Have you ever heard “Shitamachi” in Tokyo?
What do you think when you hear the word”shitamachi” ?
New area in Tokyo
New town in Tokyo
New shopping mall in Tokyo and so on.
Everything is ✖️.
Today, I will tell you about “Shitamachi” in Tokyo.
What is “Shitamachi” ?
When people think of Tokyo, they tend to imagine a busy and lively metropolis.
you’ll also find little pockets of history, faithfully evoking the spirits of days long gone. Those areas are called “Shitamachi”.
So 城下町 was in the lowland of the town under Edo castle.
and it was around Kanda, Nihonbashi, and Kyobashi in Tokyo.
Back then, people mainly lived next to the city’s rivers and the sea.
At the end of the Edo period and the Meiji period, Edo became known as Tokyo. The expansion of the town hall has progressed, and even in the eastern bank of the Sumida River, the town hall of Tokyo has expanded to the east, expanding the range of Shitamachi areas. Due to disasters, the town area has expanded like this, and Katsushika and Edogawa district have come to be recognized as Shitamachi.
For Japanese people now, the definition of Shitamachi is ambiguous, and when they hear that it is Shitamachi, the Japanese people imagine, for example, such a place.
The characteristics of the people who live are that they continue to live for generations, and that their neighbors will be acquainted and friendly.
Most Japanese image Fukagawa, Tsukiji, Asakusa, Ueno, Katsushika city, Adachi city and so on when they hear “Shitamachi”.
There is no expression in Japanese for “Shitamachi” in English.
If you know “Shitamachi”, Feel Shitamachi in Shitamachi area.
The neighborhoods are filled with the warmth of their local inhabitants. You will feel time passes so slowly.
Recently, Many shops provide services according to the manual in Japan. It is not OMOTENASHI.
But you could feel OMOTENASHI in Shitamachi. We have to do a polite response tailored to each individual. It is OMOTENASHI.
I’m not sure you can feel OMOTENASHI in tourist spots in Shitamachi like Asakusa, Yanaka Ginza.
I recommend you NOT tourist spots like Katsushika city, Adachi city and so on.You might be not able to feel Omotenashi in shops according to the manual even if Katsushika or Adachi city but most small shops provide Omotenashi.
People in Shitamachi might not used to being spoken to in English by foreigners.
They might be not able to speak English, but Some of them try to communicate with you in Japanese or easy English words.
If you don’t understand Japanese, you will have a valuable experience.
If you have an experience of Omotenashi, you have to replay. It is also Omotenashi from customers.
What you give isn’t important. It’s your feeling that counts.
For example, if you go to a restaurant, you eat without leaving even if a grain of rice.
Because in Japanese culture, we say “Itadakimasu” before meals and “Gochisosama” after meals.
We are thankful for the lives of any kind of food ( vegetable, fish, cow, chicken, etc.) and those who took care of the food, from farming, delivery, to cooking. Because food is life.
I also recommend you communicate in Japanese.
We provide online Japanese lesson for beginners for trip.
When I went to Germany, I saw a lady talked to me few English and Germany on the local train.
I cant speak German, so I try to talk to English but If I can speak German, I think I might have a great experience.
I think If I study German, I could understand more German culture from German language.
So if you study Japanese and come to Japanese, you might understand Japanese and Japanese culture more.
If you go to Shitamachi instead of tourist spots, you might have an experience like homestay.
It would be better place even if you are bored to tourist spots in Japan.
If you want to have experience of Omotenashi, we provide you experience of Omotenashi at sushi bar : SUSHIDO.
If you are interested in Shitamachi, we have a preparation tour in Tokyo.
If you want to study Japanese casual conversation for trip, I recommend Online Japanese lesson.