Global Research



Modern Kagurazaka still conveys the atmosphere of its once flourishing Edo Era streets. Old Japanese restaurants and bars line the narrow alleyways and with softly glowing lantern light and welcome signs to complete the scene, one forgets that this is Shinjuku Ward in the middle of Tokyo. In this historical neighborhood warm lantern light is all but a natural presence.


Compared to the white lights of Ikebukuro and Shinjuku glowing brightly in the distance, Kagurazaka is submerged in darkness. Buildings in Kagurazaka are lower and lower color-temperature light also peaks out from the many alleyways. Kagurazaka Street, running down the center of this neighborhood, is the only really bright spot, except for the lights reflecting off the canal along Sotobori Street.


A prized neighborhood for shopping and entertainment during the Edo period, the historical Kagurazaka Shopping Street is a 700 meter long living time slip. New and old shops are jumbled together along the street with specially designed, lantern-like street lights placed at intervals along the edge of the sidewalk.


From Kaguraza`s main street several narrow alleyways lead to the interior of the neighborhood where the scale of lighting is downsized to human proportions. Outside restaurants on Hyogo Yokocyo, one of the more famous back streets, softly glowing lanterns light the entrance and also reflect of the cobbled street and traditional-style fence for a very old Japanese atmosphere.