Foreigners' favorite antique drinking alleys, used to be “black makets”?!
Do you know there are some popular attractions called “old time of Tokyo” where foreign visitors love to go?
“Omoide Yokocho” locates in Shinjuku West Gate of JR, and “Nombei Yokocho” locates under the viaduct in Shibuya are some of the representitive antique drinking alleys. Compare with tall buildings and large mansions nearby, these alleys remained the wooden panels structured. Full of yakitori and unique, small restaurants with vintage atmosphere which attracts a lot of foreign visitors. Much and much people love to come here because they think “here is real Tokyo.”
Many guide books have introducted “Omoide Yokocho” as a famous visit spot and attraction, but actually you might not know that the drinking den used to be “black maket” in the past.
“Black market” means after World War II, due to the economy controlled and much people had lack of daily supplies problem, therefore started the trade market for transiting and distributing supplies privately. According to the estimation of October 1945, there are many massive black markets around Japan about 17 thousand places, such as Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ueno, Shinbashi and other main stations of Japan.
Black market initially was selling goods by booths with mat which was very simple and crude, but gradually became wooden panel structured market in order to increased the function of commercial purpose. Although black market was prohibited, but much people cannot survive without this life style after war. Afterwards, black market became legalized and transformed into an important role to help Japan's economy. After understanding these issues, the perception might also change after enter the drinking den nowadays.
There are some more alleys were used to be black market such as “Harmonica Yokicho” in North Gate of Kichijoji station, “Higashikouji” in North gate of Ooimachi station, “Yanagikouji” in South gate of Nishiogikubo station. There are a rumor says that due to the Olympics will be hold in Japan 2020, many of these alleys might remove or re-develop. Therefore, we recommended you go and have a look before these “orignal Tokyo” disappeared.
【Useful App Functions】
If you are looking at the app version of this article, try pushing the button to the right of the headline. Tapping this button allows you to save an article in "Favorites," which can be displayed by sliding from the left edge of the screen.
Favorites are an archive you create yourself. Check the new postings every day and add the articles you like to your Favorites. The articles you save here will be viewable online, which will come in handy during a trip to Japan.