On Tokyo’s Chuo Line between Ogikubo and Kichijoji is the unique area called Nishiogikubo.

In the 20 Questions column in the April 14 edition headlined “Transforming nonessentials into essentials,” Australian fashion designer Vaughan Allison, when asked what was the most underrated area of Tokyo, answered that it was Nishiogikubo. The area, he said, has many hidden gems. Walking through the neighborhood a visitor will find treasures at every corner.

Perhaps this is why it is rated by young Japanese as the most desirable place in Tokyo to live.

My wife, who is a garment designer, has lived here for more than 40 years. For residents like my wife and me, daily life is full of simple gifts. Here we can find a choice of high-quality shops for fish, meat, vegetables and baked goods, a variety of restaurants to choose from, galleries, bookstores, antique shops, live music and special events. Night time brings crowds to the many relaxing spots for a refreshing drink or snack.

The Nishiogi residents and shopkeepers who created our town are proud.

Unfortunately the future of our town is very uncertain. The Kita Ginza shopping street, running from Ome Kaido to Nishiogikubo Station, is scheduled to be widened, which will certainly lead to the destruction of one of the unique neighborhoods remaining in Tokyo.

I’m hopeful that this will not happen. We will do everything we can to protect Nishiogikubo from this senseless destruction.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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