Omoide Yokocho is a small cluster of alleys just adjacent to the west exit of the sprawling Shinjuku station. Translated directly to English as ‘Memory Lane,’ this is certainly a place that evokes feelings of nostalgia, with its warm golden lanterns, smokey ambience and welcoming atmosphere. You might also know it as Piss Alley, a throwback to post-war days when it was illegal to drink here and restrooms were in short supply. Fortunately that’s no longer the case and the only smells you’ll get here are those of grilled yakitori wafting about. The salarymen who knock back beers at the izakayas here might be a far cry from the gangsters of old, but that certainly doesn’t detract from the charm at all.
Omoide Yokocho is one of those rare places that sucks you in and leaves you wanting more, despite how small it is. It’s a magical journey to a forgotten era and is truly a photographer’s dream.