Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chigusa Dori, Kitasenju (千草通り、柳原)

In the middle of a positively epic bike ride (7 hours and 3 izakayas) we endured a long stretch riding along the river before cutting off to try to find Kita Senju. Strangely, the street we angled onto turned out to be canopied with cherry trees, which are just coming into bloom. And the neighborhood turned out to be so classically beat-down that I want to mention it specifically.

This is just a great picture, with the nonplussed old woman on the left and the mid-leap kid in the background. And taken in mid-ride. Around this point we heard some people standing in a doorway saying "Huge earthquake!" and stopped the bikes to see. It was still hard to tell since we were standing and away from buildings, but doors were rattling and the power lines were whipping around.

Just down the street we saw the entrance to an old shopping street. It's at least half abandoned now, which is perhaps part of the charm. The other part is the extraordinary narrowness.

And the interesting people out for strolls. [All these pictures were taken while rolling, so pardon me if they're not perfect.]

And the odd little shops that remain open. We actually stopped at the ceramics store. It was a little fun to see the thick layer of grime on everything, as well as the piece that looked like relics from a 70's vintage shop...but had probably just been on the shelf since then.

We didn't stop at the rice store.

And eventually we found the entrance to yet another shopping street. I always thought all the action in Kita Senju was on the west side of the station, but this Gakuen Higashi Dori is probably close to a whole kilometer of shopping. It was a heck of a thing to stumble on.

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