“The Higashi-Nihonbashi and Bakuracho neighborhoods, an area characterized by rundown buildings housing small business offices, bland new mansion towers, and cheap wholesale clothiers. Economic decline has led to low rents and numerous vacated spaces, a trend which has inspired some Tokyo-based creators (who were in turn inspired by neighborhoods such as New York’s DUMBO) to gather in the area with the intention of using their collective artistic powers to revive the neighborhood.”
Published on Tokyo Art Beat.
This story is old, from 2007, but it is a record of how gentrification happens at a snail’s pace in Tokyo. I have been watching this neighborhood for nearly a decade and in that time it’s added just a handful of new shops, galleries, and cafes (while Williamsburg has gone from cult to cliche). Will Andrews put together a slightly more current (2009) guide to the area, also for Tokyo Art Beat.