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Ginza’s Backstreets and Alleyway Gardens

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I had to bring my mac into Apple last week, and today I returned to scoop it up.  Ginza was one of those places that I avoided.  I thought that it was only good for shopping with your platinum credit cards; however, my view of the neighborhood has really changed over the last couple of years.  Besides Ginza being home to designer brands of all makes, many fabulous ethnic and Japanese restaurants are found lining the main thoroughfares and even more intriguing ones lie in wait on the backstreets.

For those of you that know Tokyo, the area that I really love to wander around is between Ginza and Shimbashi station.  There are so many beautiful little alleyways that are populated with tiny shops serving up all kinds of cuisine.  Today I was interested in how many of these backstreet shops decorated their entrances with plants.  Even though we live in a sea of concrete and steel, many Japanese make an effort to green up their spaces.  It doesn’t matter if it is their home or place of business.  The greening of the concrete landscape is beautiful in my eyes.  These tight little garden spaces that flow out onto the asphalt streets, but not in a way that will impede foot or car traffic.  The potted plants hug the tiny strip of space between the walls of the buildings and the streets.

They seem so ordered.  Everything is in its proper place.  All the plants, usually, well cared for.  It is a small greening of Ginza.  It might not be very much, but it makes those backstreets a pleasure to wander.

Cuisine Street Garden

5 Potted Plant Line Up, Ginza

Leaning Potted Plant, No Entry

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