Special SHIBUYA:Shibuya Story Vol.10 Dogen-zaka

A view of Tokyu Department Store from Tokyu-honten-dori Ave. or today’s Bunkamura-dori Ave. Even if Tokyu pushes hard to deliver marketing messages or rename the street, the heyday of the street is far gone. I’d rather prefer for it not to be revived back to the forefront of Shibuya but to quietly stay unchanged. Nevertheless, Shibuya is not going to be another Asakusa which is a historical shopping and entertainment district located in the eastern part of Tokyo where a sense of nostalgia is dominant.

Going up Dogen-zaka and turn to the right, we see many narrow slopes like this.
The open space ahead is a parking lot. I think the Japanese have good driving skills. It is a tough job to go through up road to park and come out of the car park, almost like taking your driving test.

A painting on the shutter. Is it drawn at somebody’s request or was somebody naughty? Apart from quality of painting skills, it looks more appealing to me rather than something more sophisticated. What an urban frustration!

There is a group of shops called Hyakkendana, or one hundred shops.
It is a local shopping street but nothing sophisticated. It is something more than a restaurant district. Someone told me that the well-known shops were invited to make a shopping street as a measure of recovery and reconstruction in the wake of the Great Kanto earthquake (the disaster took place in 1923). There are eating places standing side by side now but they are not doing as well as they used to.

Many shops in Hyakkendana are shut or doing business as an eating and drinking place. Hyakkendana during the day is dull and sleepy. I walked fast for some reason and looked down as if to avoid the embarrassment of seeing somebody sleeping.

Small shops nestle along the right-hand side of the hill going up to Dogen-zaka. The busiest street has the width of the one in this picture. I will leave it to your discretion whether it is too close quarter or a comfortable communication space.

 (Photo by Taichi Seo)

[ Japacon× FIELDS Research Institute ]

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