Matsumotos Corner Vol.28

- Shopping Street -

Every country has its commercial districts with unique characters. Japan’s typical style is the shopping street, with shops lining both sides along roads. In Japanese, they are called Shotengai.

If you went to Japan as a tourist, you have probably passed through shopping streets selling souvenirs and specialities. Many are facing the open streets, but you can also find arcade shopping streets. Apart from tourist areas, traditional Shotengai is often near railway stations and along the roads leading to shrines and temples.

In the area where I live, there is a small but well-known Shotengai in Tokyo where locals gather. It is roofless and a bit messy, but very comforting, with casual shops selling prepared foods, cheap groceries, clothing and other items. You can find many web pages introducing local Shotengai in English.