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Former Iseya pawnshop in Kikuzaka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.

Kikuzaka literally means a slope in a field of chrysanthemum flowers. Kikuzaka area actually was carpeted with chrysanthemum flowers in the 18th century. This neighborhood thereafter had developed into busy residential streets. As Tokyo was devastatingly destroyed two times, by the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Second World War, it's hard to find the old buildings built before the 19th century. This former Iseya pawnshop building is one of the rare existing buildings in Tokyo. This shop had run from 1860 to 1982. After the repeated repair works, the main building in the picture and the annexed storehouse are still projecting the atmosphere at that time. By the way, a female novelist Higuchi Ichiyo, who is featured on the 5,000yen bill, lived in this neighborhood and frequented this storehouse.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.


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