Moving pictures of Shibamata

| Sep 26, 2010

Moving pictures of Shibamata

by Kit Nagamura

I change trains three times before boarding one of Tokyo’s shortest lines, the 2.5-km Keisei Kanamachi. I’m bound for Shibamata, which isn’t precisely a backstreet, but it’s tucked so far from most major thoroughfares in the back-beyond of Katsushika Ward that I imagine it ...

Brilliant facets of Nishi-Ojima

| Jul 25, 2010

Brilliant facets of Nishi-Ojima

by Kit Nagamura

Setting off to explore Nishi-Ojima (West Large Island) and Kita Suna (North Sand) in Tokyo’s downtown Koto Ward, I know better than to expect a seaside resort. Sure enough, where I emerge from the Toei Shinjuku subway at Nishi-Ojima Station, I spy neither ship ...

Miso happy in Nakamurabashi

| May 30, 2010

Miso happy in Nakamurabashi

by Kit Nagamura

I hear somewhere near Nakamura in Nerima Ward, miso is still made in the age-old traditional way. I figure I’ll just wander around the tidy little neighborhood and find it. Exiting north from the Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Nakamurabashi Station, I sally forth in what ...

Horsing around in Shinjuku

| Apr 25, 2010

Horsing around in Shinjuku

by Kit Nagamura

At the tail end of this year’s cherry-blossom season I set off for one of Tokyo’s prime viewing spots, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. My idea is to walk the quiet backstreets circling the garden, then canter through the park itself, which features several late-blooming ...

Thatched spring in Setagaya

| Mar 28, 2010

Thatched spring in Setagaya

by Kit Nagamura

To slough off winter sluggishness and get into step with spring, I set a course from Seijo Gakuen-mae on the Odakyu Line to Jidayubori Minkaen — a compound of late-Edo Period (1860s) thatched farmhouses in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward — and ending at Futako Tamagawa ...

Fun and funky Fukagawa

| Dec 27, 2009

Fun and funky Fukagawa

by Kit Nagamura

After so many yearend parties and as the weather grows wintry in Tokyo, it might seem like madness to go for a walk, but a stroll east of the Sumida River, in Fukagawa, is an ideal way to clear the head. The area offers ...

Kichijoji captivations

| Nov 29, 2009

Kichijoji captivations

by Kit Nagamura

Kichijoji has shopping covered, literally and figuratively. The roofed malls at this popular stop on the Chuo Line 15 minutes west of Shinjuku sport prices markedly lower than those of central Tokyo, and the lure of its bargains is easily as strong as its ...

The haunting beauty that is Yushima

| Nov 1, 2009

The haunting beauty that is Yushima

by Kit Nagamura

On a glowering October morning, I exit the Chiyoda Line at Yushima Station and stroll northwesterly through the back streets of Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. I am in search of Kyu-Iwasaki-tei, the Western-style residence commissioned by Baron Hisaya Iwasaki (1865-1955), third president of Mitsubishi, the ...

Hot stuff in Tsukishima

| Sep 27, 2009

Hot stuff in Tsukishima

by Kit Nagamura

Dating from 1892, Tsukishima is Tokyo’s oldest island of reclaimed land — and also its monjayaki Mecca. Once a cheap after-school treat cooked on griddles in working-class neighborhoods of postwar Tokyo, monjayaki has morphed into a dinner entre — and Tsukishima is the place ...