Meet up with your guide in the morning at Tokyo’s Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station, continuing on a walking tour that recreates the typical daily stops of an average city resident.
Walk first to a nearby ‘depachika,’ a special high-end, Japanese-style, food court typically found in the basement level of Tokyo department stores. Explore the diverse range of foodstuffs for sale in these underground food centers, picking among items like bento boxes and a mouth-watering array of takeout meals.
Contrast your food shopping trip with some time for reflection and nature at Kiyosumi Teien Garden, a recreation area that sits on the former site of the residence of Kinokuniya Bunzaemon, an Edo-era businessman. Stop by the miniature lake in the middle of the garden, complete with its three small islands. The water level is said to rise and fall based on the changing tides and recent rainfall.
Head next to the 300-year old Fukagawa Fudouson Shrine, making sure to view the Shingon (Mantra) of Acala inscribed on the wall of the structure’s main hall. Locals suggest the mantra helps protect the facility from harm, a belief that’s further reinforced by the shrine’s daily prayer rituals.
Make the last stop of the day at the Sunamachi Ginza ‘Shotengai’ (shopping street). This well-known shopping strip is home to more than 180 local vendors offering everything from groceries to fresh produce and more. Each day thousands of locals flock to the area to run errands and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Though the street was largely destroyed during the bombing raids of World War II, it was rebuilt in the style of Japan’s Showa era (1926-1989), offering a glimpse at the country’s early 20th-century design. If you’re lucky enough to the visit on the 10th of the month, you might even get to take advantage of the street’s ‘bakane-ichi’ (monthly sale). Your walking trip will end here.