Business at the back — by Leesan

Back alleys, when developed properly, can be a thriving hub for locals and tourists alike.

I have always loved strolling around the backstreets and alleys of Japan. When you visit Shibuya, Shimokitazawa and Jiyugaoka, weren’t you impressed by their back alleys?

Japan’s urban planning sees a main street formed by a wide road in front while the smaller lanes behind the main street shops form backstreets. At this point, the narrow alleys at the back door of the main street and the main street are separated into a back street. Meanwhile, the front door of the backstreet store is also a back door, and the back door is also a front door.

As a result, the stores facing the back streets are covered with sunshades and rain covers, which are the most popular and prosperous shopping streets in Japan today. The best examples here are Osaka Shinsaibashi and Kyoto Shijo Kawara Street.

The alleys in Japan are clean and comfortable.

The back alleys of Hokkaido, Fukuoka and Shinjuku are filled with many bars, snack shops, convenience stores and small hotels. The best part is, you’ll find locals hanging around with their colleagues after work to have a glass (or two) of Kirin beer, some yakitori and even a bowl of hot ramen.


The alleys in Japan are clean and comfortable.


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