natasha nakamura's diary
Where are the posh neighborhoods?
Tokyo has always been a city where everyone lives together. True, the samurai sometimes had large houses--castles, even--with walls around them, but stacked up right next door where the houses of the hoi polloi and factories making fish paste. There was no such thing as a "good" neighborhood.
This is still true, generally, although train lines like the Toyoko Line and the Inokashira Line have discovered that some people like to live in communities with sidewalks and straight roads lined with trees, and will pay for the privilege. Thus, Den-en-chofu.
But still, it is difficult in Tokyo to identify where the money is: the city remains a great jumble.
Here are some clues as to where the money is:
--All trains, including all expresses, stop at the station, which may in itself be of some architectural interest. The posters in the station advertise musical and theatrical events in the city.
--A portion of the cars parked at the station are BMWs or similar.
--There is probably a wine shop, a cheese emporium, and a French bakery in town.
--A portion of the kids coming home from school are wearing the high-collar black uniforms of private schools.
--There are no street carts selling ramen noodles.
It may not be obvious, but there is money in these neighborhoods. The vast majority of Tokyo is bemused by such towns, but finds them generally devoid of interest.