Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tokyo Overground After Dark: Koiwa to Aoto

Yesterday, I redid the 45 minute trek from Koiwa (where Third Uncle is) and Aoto (for Shinto Gangu). This time, I left Third Uncle at around 5:00 PM. In winter in Tokyo, the sun is already on its way down by noon, and by 4:30, it's starting to set. So this was a night trek, which I thought would be another interesting side of the walk.

I didn't have a tripod, so the pics are all pretty dark, and some are blurry - so sorry about that. I opened the light meter up to +1 whenever I had a chance to set the camera on a steady base, but even then the shots are less than vivid. In a way, I think that adds to the ambience!
Yamato delivery bike. You can see the yellow sticker with the cat silhouette logo on the rear case.
I took the same route as last time. So, I just headed west from Third Uncle, and once I hit the river, I followed it north.
Tunnel looked kind of spooky
More after the jump.

It was a lot more quiet this time around, but there were still a few people out and about sweeping sidewalks, jogging, and riding bikes.

I love these boxy old cars.

There's a nice, old school convenience store along the way. They sell snacks, candy, and a couple of basic grocery items. The store is run by an elderly couple. I think they live inside, since right behind the register, there's a sliding door which opens onto a sitting area. The elderly gentleman added up my purchase, and his wife, who was sitting in the living room, reached over and handed me my change. I thought that was pretty cool.

This large place sits beside the western river bank. I imagine much of the area featured stand alone houses like this just a few decades ago.
There are plenty of signs admonishing folks to watch over their dogs!

Bike parking lots like this are all over Tokyo. Some of them (like the one near Nakano station) are massive, holding many hundreds of bikes.

The reeds, which you can barely make out here, were softly whistling in the chilly night winds.

I could hear lots of cheering from this place. Maybe a soccer match?

Up ahead is the bridge you cross to reach Aoto.
This was the only stretch where I had to be semi-alert. There are lots of bikes along the route, and not all have lights. An old fellow nearly crashed into me. We both said "Oh!" and then "Oh!" once more (it's the universal grunt for "We almost bit it but didn't") and then carried on our separate ways.

It was a nice walk, and I made it to Shinto Gangu at about 6:10, just a few minutes after the shop opened. If you make the walk, I recommend picking up some sour apple candy at the old shop. Just 20 yen a strip, and really good for munching while you trek.

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