Friday, December 23, 2016

Upper floor sights that reward those who look up!

The upper floor display of an Asakusa geta store
looks downright artistic in the dark! ;b

It may not be as artistic but the front of this upper floor 
British pub located in a Funabashi alley caught my eye too! :)

"Don't forget to look up rather than just at what's on the ground level."  That's a piece of advice I often tender to visitors to Hong Kong, especially those -- the majority of them, really! -- who don't come from a part of the world where interesting shops, bars and restaurants can be found on the upper floors -- and sometimes the basements too -- as well as the ground floor of many a building. 

And this is something I make sure to do when travelling about in Japan -- another territory with urban spaces that tend to be on the high density side.  Even in the older parts of cities, such as Asakusa in Tokyo, there are stores that occupy more than just a single storey and display their wares on the upper floors of shops rather than just over on the ground floor.  In addition, when different establishments are located on different floors of the same building, they may decorate their fronts so differently that it sometimes can seem like two different buildings have been joined together!

One of the things I like about being in Japan, as opposed to Hong Kong, is that the streets and their sidewalks are frequently significantly less crowded than they too often are in the Big Lychee.  Consequently, one feels more able to stop and look up when something that catches your eye as you're walking by.

On the other side of the coin, the upper decks of Hong Kong's doubledecker buses and trams provide great vantage points for looking at the upper floors of buildings (as well as down at the world passing by at ground level).  Indeed, more than once now, I've noticed the existence of a new upper floor shop, restaurant or bar when passing by the building in which it's located on a bus or tram.  

And lest it not be clear: yes, I -- who has happily remained smartphone-less -- do like looking out of the window when on buses and such -- as opposed to the majority of my fellow passengers, who are far more likely to have their eyes glued to the screen of a smartphone, or sometimes even the TV screen inside the buses! ;b

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