Shibuya Story Vol.8 Dogen-zaka

This is a place where people wait to meet somebody. They look relaxed in the sunlight filtering through the trees. Off we go west from here.We will come to a gentle hill surrounded by shops, although not quite like Koen-dori Ave. or Hikarie (a relatively new shopping centre). It is called Dogen-zaka, keeping the same name for several hundred years.

Here is a jumbo diagonal street crossing next to the railway station.People stop and start walking, directed by the traffic lights and this is a famous Japanese scene.The building standing between the department store and the busy high street is a landmark for finding the way.

The high-rise tower building is Mark City to the west of Shibuya railway station. It serves as a landmark along with the Hikarie building opposite the station. There are not so many tall buildings in Shibuya.Well, they look almost like towers rather than buildings.

Here is the broad street going into Dogen-zaka. There’s a big roadside tree on the left of the street, looking uphill. Perhaps the hills in Shibuya are different from the rest of Tokyo because of these big trees. They remind us of the way things have changed from the thick forests of older times.

It’s difficult for smokers to find a place to smoke. They should feel proud as they pay extra tax for cigarettes. But, in reality, they have to smoke in the smoking area and do not look relaxed for some reason.

I come to a fork in the road. The road going to Tokyu Department Store is broader than Dogen-zaka. It shows Tokyu’s enthusiasm for development. The road to Tokyu Department Store has changed from Tokyu-honten-dori Ave. to Bunkamura-dori Ave. and dropped the reference to Tokyu (a private railway company which is also a land developer in the west of Tokyo).

(Photo by Taichi Seo)

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