& TOKYO/CELLPHONE (walking tour of the city / with low quality cellphone pictures) 2016-02-10 --

A walk west, first, along the Toden Arakawa Line, turning somewhere around the Arakawa Line main station, where the trains turn off for the night. Not sure where I was going but through Horifune's tight blocks of low-tech factories and twisting residential streets, popping up on Meiji Dori, headed toward Ikebukuro. And up through through Oji and Toshima Chuo Dori Shotengai (豊島中央通り商店街). Always stumbling on these shotengai-- you can attempt to diagnose the vibrancy of the neighborhood by these shopping streets: this one is mostly shuttered on a Wednesday around noon, but it's apparently lively later in the day and scheduled events on the weekend. The area north of the shotengai is fresh development and wide streets that gives it the feeling of the Kanagawa suburbs, but the neighborhood is old and behind the midrise blocks, there are still narrow shitamachi streets. Headed east again, there are corporate towers and housing blocks leading to the Sumida and the riverside given over to parkland or zones of factories and warehouses. And across the bridge and the blob of land between the Arakawa and Sumida rivers and over Sumida again to backtrack through Old Odai Dori (旧小台通り) and Odai Ginza (小台銀座)-- vibrancy: smaller but livelier than the Toshima Chuo Dori Shotengai, at least, located between Toden Arakawa Line stations, lots of foot traffic. I went for a walk through the narrow alleys around Odai and then back along the Toden Arakawa Line.