Jūjō Fujimi Ginza Shōtengai (十条富士見銀座商店街) is a quiet, 190 meter open air shopping street that picks up the residual foot traffic spilling out of the north end of much larger Jūjō Ginza Shōtengai, passing through residential Jūjō Nakahara 2-chōme and ending at arterial Kannana-dōri in Kita Ward. This visit was the coda to a day of shōtengai walks with my family. Though missing the bustle of its neighboring business district, it has a gentle warmth of its own, and a few remnants of grit that give a comfortable, lived-in feel and some indication of the nature of its earlier life. The shopping district began as a black market around the end of World War II. Local volunteers formed the first formal business association, the Jūjō Nakahara Kyōdō Kumiai (十条仲原商店街協同組合), launching in 1950. Like its neighbor, it modified or recreated this association a few times over its history, eventually becoming the current Jūjō Fujimi Ginza Shōtengai Shinkō Kumiai (十条富士見銀座商店街振興組合) in 1963.
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It may be sleepy in the evening, but there is still plenty to love. The businesses at the end that directly faces Jūjō Ginza have a steady flow of shoppers picking up last minute groceries before heading home to prepare dinner.
The modern marquis with a Mount Fuji motif and clustered glass streetlamps are relatively recent upgrades. The older, rustier building stock is more consistent with the character of many Shitamachi shopping streets.
For it’s length, the wider building footprints and spaces between them mean there isn’t a large number of individual shops here.
Still, we find a few interesting people to chat with.
Warm light (and a few jolly patrons) spill out of a tiny stand up bar, probably just the right size for the handful of regulars that come to shoot the breeze.
Prepared food vendors have sold most of their stock for the day. End-of-the-day markdown items are bundled out front. I get the feeling that Fujimi Ginza sees the most foot traffic around mid to late afternoon.
Slim pickings from the last yakitori of the day.
Most of the people we meet at this point are just out for an evening stroll.
On our way out at the end of the night, we score a strawberry and vanilla twist. Our team leader generally thinks any outing that ends with ice cream was a successful trip. I’m not going to argue with that.
This post is part of The Tokyo Project, Volume 3. Click here to go to the introduction and table of contents.