I went for a stroll along the Sumida river yesterday afternoon, ending up in the Ginza. Along the way I took some photographs.
The hokohsha tengoku (literally pedestrians paradise) on the main Ginza shopping thoroughfare on a Sunday afternoon. There is even a phrase which means ambling along the Ginza - Ginbura. It was here in 1993 that a group of then young art students initiated Ginbuart - a guerrilla street art action for a day involving Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Makoto Aida and Masato Nakamura amongst others. Today, the closure of the street brings out pet-owners parading their dogs and cats, a few registered street performers (The City of Tokyo has made it compulsory for street performers to be registered) and a chance to gaze at the city from the vantage point of a car. As I ambled along I realised how much the city ordinarily forces us to march or propel ourselves along on narrow pavements and public passageways. I was also reminded of how little we actually experience walking on the road - in Japan, where there are hardly any demonstrations or protest marches, this seemed doubly poignant.