Originally, I had planned to shoot video for my second visit to Togoshi Ginza Shōtengai (戸越銀座商店街), but heavy rains during the week courtesy of Typhoon Lekima passing out at sea had other ideas. With a compressed schedule, I decided not to rush things and just enjoy the evening there. On our first visit, we saw an already very active Saturday afternoon street scene. In this second installment, Sunday evening twilight brings out an even bigger crowd, as the street is lit up along its entire 1.3 kilometers.
In the first volume of The Tokyo Project, I encountered an entire little league team making a transfer at Iidabashi Station. This time, I find one in transit at the west end of Togoshi Ginza. Maybe this is my good luck omen.
The first of the three segments, Shōeikai (商栄会), is quiet but active at the west end of the shopping street.
Tonight we are welcomed by a large cut-out of the Togoshi Ginza mascot, Togoshi Ginjirō (戸越 銀次郎), frequently called Gin-chan (銀ちゃん). However, I’m not sure exactly what this pose is supposed to be.
Indeed, the baseball team is my good luck charm. Here we come across Gin-chan himself, in the middle of what looks like it may be a commercial shoot for the shōtengai.
The fumikiri allows the shōtengai to cross the Tōkyū Ikegami Line, and divides the Shōeikai from the Chūōgai (中央街) section.
The street slopes down on either side of the fumikiri, so you can get a neat view out over the crowd while standing on the crest.
Just make sure you get out of the way when the trains come!
As during the day, the portion of Shōeikai closest to the fumikiri and all of Chūōgai are the most active parts of Togoshi Ginza.
During the day, the arrangement of street side displays is one of the primary means for shops to advertise goods. At night, lighting comes in as an additional key factor.
Charcoal is fired up outside a restaurant, most likely a yakiniku or yakitori joint.
Torian is getting ready for its evening crowd.
Yakitori Ebisu operates out of a small shop front, but creates a wonderful space at the edge of the street with folding tables and chairs. Sometimes, a great third place doesn’t even require a building.
Very old school ramen and gyoza
Gin-chan and some oden
Shoppers chat with a baker.
Though there are still plenty of people that venture all the way to this end of Togoshi Ginza, the quiet Ginrokukai (銀六会) section begins the gradual transition of light into the night.
Grocers and restaurants are open, but some shops and services have closed for the evening.
Gin-chan stands on a quiet corner near the end of Togoshi Ginza.
A brisk walk returning to the subway takes me back through the middle of Chūōgai, where the nighttime scene is in full swing.
I couldn’t think of a better way to end a day.
This post is part of The Tokyo Project, Volume 2. Click here to go to the introduction and table of contents.