The bright lights, bustling crowds and big stores are all popular images of Tokyo. Quite accurate ones too. Or at least they are for some parts of the city. But in the capital’s older, shitamachi areas, it’s a very different story indeed.
There’s a distinct lack of neon. Many of the stores are small, family run affairs. Plus any congestion is generally only because of slow-moving octogenarians. Visible differences that make such districts a delight to explore. In fact doubly so, as atmosphere-wise, not only are they are often much friendlier, they are definitely far more relaxed.