Nonbei Yokocho: The Story of Shibuya’s Drunk Alley

Aired: Jan. 30, 2020

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics approach, Tokyo has been undergoing redevelopment with numerous high-rises being built all over the city. In a corner of bustling Shibuya, is a place that retains traces of Japan’s post-war reconstruction era. “Nonbei Yokocho ,” where 30 or so cozy eating joints and waterholes line the streets, is located a one-minute walk from the famous Shibuya crossing. This segment features snapshots of Tokyo’s bygone era that photographer Masahiro Yamaguchi has captured through the years.

Nonbei Yokocho alley in Shibuya, Tokyo
Book designer and photographer Masahiro Yamaguchi
Paper lanterns lighting the drunk alley
There are many bars that welcome tourists even if they don’t speak Japanese, like Matsugiku