Located in West Tokyo is an area called Koenji ] - a very cozy residential area filled with Shotengai. Shotengai ] are streets filled with shops which cater for the residents living nearby - restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, barbers, post offices, book stores, game centers and izakaya (pubs).
Areas like Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya are not called Shotengai and are usually referred to as Hankagai ]. Hankagai are usually located around major train stations in non-residential areas.
Koenji has a large population of young folks. There are many one room apartments/mansions and food and clothing is generally cheap. There are also many cheap second hand clothing stores and zakka (life style products) to be found.
Koenji is also where you can enjoy the Awa Odori festival which takes place every Summer - this year to take place on August 25th.
Koenji would be a great place to see a slice of life in Tokyo and you can get there by getting off at Koenji station on the JR Chuo line .
Spent sometime in Koenji which had so much to explore that we didn't manage to cover everything in the few hours we spent there. Most of the photos in this post are of the Shotengai around the station. I love looking at Japanese store fronts. I remember when I first came over to live - would learn Japanese just by looking at the hiragana, katakana and kanji on the store fronts.
This store buys your unwanted games and DVD's from you. This store says that they will pay generously for your stuff but I've come across a place which offered me 1 yen for a DVD!
What do you do with your unwanted media?