Urbanism
Nayamachi Shotengai

Nayamachi Shotengai

Nayamachi Shōtengai (納屋町商店街), alternatively known as Passage Nayamachi 5-bangai (パッサージュなやまち5番街), is a 170 meter covered pedestrian shopping street in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto. Together with Fushimi Ōtesuji Shōtengai, it forms an ‘L’ shaped continuous covered pedestrian route from Fushimi-Momoyama Station into the surrounding districts to the west. Like Ōtesuji, the street traces its roots as a...
Fushimi Otesuji Shotengai

Fushimi Otesuji Shotengai

Fushimi Ōtesuji Shōtengai (伏見大手筋商店街) is a 400 meter covered pedestrian shopping street that begins at Fushimi-Momoyama Station on the Keihan Main Line and runs west along Ōtesuji-dōri in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto. The promotion association that currently manages the arcade formally organized in 1966, but the history of the shopping street reaches much farther back, deep...
Kyoto Sanjokai Shotengai

Kyoto Sanjokai Shotengai

Kyōto Sanjōkai Shōtengai (京都三条会商店街) appears to be a public space in transition. On my visit, it has a noticeably desolate air about it, but later reading seems to hint that a new generation is slowly returning to the large, covered shopping street, in an effort to halt its decline and breathe new life into the neglected...
Animation, Urbanism and Tamako Market: A Discussion with Moriwaki Kiyotaka

Animation, Urbanism and Tamako Market:
A Discussion with Moriwaki Kiyotaka

Even before the release of preview footage, with only a handful of promotional images and a very short description, I knew Tamako Market (たまこまーけっと), created and produced by Kyoto Animation (京都アニメーション), was something I would want to give special attention. At the end of 2012, I had been writing about urbanism in anime for about...
Demachi Masugata Shotengai, Session 2

Demachi Masugata Shotengai, Session 2

It was just one day shy of a year since I had last stepped in the Demachi Masugata Shōtengai (出町桝形商店街), a small covered pedestrian shopping arcade near the intersection of Kawaramachi and Imadegawa, between the Kamo River delta and backside of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. I had quickly run through earlier in the afternoon, on...
Kamo River Walk

Kamo River Walk

My first afternoon arriving in Kyoto on a recent visit began with a last minute addition to the schedule, lunch with fellow flâneur Michael Lambe. As the editor of recently published Deep Kyoto Walks, Michael understands the meditative power of a good walk through the historic capital better than most. It’s immensely reassuring to make a...
The Tokyo Project, Volume 2: Epilogue

The Tokyo Project, Volume 2: Epilogue

We’re now here at the end of the second volume of The Tokyo Project, and if I had to sum up the experience in only one word, I think it would have to be change. Over the last year since I shot the photos, I made significant changes to how I approached post-processing, research and...
Togoshi Ginza Shotengai, Session 2

Togoshi Ginza Shotengai, Session 2

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...
Musashikoyama Palm Shotengai, Session 2

Musashikoyama Palm Shotengai, Session 2

On my first visit to the Musashikoyama Palm Shōtengai (武蔵小山商店街パルム), I was focused on getting a representative sample of photos from the entire arcade, and explaining the form and function of shōtengai using Palm as an exemplar. This time takes a more casual approach, lingering on whatever happened to be interesting at the time. Where...
Muteppo in Nakano

Muteppo in Nakano

The Muteppō (無鉄砲) honten is way out in the hinterland of Kyoto Prefecture. Fortunately for Tokyo tonkotsu fiends in search of their next hit of thick pork soup and noodles, in 2010 August they opened a satellite in Egota, Nakano Ward (無鉄砲東京中野店), about a ten minute walk north from Numabukuro Station. Though there isn’t much...
Ramen Jiro in Mita

Ramen Jiro in Mita

A small sliver of the internet was recently sent into a tizzy over Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s posting of a photo from his visit to the Ramen Jirō branch in Kabukichō. Concerned followers made an effort to explain to Musk that many do not consider Ramen Jirō to be ramen, just Jirō. Indeed, for...
Ivan Ramen Plus in Kyodo

Ivan Ramen Plus in Kyodo

Previously, we visited the original Ivan Ramen in Roka-kōen for the earthy shio (salt flavored) ramen that gained Ivan Orkin his spot on the Tokyo ramen map. In volume 2 of The Tokyo Project, we head to Kyōdō, also in Setagaya Ward, for dinner at the second shop, Ivan Ramen Plus. Both locations use warm wood...