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The shadowy backstreet that parallels the west bank of the Sumida River, between the Umaya and Komagata bridges, has always struck me as woefully underrealized.

Two venerable dining establishments — the freshwater loach specialists at Komakata Dozeu and the grilled eel experts at Maekawa — have for centuries denoted the area’s aquatic proximity, but a smattering of new guesthouses and hotels appearing in the Komagata district suggests an area in transition.

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