Any Blade Runner fans out there? In the movie Harrison Ford, as Rick Deckard, goes out for a noodle dinner in a crazy street scene. And we found it! In 1982 Ridley Scott had a vision of what the world would look like in 2019. Here in 2009 the area south of Ueno Station (pronounced Ooo-way-no) fits the bill. The area is called Ameyoko-cho. Under the JR train line is a warren of shops selling practically everything. Once upon a time this was a tough part of town – less tough now but crazy busy.
You can see the windows of the train that is passing up top and then the shops tucked underneath. And restaurants – all kinds of tiny little places.The trains roar over head, the crowds surge back and forth, people are calling you into their establishments.
We stopped for a beer and some skewers at a yakitori joint – the kind of place where the table is a stack of empty beer crates with a piece of wood on top and patrons perch on little wee stools.
Can you see himself in there raising his glass? The red lantern is a signal for this sort of cheap and cheerful pub like affair.
This was still fairly early in the evening – the salarymen were just starting to arrive to start their eating and drinking. Around 7;00 p.m I was taking a picture when I heard a voice behind me suggest ‘Why don’t you join us?’ and there was a group of 8 men in business suits, table covered in little dishes, waving a big bottle of sake at me. Oh – I don’t think so! They had very bright shiny sake eyes, I must say. Should they stay too long at their sake they only had to stumble down the street to the local capsule hotel:
That’s about $40.00, up on the fourth floor, above a Pachinko palace. The subway system stops for the night at 1:00 a.m., and given the size of the city it can take an hour or more on the train, so – capsule hotel it is.
And just because I can’t resist them – here’s a sign from the front of another Pachinko parlour: