Uguisudani is located in an older part of Tokyo, in the NorthEast near Nippori and Ueno.
Uguisudani is a quiet neighborhood by day, conveniently located on the Yamanote Line. Narrow streets, old and young people, mostly Japanese citizens of Tokyo.
Many other Tokyo neighborhoods boast a 24-hour international electric candy flavor. Uguisudani is a quiet neighborhood where old ladies hang their wash outside their windows:
And young men do too:
Uguisudani is old enough that you can still see some wooden buildings, the way much of this city was built before the American firebombing of Tokyo during World War II:
And if you look close, you can see how these buildings used to be put together:
As quiet and common as all of this seems, as you look around the narrow streets of Uguisudani, you'll notice a few old people, and lots and lots of couples.
At night, Uguisudani is a high-density Love Hotel zone, where couples flock to narrow neon-lit beds away from home. Love Hotels have polished marble outside, and karaoke PlayStation rooms with beds and jacuzzi bathtubs inside. Most rooms will cost you around forty dollars for three hours, and eighty dollars for a night. Some of these rooms can be quite unusually decorated outside! They certainly light up the skyline from the Yamanote line:
The corridors that are quiet wires and concrete during the day become a sort of small Las Vegas, or a small Shinjuku by night:
For those men who come alone, there are a few ladies lingering offering their services. They don't discriminate against foreigners. They're not too young, and they're not too skittish.
After the night is finished, you see couples emerging in the morning to restart the cycle.
Uguisudani means "Valley of the Nightengales," but now there are many more crows.
In the fall of 2001 stayed at a GaijinHouse Mansion in this part of town. And I ate a ton of the Devil's delicious Tetsugakudou Ramen.