Our Surrounding Neighborhood


Rather than stay at a hotel, we stayed at a traditional japanese inn known as a ryokan.
The Annex Katsutaro ryokan was traditional enough that the floor was covered in tatami mats, we slept on futons and had to take our shoes off before entering the room.
It was nontraditional in they only provided American breakfasts but we had a private bathroom and they accepted credit cards, so no complaints here. In fact, I highly recommend the establishment.


We also chose to stay in one of the more traditional areas of Tokyo It is one of the few neighborhoods in Tokyo that has sections that have changed little over the centuries.

This is one of the market streets near the ryokan. Here you can buy a variety of foods, groceries, souveniers, and household items.


By traveling a block in the other direction from the ryokan, we found ourselves in the fully modern section of the neighborhood.

The conjunction of the modern and the ancient appeared to me to be one of the more pervasive and characteristic features of Tokyo.


You find these vending machines EVERYWHERE. Our guidebook (Lonely Planet: Tokyo) says that Tokyo has over 6 million vending machines.
They are pretty handy. You can get drinks ranging from beer to pop to coffee from these machines.

The "Deepresso" coffee was actually pretty good.


We spent quite a bit of time exploring the alleys and sidestreets of our neighborhood.
You never know what you are going to find.


There were buddhist cemeteries everywhere we looked.

This was one of the larger ones we found.



One of the things we found was the Zensho-an temple.
The grounds of the temple contain this statue of Aoishokanzeon.

In fact, you can't go anywhere around here without finding parks, temples, or shrines.
Click here to see more neighborhood parks and temples pictures.


The other streets and alleys contained bars and restaurants


We saw quite a few rickshaws. Never actually saw anyone riding in one though.


Lies! All lies!

Notice the lack of street names? Thisis because there aren't any!
Many of the streets in this city are so small that they look like alleys. This makes wayfinding difficult because alleys aren't indicated on the "maps." Y ou are never sure whether you just passed one of the streets indicated on the map or one of the alleys .

I have never had so much trouble navigating a city. We were lost a lot.