The image above is from Kichijoji. Regularly voted one of the best places to live in Tokyo I went there recently to see what all the fuss was about and have to say, though there are some nice shopping streets, a largish beautiful park and some interesting bars and shops, it didn’t look or feel that different than many of the other small, supposedly trendy towns that routinely get advertised as good places to live or hang-out in the capital. Personally, aside from the shopping streets that had that attractive market-like atmosphere so demanding of lethargic wanders and exploration, the place was disarmingly ordinary. Even the shopping was ordinary and as I explored I found that very quickly, unlike somewhere like Shimokitazawa, the interesting parts soon gave way to identi-kit department stores and supermarkets that could have been anywhere in Japan.
True there is a hint of Bohemian indolence about the place that may have become stronger as the evening arrived but it felt gentrified to me, trying a bit hard to be down-at-heel. Even the small standing bars and hole-in-wall eateries had none of that genuine salaryman-chic found places like Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku or anywhere in Ueno.
Did like this unusual street sculpture though attached to what appeared to be an animation studio. Not CCTV of course but wouldn’t it be great if they dressed up all the security cameras in London in something shocking and absurd like this. Then we might not mind being the most observed population on the planet.