2014 Golden Week Downtown Tour

Last year was Shibamata; this year, we started in Asakusa, home of the legendary Golden Poo Building (AKA Asahi Beer Head Office).

I was in the area of Azumabashi (walk over the bridge, past the giant turd and turn right at the main road) to check out Infinity Books, a new second-hand bookshop that opened two months ago. It’s got thousands of English language books, some of them rare, all of them reasonably priced. It also hosts events – and I hope to go to one later this month.

The street of souvenir shops and tea houses leading to Fukugawa Fudo Temple.

Bridge, pond and carp in the precincts of Fukugawa Fudo Temple.

This is the oldest iron bridge in Japan; it used to span a river somewhere in Fukugawa, but it has since been moved to its current location here, where it apparently serves as a cat shelter.

The two signs posted here say “Do not feed or take care of stray cats because they will cause a nuisance.” Between them someone has lovingly built a crib where we saw a big white cat sleeping.

As the sun sets, the drinking begins! We had a sake tasting session in a shop/bar near the entrance to Fukugawa Fudo, and then moved on. This is one of the tiny streets lined with izakayas in the area around Monzen-Nakacho station.

Kogomi tempura and yuzu highballs in the tiny izakaya Yu-chan.

Next; a standing sake bar around the corner from Yu-chan.

“Braja” is not, as you might think, ladies’ underwear, but a cocktail of brandy and ginger ale. Bra (brandy) + Gia (ginger ale) – geddit?

The view outside the bar.

We round off the night with a few glasses of Manosturu sake at Mandawara.

See you soon, Shitamachi!

About J P Catton

Speculative storytelling and skewed fiction: the blog and website of author John Paul Catton.
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3 Responses to 2014 Golden Week Downtown Tour

  1. Jason Smith says:

    I would like to use the bridge photo for an article for the Chronicles, an online column that’s devoted to historic bridges in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Please let me know if this is OK with you and how I should cite the source. Use the e-mail address to respond. Thanks!

  2. J P Catton says:

    Just contacted you, Jason!

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