Monday, 17 March 2014

商店街 / Shopping Arcades


I don’t really like shopping. I go to the supermarket or shopping centre to buy what I need. Window shopping bores me. A work meeting, the other day, finished earlier than expected, so I had time on my hands. I decided to take the long way to the station and walk through the shopping arcade. In recent years, many stores in shopping arcades across Japan have shut their roller doors for good. The deeper I walked through the lively arcade along Sanjo, central Kyoto, the more my curiosity was piqued. Tempting, delicious aromas wafted out of shop fronts as I passed. One aroma emitting from a chocolate shop drew me in. The shop owner struck up a conversation with me and gave me a taste of his cocoa sake. Next, I bought three bags of rice-crackers from the friendly old guy who runs the cracker shop. I actually enjoyed window shopping, that day. Shopping arcades are definitely more appealing than huge shopping centres. If only everyone else agreed, a lot of them would not be ghost towns.

The Japanese version first appeared in the March 2013 issue of the goodspeed monthly newsletter.

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