The Okayama Shopping Street

Shopping street entrance Several places in Japan I've seen the practice of covering over a street to turn it into a shopping district, but I hadn't run into anything as extensive as this street in Okayama. Walking through the shopping street took me most of the way back from Kourakuen Gardens to the eki. It was probably 25+ blocks of Okayama. It's actually on the city map that they have at the tourist information center. Shopping street
Now entering cathredral city At one point pretentiousness takes over, and the street tries to create a medieval cathedral theme, with ogival arches (left), and pseudo-stained-glass pseudo-rosary windows (right) -- all in Buddhist/Shinto Japan.
In general the street has the assortment of shops you'd find in any Japanese shopping district -- lots of women's clothing stores, housewares, cameras, an arcade or two, a pachinko parlor every few blocks. However, this one caught my eye; at first, I thought it was a shop for buying cabinets in which to place urns containing the ashes of your dearly departed. But readers of the site have filled me in on the truth: they're little family shrines, apparently called o-butsudons, which typically contain a statue of the Buddha and small tablatures with the names of departed relatives on them. At least I was on the right track... CremoCabinet Shop?
previous Kourakuen Gardens map Okayama next Joypolis
  © 1998 Leo Hourvitz