The Raglan Road of Tokyo

On Gaien Higashi Dori

Life from the Raglan Road of Tokyo

Friday, October 24

People of the Gaien

Yayoi Kusama lives on Gaien Higashi Dori too. Interesting character by the sounds of her review here. She is an artist who was famous in the '60s in New York. Now, she lives in a pyschiatric hospital on the Gaien and walks 5 minutes up the great road every morning to her studio, where she works.

The person who wrote her review, Monty DiPietro, also gave a wonderful description of Gaien Higashi Dori. I hope he doesn't mind that I quote it here:

"Gaien Higashi street runs north from Meguro and through Tokyo’s posh Minato Ward. The upscale ex-pat community of Hiroo, a host of European embassies, and some of the world’s most expensive real estate flank the busy thoroughfare as it intersects Meiji and Roppongi Streets, before winding its way around Azabu Cemetary and up past Aoyama Street towards the city’s Shinjuku Ward.

From this point northward, Gaien Higashi street seems to proceed backward in time. Within a few blocks, off-ramps whittle the eight traffic -lanes down to two, and designer clothing stores and European-style cafe-terraces give way to the tiny noodle restaurants, fruit and vegetable markets, and ma and pa futon shops of the old Tokyo

Now, just to get one thing clear. I don't live on the posh part of the street. I am backward in time, up in the Shinjuku end, wedged in between the fruit and vegetable markets and the ma and pa futon shops.

As Ronnie Drew would say if he was Japanese, "My Tokyo."

posted by setsunai 11:05 AM Comments
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Gaien Higashi Dori means Outer Gardens (of the Meiji Shrine) Ave. East. It is one of the beautiful big leafy avenues that winds through the center of Tokyo.

Raglan Road is a poem and song about love and loss by one of the finest Irish poets of the twentieth century, Patrick Kavanagh.