Posted by: thewhitesintokyo | June 1, 2009

Under the Bridge

Since our home is so near the Futakotamagawa River, we often spend time relaxing by the water observing our Japanese neighbors do the same. Weekends though, are a different story. Gone are the fishermen and innocent flirting couples. In their place are hundreds of boisterous, free spirited young Japanese armed with grills, fireworks, sound systems and alcohol.

Walking into the train station, we were reminded that it was Saturday morning in “Shinchi,” our new neighborhood on the other side of the river. We had heard the vibe was different on this side of the river, but the carefree atmosphere of our neighborhood has been a pleasant surprise after the confinement of our last home in a much “nicer” and snottier neighborhood. Here are some of the younguns waiting for their friends before heading to the river for the festivities.

The following signs are hysterically ironic because they are so utterly useless. It looks to me like the local government is trying to say that these three activities are not allowed in the area. But grilling, fireworks and music are exactly the activities that these hundreds of disobedient hooligans are engaging in down under the bridge.

Every weekend since the cicadas started singing (and spring officially began) we have witnessed this ritual happen under the bridge near our home. The hungry hordes filter in before noon, grill, drink, and dance their hearts out until about 7:30pm and then pack it up and head home. As residents of the neighborhood, that makes it much more of a positive addition to our area than being a negative. The only real nuisance is the garbage left behind. Rather than have some sort of large bins for easy use and removal, mounds of refuse are stacked underneath giant tarps so that crows will at least have a more difficult time throwing the trash all over the riverbank.

We haven’t hung out with everyone out there yet, but definitely enjoy the spectacle. Here are some images from this afternoon.

Lines for the bathrooms:

The rest of the images show how much fun a Saturday in Shinchi can be.

You should see Rachael when she dresses up like the girl with the hat. (Yeah right!)

Awesome guy who posed when he saw me taking photos.

Looks like someone had a little too much fun…



  1. I could spend all day just watching all the people that hang out under the bridge. They are so uncharacteristic of the typical Japanese people we see around usually… It’s fun but also a little crazy at times…

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