Tag - backstreet-stories

 
 

BACKSTREET STORIES

Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Jan 11, 2020
Kokubunji: Signs of the times on Tokyo's western front
Named for its temple, history and legend flow through Kokubunji.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Dec 7, 2019
A last triumph of autumn in rain-soaked Kokubunji
A dreary drizzle of rain falls on the November day I've set aside for walking out along the Kokubunji gaisen (cliff line) in western Tokyo. Despite the weather, my hope is to catch some late autumn colors, so I yank on my trusty rubber birdwatching boots and head out west on the Chuo Line.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Oct 4, 2019
Good, clean dining in the alleyways of Shiba
Minutes from Tamachi Station, the area of Shiba, is a maze of weathered watering holes, chain restaurants, karaoke joints and gritty izakaya (Japanese pubs), like an east Tokyo version of Shinjuku's Golden Gai.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Aug 2, 2019
The little curiosities of Monzen-Nakacho
From craft goods and antiques to unusual galettes and premium sake, Tokyo's Mon-Naka neighborhood has it all.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
May 31, 2019
Rock gardens, ryokan and rafting in Tokyo's Mitake
From the historic Kajikaen to kimono dyeing studios and the Gyokudo Art Museum, numerous institutions of traditional art and culture line the banks of the Tama River as it runs through Mitake.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Apr 5, 2019
Up high on a rickshaw, new views of old Asakusa
Although the streets of Asakusa are familiar stomping grounds for tourists and locals alike, a ride on a jinrikisha (rickshaw) can bring a refreshing new perspective to the historic area, and even reveal a secret spot or two.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Feb 1, 2019
Coffee connections in tranquil Togoshi
Togoshi's local businesses are quirky, wholesome and close-knit. But what truly brings this district together is the coffee shop that supplies them all with bespoke blends.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Jan 4, 2019
Exploring Jiyugaoka's venerable shopping arcade
Winter winds whistle as I exit Jiyugaoka Station in Tokyo's Meguro Ward, surrounded by a flock of boisterous high school students in black uniforms. Their joyous chatter as we walk into brilliant sunshine at the station's main exit reminds me that the station and area was named in 1930 for a nearby high school, Jiyugaoka Gakuen.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Nov 30, 2018
Taking a perch with the hip birds of Uguisudanicho
One of two places in Tokyo named after valleys favored by the melodious uguisu (Japanese bush warbler), Uguisudanicho is a small neighborhood wedged between Daikanyama, Ebisu and Shibuya straddling the line between old-school businesses and gentrification.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Nov 2, 2018
Playing cat and mouse in the alleyways of Harajuku
Although most people familiar with Tokyo's Harajuku area have explored — or at least heard of — the uber-trendy and fashion-focused Cat Street, the smaller and quieter road that runs above it is full of its own unique mishmash of history, food and fashion.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Oct 5, 2018
Banking on the riverside alleyways of Komagata
Venerated establishments and new shops putting their own spin on traditional food and craft exist side by side in Tokyo's aquatic Komagata neighborhood.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Aug 3, 2018
Rocking the hot stuff in weathered Narihira
Although the Tokyo neighborhood of Narihira is slowly shifting toward a younger demographic, a postwar vibe still lingers in its back alleys and keeps its community close-knit.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Jul 6, 2018
History is woven into the very fabric of Ome
Ome has a long history of high-quality textile production, and today's designers are trying to preserve old fabrics and techniques while still giving them a contemporary update.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Jun 1, 2018
A small slice of Showa Era life, preserved in Ome
Ome brings "Showa Retro" to life with vintage movie posters, goods and trains.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
May 11, 2018
Slow-paced Izu Oshima is anything but sleepy
A mere Jetfoil away from Tokyo, travelers to Izu Oshima island can expect volcanic hikes, fresh local cuisine and an abundance of hospitality.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Apr 6, 2018
Swordplay and samurai in Tokyo's Maruyamacho district
Traditional businesses are heating up in Shibuya's old geisha quarter.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Feb 2, 2018
On the hunt for Gaien Nishi-dori's taste-makers
In Tokyo, people set up funky cafes with all kinds of sideshows — curry, cats, goats, hedgehogs and maids come to mind — so when I catch a whiff of a good cup of joe escaping from a huge glass and concrete box near Gaienmae Station on Gaien Nishi-dori avenue, I wonder what the gig is.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Dec 8, 2017
Warming to Sugamo's venerable shopping street
Gifting, and therefore shopping for gifts, seems part of the gestalt of winter. In Tokyo, though, retail wonderlands tend to be packed and pricey, full of ersatz Christmas music, harried customers and long lines. I opt instead for a low-key commercial street near Sugamo Station in Toshima Ward, known as Jizo-dori. Sugamo is often referred to as "Granny's Harajuku," and since I've got some elders on my list, I head there hoping to find a few age-appropriate presents.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Nov 3, 2017
Changing times in Setagaya's Shoin Jinjamae
There's something alluring about the suburban stops between Sangenjaya and Shimotakaido stations, which has been serviced by the Tokyu Setagaya tramway for the past 110 years.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel / BACKSTREET STORIES
Oct 6, 2017
Never mind the love hotels: Negishi is home to haiku, tea and famous pines
Alighting at one of the JR Yamanote Line's quietest stops, Uguisudani Station, I chat with the stationmaster about its name, which means "Bush-Warbler Valley." Apparently, the area used to have limpid streams and a bucolic setting that attracted the feathered songsters, also known as Japanese nightingales. A recording of the passerine's liquid song is broadcast on the platform in the early morning hours, the stationmaster tells me, but a quick glance around the vicinity makes me doubt the actual birds still sing here.

Longform

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