Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Almost all of my Tokyo explorations target specific neighborhoods or locations, but without a direct train route between my morning visits in Sumida Ward and the afternoon set in Taitō Ward, I figured I would make the most of it with a 30-40 minute walk between the two.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Leaving Hikifune, I crossed through Higashimukojima, following along this shōtengai for most of it.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Someone is about to enjoy some hot and crispy kushi-katsu or menchi-katsu.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

As long as it’s within the shoulder, just about anywhere makes a good bicycle parking space.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Upturned crates and a tablecloth make an effective sidewalk display.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Pocket park

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Street-facing display table

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

No frills, neighborhood ramen shop

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

The shōtengai is the spine, with ribs leading out to residential and tool-house neighborhoods of Higashimukojima.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

A shrine so small it’s not even on the map

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Headed up Bokutei-dōri, you can stop in for a lesson on the history of time-keeping instruments in Japan at The Seiko Museum.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

It must have rained a bit in the middle, as I didn’t have any images of crossing the Sumida River on the main camera, though I did manage to get a snapshot of the striking arch-truss Shirahige Bridge with my phone. We pickup again on the Taitō side in the Asahi Shōtengai (アサヒ商店街).

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

It appeared there was a coordinated effort to add life to the sidewalks with densely-filled planters. The shōtengai was tunnel of lush green in an otherwise grey part of town.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

This spot in particular was really done well, creating a shade canopy in front of this restaurant. Tactical urbanism at its best.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

At the end of the shōtengai, we turn north and head up along Metropolitan Route 464. This particular stretch of the road is known colloquially as Kotsu-dōri (Bone Street), a reference to the Edo period practice of displaying the severed heads of criminals that had met their grisly end at the nearby execution grounds. This is the heart of Sanya, the notorious neighborhood with a past and present as interesting as they are tortured. Next stop, Sanya’s Irohakai Shōtengai.

Walk from Hikifune to Sanya

This post is part of The Tokyo Project, Volume 2. Click here to go to the introduction and table of contents.

Additional volumes: Volume 1, Volume 3