Go to “SHITAMACHI” and experience Culture/Art/ Food.
Shitamachi means the towns below Edo Castle, now the site of the Imperial Palace, where the merchants and artisans have been living since Edo Period.
Picture: The best Chinese tea that I’ve ever had. Lunch at Kiogyo-zaka cafe in the town of Hongo.
Hongo is a district of Tokyo located in Bunkyo-ku (Bunkyo Ward), due north of the Imperial Palace and west of Ueno. Hongo was a ward of the former city of Tokyo until 1947, when it merged with another ward, Koishikawa, to form the modern Bunkyo.
Hongo is home to the University of Tokyo. There are many schools and universities in this ward and it has been regarded as a school zone since Meiji era. Hongo-sanchome Metro Station is main station of this ward.
A wholesale shop that specializes in goldfish, Kingyozaka (which translates as Goldfish Hill) has been based in the town, for 350 years. Hoping to make goldfish accessible to as many people as possible, the seventh-generation proprietress has converted part of the premises into a cafe. In a relaxed atmosphere, you can enjoy special beef black curry, kaiseki ryouri, coffee, Chinese tea, dessert, alcoholic drinks and even cigars. You can go fishing or scooping for goldfish, with 100,000 beautiful specimens in over 50 varieties, or simply pick out the one you like and take it home.
The Alleys in the town
After visiting Kingyo-zaka, take a stroll about the streets. Between tenement buildings were alleyways, or roji. The alleys were usually from 1.8m to 3.6m wide but some were less than a meter wide. There was a gutter in the alley where rainwater and used household water flowed, and this was covered by boards. The care of the roji was left to its residents, and they often used it to hang their washing out to dry, or to grow potted plants. It was also a favorite play area for the local children. The roji was an important part of daily life for the residents.