 wards (ku) in Tokyo. I lived in two of them, and in my 10 years living there, I probably visited most of them. Often, one of my preferred ways to get around, was to walk. Interestingly enough, they all seemed to have a character and an aesthetic of their own. Around Nippori, a lot of the trees are lined by willows. Kanda is all overhead train lines...


To me Tokyo (and perhaps also Hong Kong) epitomises what the expression "concrete jungle" really means. It is an ecosystem of human habitation which is vertical as well as horizontal -- subways beneath the streets, and penguins on a skyscraper roof. You can go up to 10 stories in an office block and find a nightclub or jazz bar, or an outlet selling rare Adidas.



It's an indoor as much as an outdoor world, and three-dimensional (just like a jungle, with its different layers of ecosystems.) However, in amongst the concrete jungle, scraggy, desolate, rusty remnants of the natural order remain.

A SHORT HISTORY


Before there was Edo, there was Musashi.

GUIDE FOR TOURISTS & RESIDENTS


» hotels & guesthouses
» restaurant guide
» Shopping (買)

MAPS


» Tokyo Map

PLACES TO SEE


» Akihabara (秋葉原)
» Asakusa (浅草)
» Ginza
» Harajuku (原)
» Ikebukuro
» Kanda (田)
» Meguro (目)
» Nezu
» Roppongi (六本木)
» Shibuya (渋谷)
» Shinagawa (品川)
» Shimbashi (橋)
» Takadanobaba (田馬)
» Tokyo Disneyland (東亰ズド)
» Ueno (上野)

WARDS


» Arakawaku (川区)
» Edogawaku (工戸川区)
» Sumidaku (墨田区)
» Shinjukuku ()
» Taitoku (台東区)
NEIGHBOURING PREFECTURES
» chiba-ken (千葉県)

RECOMMENDED WEBBLOGS & WEBSITES


» Danny Choo (Culture Japan)
» Mahou (anime & popular culture)
» Japan This! (Marky Star)



CROWDED WORLD
By Robert Sullivan. Contact me by email: coderot@gmail.com. Visit my profile.  
phone: (0431) 749-185 (AUSTRALIA)

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