2015年04月30日

'Nakano Broadway' in Nakano-ku, Tokyo, is known as a Geek Holy Land a bit different from 'Akihabara'.

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Nakano Broadway is made up of a commercial area from the first basement floor to the forth, and an apartment house from the fifth floor to the tenth. Almost 50 year old building though, the total floor space of the commercial zone reaches 27,000 square meters. Because many animation production companies were found along JR Chuo-line where this building stands, 'Mandarake' opened its first shop here in the 1980's when 'For Rent' signs began to stick out in this building. Mandarake is known for a nation-wide shop buying and selling secondhand comic books, comic-related goods, figures and secondhand character goods, however this shop was born here as a tiny shop dealing in secondhand comic books. Other similar shops followed this shop to change Nakano Broadway into a full-fledged holy land for geeks.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:18 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年02月16日

A mound in Marunouchi, the largest business district close to Tokyo Station, where 'Taira-no-Masakado's' head is buried, is believed to be a curse to the people who destroyed it.

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'Taira-no-Masakado' was a samurai warrior in the middle of the Heian period in the 10th century. He attempted to establish an independent state in present Ibaragi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, however he failed. He was beheaded in Kyoto by the then central government and his head was exposed to public view on a busy street there.
After that, his head was claimed by his relative to be buried in Marunouchi, Tokyo.
This mound stands alone, surrounded by many big buildings as shown in the pictures.
Many inauspicious stories have been told about this mound, which is one of the well-known urban legends in Tokyo.

1, The new building of the Ministry of Finance was constructed at the site of this mound after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, but the Minister of Finance and high-ranking 14 officials died one after another during the construction work, besides the new building was totally destroyed by fire caused by lightning.

2, The US occupation forces tried to destroy this mound to convert into a parking lot though, two workers died or were injured in the overturning of the bulldozer.

3, The main office of Long-term Credit Bank of Japan was built on the site of the approach to this mound. After the completion, first one of the bank workers and then another got seriously sick, and finallly this bank went into bankruptcy in 1998.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:09 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年02月06日

Open-air antique fairs are regularly held on weekends in some shrines and vacant lots in the central part of Tokyo.

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A variety of open-air antique fairs are found in Tokyo, such as in the vacant lot in front of the United Nations University in Aoyama, Minato-ku, on Saturdays, as well as in 'Yasukuni Shrine' in Kudan, Chiyoda-ku, 'Hanazono Shrine' in Shinjuku-ku and 'Tomioka Hachiman-gu Shrine' in Koto-ku, on Sundays.
The pictures show one instance in Yasukuni Shrine from many, where about 60-100 street stalls from all over the country trade in antiques, old books, old folk utensils and other things. Unless it rains, these fairs are opened. There is a slight difference in a scale and the goods sold there from place to place. It is interesting only to take a short look at one of them.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:35 | Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする