The Story of Shibuya’s Drunk Alley: Nonbei Yokocho

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

Viewers’ Voice

Shibuya's back alley has its own unique atmosphere and character with the lights, tight paths, wooden structure and equally important-old customers and owners full of character all their own. It makes for a fun time exploring as each nook and cranny holds a story, and if you walk too quickly you will pass it by.

From the US

This segment on the back alleys of Shibuya was interesting, it made me want to explore them myself and I thought they presented a great opportunity for photography, so it made me smile when not only did we have our host Masahiro Yamaguchi who was a photographer but also some of the tourists were met were on a ‘photography tour’. It is very surprising that this Yokocho has survived for so long, in fact it is astonishing, given how close it is to the iconic centre of Shibuya.

From the UK

This segment shows a side of Japan that tourist may not know, but they could enjoy. It was nice to see that all the information necessary for a tourist (location, price, and if they will welcome foreigners) was given in a clear way. I wonder how many corners like this are in Tokyo. This clip was perfect 10.

From the Dominican Republic

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