pencil buildings

Shibuya contrasts – exploring old versus new

Shibuya offers a mystical mixture of old and new. Modern versus traditional, all cramped into a compact space, somehow coexisting in a strange symbiosis. Although gradually the “old” is unfortunately disappearing, there is still plenty of it remaining. Even around the station, in the midst of all the flashy developments, some of the old still manages to survive. It’s amazing how close to each other the two different “worlds” exist! Nonbei Yokocho – a treasure from the past A great example is Nonbei Yokocho, or “drunkard’s alley”. This cluster of old two-story buildings packed with restaurants and bars still stands […]

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Things to do in Shibuya – explore the “pencil buildings”!

Why is it impossible to get bored in Shibuya? The answer is “pencil buildings”! What is a pencil building? For those of you who have never been to Japan, a pencil building is exactly what the name suggests; a building that is so thin that the shape looks like a pencil, balancing on its head. Pencil buildings can be found in any urban area of Japan, especially in the old parts of town, that modern urban planning has not yet extended its claws into. Shibuya, this crazy city within a city, has over two million people using its train station

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