Today we went to 柴又 (Shibamata). This is a traditional 下町 (downtown, blue-collar) area of Tokyo. We live in downtown Tokyo…but this is one of the downtown areas that stills maintains the old, traditional look.
I’m trying to explain it so that people from outside of Japan will relate…but Japan’s 下町 (downtown) and 山の手 (uptown) are unique and hard to explain accurately.
Come to Japan and I’ll show you. :)
Anyways, 柴又 (Shibamata) is the hometown for the character 寅さん (Tora-san) in the popular TV series 男はつらいよ (“It’s tough being a man!”) that ran from 1969-1995 in Japan.
The actor that played the main character (Tora-san) died in 1996. There’s a statue of the “Tora-san” character outside 柴又 (Shibamata) train station.
Here it is:
Near the train station is a store that sells Japanese candies. Just like most of the shops in this area, it looks like an old traditional Japanese store.
Here’s the 駄菓子屋 (Traditional junk-food shop):
(The Coke machine looks like a robot).
We also went to a temple and saw them setting up for a 盆踊り (Bon Dance Festival)…(we didn’t go to the festival, though), and a traditional Japanese street performer, and we went to a Japanese garden.
Here’s a slideshow of some of the photos I took:
I took a few videos today and uploaded to my YouTube page (in all of them you can hear 蝉 (Cicadas) in the background. Proof that it’s summertime in Japan :) ).
Also, in the last video there are 提灯 (paper lanterns) that say 寅さんの日 (“Tora-san Day”). This is in preparation for August 27—the anniversary of the first episode of TV series 男はつらいよ (“It’s tough being a man!”) that began on 1969/8/27.
Here’s my video of the Japanese garden:
Here are three videos that I took of the traditional Japanese street performer:
And here are two videos that I took of the 下町 (traditional downtown area):
We’ve been to this area a number of times. But it had been awhile since our last time here…so it was alot of fun!