From the east exit of Shinjuku Station, pass under a railroad underpass named after the now unheard of Tsunohazu, and you will arrive at an area with narrow alleys lined with a jumble of small bars and restaurants. This is Omoide Yokocho.
Even though the construction near the south exit has been completed and the redevelopment of the area around Shinjuku Station seems to be all but finished, the area around Omoide Yokocho remains unchanged. Despite its prime location near Shinjuku Station, the area has not been swallowed up by the swell of redevelopment and still retains the image of a post-war black market.
This is the place where the owner of a street vendor established a black market called "Lucky Street" in a burnt-out area. According to the book, "Postwar Map of Tokyo: Walking the Ruins of the Black Market," it used to be a huge black market with about 300 stores, extending as far as the Odakyu Department Store. It was about three times the size of today's area. However, when the area around the station was redeveloped in the 1960s, two-thirds of the black market stores that were located along Koshu Kaido and Ome Kaido were evicted due to illegal occupation. As a result, only the 80 or so stores between the Palette Building and Ome Kaido have remained.
The fact is that the remaining areas were not swallowed up by the wave of redevelopment because the land around Omoide Yokocho is privately owned, not because they tried to preserve the old atmosphere. In other words, the redevelopment of the area will not be possible unless someone comes up with a fierce plan to consolidate the complicated rights.
|Jan 2022 IN THE CITY TOKYO|
|ALLEYWAY DECORATION LANTERN LEAF NISHI-SHINJUKU|
January 19, 2022
May 11, 2022
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