the old new world.

Shinsekai, the 'New World' built in 1912 with New York and Paris as models in mind, but in the course of events beginning with the post-WW2 economic struggle, it has become somewhat forgotten. Having lost its former shine, it is now deemed one of the most dangerous places in the so-very-safe country that is Japan.
It sure is on the shady side - narrow streets lined with gamble - from traditional to modern, street food, homeless people, shabby-looking porn cinemas, neon-framed love locks, sellers shouting how real their thousand-yen knock-off watches are, karaoke bars playing now-forgotten hits... all powdered with neons and city dust. Nevertheless, it is also one of my favourite places, perhaps because it somehow feels more human than the rest of Japan, which can seem a little sterile and stiffing. In this old new world time stopped in an era where you could walk and smoke at the same time, or get into conversations with strangers over cheap takoyaki.

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