I am living in sumo and shitamachi heaven.

Basha or -horse carriage- street. March 2008.


Modern sumo, traditional shitamachi life, what's not to like?



My view. March 26, 2008.

The view from window has certainly changed for the better! To the west from my corner apartment in Ryogoku, this humble little lane forms the "backyard" of the local Oshima-beya, where I can observe the informal side of sumo. What do young sumo dudes do after a heavy morning workout? Hang out and shoot the breeze, of course."

My rooftile view. March 26, 2008.

My apartment view to the south looks over a slice of alleyway onto "Basha" or "Horse Carriage" street, which was once a road between Edo and Chiba, to the east. I overlook a lovely tile roof where a family still lives, and the children's sports store. Street life abounds.

My Ezaki view. March 26, 2008.

Looking down just across from the old tiled roof house, the local Ezaki beauty shop keeps a congenial eye on the neighborhood. The family lives upstairs, and I shall try to photograph their calico cat, who suns herself in the window.

Kameido. May 4, 2008.

Kameido shrine, just two stations down the Sobu line from Ryogoku. In early May, it features astonishing displays of heavenly scented wisteria draping down towards a thousand camera shutters. Rebuilt several times, and captured by Hiroshige in a classic print quite close to this view.

torchicken Mar. 28, 2008.

Why does the chicken cross the road? To get to the delicious cherry blossom petals falling into the road. Fancy chickens free range in Ryogoku at a certain corner near the canals. Fresh food falling from the skies!

tor2sumo. May 15, 2008.

My first sumo basho as a Ryogoku resident provided plenty of dashingly yukata draped practioners and crew making their way between center ring and home sweet dojo.

torback. May 15, 2008.

A detail of the back obi knot arrangement.

torring. May 13, 2008.

Center ring at the Spring Hatsu Basho. Day Three. My keitai photo. Sumo is completely different when viewed away from the contraints of a monitor screen.

torcanal. May 13, 2008..">

Near my new home there is a small neighborhood coffee shop with this view of the canal and traditional river party boat.

Japlish in Ryogoku

Coffe Bland. Feb. 16, 2008.

The Ryogoku train platform is a mercifully straightforward affair, sporting several vending machines. The oldest one tucked behind the staircase sports this incredulous promise.

the world's most stimulating coffee bland.
Reach out for a cup of the
best tasting and top quality coffee
that will get you through your day.