The young people’s town, Shimokitazawa, Tokyo. Also known as “Shimokita” located 4 min from Shibuya by Keio Inogashira line and 7 min from Shinjuku by Odakyu line and the neighborhood is well known for the density of small independent fashion retailers, cafes, theaters, bars and live music venues. There are a lot of students, musicians, actors, artists, and creators who aspire to be famous, and there are a lot of cheap drinking places or a lot of tiny & old bars which have good-old atmosphere and a lot of kind people who like the subculture way of drinking and talking about their dreams overnight …every day.
The “Shimokita” is exactly my town where I’ve been living for the past 8 years (I’ve traveled the world 3 times during that time though) since I came to Tokyo from Nara (My hometown). For me who decided to come to Tokyo to publish books and sell them on the street, I had to be based in some good location and I decided to be based in Shimokita because it is close to downtown but it’s not a big town as Shibuya, Shinjuku. but the biggest reason why I decided to live there, are a lot of kind people who are living in and drinking together as a family in good atmosphere bars. Of course, I really love Shimokita.
As soon as I came to Tokyo, I began to sit down on several streets over Tokyo with the “shit” sign for drawing portraits. Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Kichijoji I sat down in many places in Tokyo, but the most comfortable and interesting street was, of course, Shimokita.
Also, there was the bar called “Matatabi” where they offered me a glass which can get me drunk by just having one (half glass of Spirits+grape juice) for only $5 when I don’t have money, Also Shimokita allows the artist to sit on the square in front of the station with “shit” sign and a lot of alcohol and they allow that he enjoys drinking with anybody who is interested in the “shit” sign and who was drawn to him, also the base town of a writer who sits with the shit sign and writes a book called “flower on the shit”, and the base of “flower on the shit” is also exactly Shimokita!!
Of course, the bar called half-moon “OK” where I worked as Monday & Wednesday’s master is also located in Shimokita and when around 5 months passed since I opened the bar and exactly 3 months since I met the mysterious girl who I mentioned in my last episode, on 22nd of March, 2013, the day when Shimokita started to change, finally came.
Shimokitazawa had the famous rumor that everybody knew that the crossing of Odakyu line is always closing. In fact, if the crossings closed the gate, we had to wait for it to open for more than 20 mins. But on the day of 22nd of March 2013, the Shimokitazawa station of Odakyu line and it’s rail track went underground and I sat down on the square in front of the Simokitazawa station on that day, as usual, to celebrate Shimokita’s start in changing itself.
うんこ (unko) means “Shit” in Japanese. Cheers for Shimokita which is beginning to reborn.
“Why is it shit!?” and they gathered in front me and started to drink.
Came to no longer know who each person is.
But cheers again.
Came to no longer know why we are here.
However, I, who I lived in Shimo from 2006 and who was sitting in front of the station every night had a big worry about changing Shimokitazawa station. After Odakyu line moved into the underground, the plan was to change Shimokita into a modern town. In fact, they pulled out a lot of old small bars which had been running around the station, to build the big train station building and a big rotary and they began to make a big road on the traces of the railway. If the big train station building will be completed, the big rotary will surround the station and the big train station building and the big road would cut Shimokita vertically. The transportation will be more convenient and a lot of new big buildings will be built around the big road and every big brand or franchise store will open a shop there.
Of course, into a modern town would be good for everybody, but for me, I don’t really want it to change. Because I liked Shimokita which is the old downtown district of Tokyo I mentioned above. If people want the modern town, they can just go to Shibuya, Shinjuku or Kichijoji in 10min and in fact, every friend who drinks with me in Shimokita doesn’t exactly want this change. So, easy to say, I think that people who like Shimokita like Shimokitazawa as I mentioned in this post. This is just my guess and you can call me paranoid but It is my straight opinion about this urban redevelopment and that day.
It was at the very time, the proposals as I mentioned the last episode came to me.