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Cycling by old and new Gado-shita: the Passage of Time
Kanto, Tokyo, Central Tokyo, Akihabara, Kanda, Shinbashi, Yurakucho, Leisure & Outdoor, Modern architecture, Gado-shita, cycling, 2k540, Maach Ecute
February 8, 2016
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This time, we adventured under various Gado-shita (area under the girder bridge of a railway line). Because space is limited in central Tokyo (and Japan in general), spaces below the girder bridge of a railway line must be used. If you take the time to carefully look at the restaurants, factories and storehouses in the area, you can uncover a bit of history that we often take for granted. In recent years, new types of commercial facilities (different from shopping arcades and malls) have been constructed in this unique area under the bridge.
The Gado-shita scenery that many old-timers are familiar with has vanished due to seismic reinforcement construction and redevelopment in these past few years. Before we knew it, Gado-shita had begun to change into a completely new and unrecognizable place. We wanted to check out Gado-shita, and admire it’s old-school vibe before it all went away for good, so we decided to venture underneath the bridges on a sunny day during the rainy season.
We started at “2k540”, a new commercial facility located between Akihabara station and Okachimachi station situated under the bridge of the now-defunct Manseibashi station situated under the bridge of Manseibashi Station (located between Kanda station and Ochanomizu station (JR Chuo line)). Both are modernly renovated Gado-shita.
Afterwards, we went to a part of Gado-shita where it felt as if we had traveled back in time to the Showa period (1926 - 1989). This section between Akihabara station and Asakusabashi station (JR Sobu line) is packed with many buildings that have a special ambience and the entire area has a special aura that many enthusiasts admire. Unfortunately the old-fashioned structures have begun to disappear in the past few years.
We sufficiently enjoyed our time as we strolled around the area looking for any sort of lingering historical remnants. Next, we headed towards Kanda station and found ourselves under a complex formation of girder bridges. Similar to Shinbashi, Kanda is somewhat of an oasis for office workers because of the number of delicious and cheap restaurants in the area. Below the girder bridge are many narrow-faced restaurants: but don’t judge a book by it’s cover! To conclude our cycling adventure, we rode under the well-known Gado-shita between Yurakucho station and Shinbashi station. The atmosphere of this section was quiet and eerie, something that is fairly unusual for Central Tokyo.
2k540: a shopping district of craftsman
Maach Ecute: renovated former Manseibashi Station
Disappearing Gado-shita between Akihabara station and Asakusabashi station
Near Kanda station there are many Japanese taverns under the girder bridge constructed in the Taisho period (1912 - 1926).
The girder bridge constructed in the Meiji period (1868 - 1912) between Yurakucho station and Shinbashi station
▼ More details and the route map can be found here!
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