Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Sunday of Nostalgia: Bashamichi and Nihon Oodori

Yokohama is still something of a grand dame. Perhaps no longer the celebrated talk of the town, but with sparkle showing that, in her heyday, she was a beauty to be reckoned with.

The long wandering walk from Kannai to Nihon Oodori gives a glimpse into the exciting Meiji and Showa days, when this port brought the world to Japan, and viceversa. The sweeping stone buildings, reminiscent of Paris or London, topped with copper that has gone green with age.
Those born and raised in Yokohama are called Hamakko, children of the port. And even now, when in Tokyo more and more remnants of the past are torn down and replaced with conbini, Yokohama still protects her children and her history.

Stained glass, the scenes very different from those I grew up with in Europe, show in their tints the earliest memories of 'gaikokujin', of terrifyingly large ships and palanquins, overseen by the immortal phoenix.
Eventually, tired from walking and finding all restaurants closed for weddings (alas, the scourge of all port towns), we take refuge in the Cafe' de la Presse on Nihon Oodori. The press is quiet, and the sound of heels on wood parquet brings a hint of nostalgia. A very bistro lunch (main, salad, bread) rejeuvenates us, as we watch an omiai meeting unfolding (successfully, it seems) at a nearby table.

2 comments:

  1. Great post! Yokohama is my favorite city and I spend much of my free time there walking around and taking pictures. I was just taking the same stain-glass pictures yesterday. Your photos are really quite nice. Well done!
    Mike

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