Back in March, I had to change stations from Tokyo Station to Hibibya Station, and instead of hassling with the subway lines I decided to walk the not too far distance between the two station, bringing me right past Yurakucho station right at the point of dusk, the magic blue hour. The fact that I did this walk in March and am only now posting the photos shows you how far back logged I am with stories and pictures that haven’t been published yet – I even have a number of posts waiting in line from a couple of years ago! Walking is one of my great joys in life and having a camera along to accompany you makes it even better. Here’s what I caught on this short promenade, blue dusk sky, silver metal, and orange street lights. If you need a new photo for your desktop, here’s the third photo as a larger file. Enjoy!
Perhaps it is time for a useful post? People sometimes ask me to recommend things to do in Tokyo and one of the ideas I usually give is the Sunday antique markets. There’s a whole bunch of them all around Tokyo most Sunday afternoons, the only trick is to figuring out which one is on at which time. I have a few favorites, the markets at Ueno Shinobazu Koen, Yasukuni Shrine, Togo Shrine, Hanazono Shrine and this one, at the Yurakucho Internationl Forum, for example, the Oedo Antique Fair (大江戸骨董市). Yesterday on my way somewhere else I passed through the weekly market and had time to take a few photos. I agree – terrible photos and nothing creative here at all. Just some snaps to show you what it looks like. Next time I go I’ll try to get some nicer shots of the actual antiques.
There’s a useful, although incomplete list of craft fairs, antique markets and flea markets on this web calendar, in Japanese only. And one more similar calendar here. Fun trivia – in Japanese the word Flea and Free is written exactly the same in Katakana, leading many Japanese to believe that the term “flea market” is actually “free market”. So don’t be surprised if someone talks about “free markets”.
Also, if you are into antiques and in Tokyo in December, don’t miss the Heiwajima Antique Show, the oldest antique market in Japan, December 16, 17 and 18 this year.
I know I have posted about this area many times before but let me do it just one more time! Yurakucho is one of the classical business areas of Tokyo. When I first came to Tokyo, Yurakucho was like the old seedier bit of Marunouchi, the Japanese Wall Street. But since then the area has undergone an almost complete renewal and not much of old Yurakucho remains. To find out what it used to be like you’ll have to cross the streets and railway bridges to Hibiya and Shimbashi which still retains some of the old Yurakucho atmosphere. In Old Yurakucho there’s still a few classic eateries under the railroad tracks, and they are usually quite packed on weekends and most weekeday evenings. Definitely recommended if you want to try something different! Beware of the prices though, just because it looks run-down and old fashioned doesn’t mean it is any cheaper than other restaurants. Due to the large number of tourists in the area most of the restaurants here have English menus as well. Which is great.