The gritty side of Tokyo

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Today was an interesting day.  After two weeks of seeing the glamor and glitz of neon-tokyo, my professors took us to the poorer side of tokyo.  Its amazing that we were on the train for an hour and were still in tokyo!  During World War II, it was the main place for soldiers and prostitutes to unite!  Well, it was really sad because it is very poor.  We walked down this one alleyway, and most of the stores were closed.  The Yakuza gang runs a lot of their business in those shops, and they probably put a lot of those stores out of business.  we even saw a red cadillac parked outside, and professor welch said it was probably a yakuza car!  Japanese people, when they weren`t buying sake and beer out of the alcoholic vending machines (which are quickly disappearing in the more glitzy parts of tokyo), were staring at us.

  I did not feel exactly comfortable being there, as a woman and as a foreigner.  Im sure my blonde hair didnt help either!

There was a great fire there some years ago, and about 100 people died.  We visited a shrine that was dedicated to the victims.  It was really sad.  What was interesting tho, was that we saw a man in a little shop handmaking a tatami mat.  One of the guys was videotaping it, so i quickly kept my distance from him!

Tonight is our last night in Tokyo, which is very sad.  We are going to get together and go so a sushi restaurant and hit up some karaoke.  It should be fun...but not too much fun because we have to leave the hostel by 6am tomorrow!

lisa says:
interesting story! you really don't see that side of tokyo, even living there! thanks for sharing :]
Posted on: Jul 30, 2007
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