After World War II, in 1946, the area near the west exit of Shinjuku Station in Tokyo was in ruins and buried by rubble.
After that, people gathered at Shinjuku, which was an important point for traffic, and people started doing business on the streets. Even stores that had been flourishing shrank as they were evicted due to the urban redevelopment from 1959. Currently, the traces of the Showa period after the war have been left behind to grow on a small scale as “Omoide Yokocho” at the west exit of Shinjuku. Many of the stores are traditional yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) or motsunabe (offal hot pot) stalls and continue to be loved by people as inexpensive places where office workers can rest and relax. Recently, it has become more tourism-oriented, with foreign tourists surging in, and resembles an international market. When you stroll into the lane, you will be enveloped in a cloud of smoke that comes from the yakitori restaurants. Customers crowd into cramped restaurants, with their shoulders pressed against each other. These are also places where people interact with one another. People can share a short period of happiness together while experiencing the retro atmosphere of the Showa period. There are likely few places that are similarly peaceful.
Such an area, which is thought to be behind times, still continues to be loved by people. I think that it deserves to be expressed with the single word, “wonderful.” I want to share “Omoide Yokocho” with many people in hopes that it will continue to be loved by people as a place of rest and relaxation forever. [Official Website]