From my balcony I can see the end of the gingko-lined Platinum St. On a recent morning I woke up and saw the gingkos turn golden so I ventured out to record this event. I walked the length of Platinum St., which is in the Shirokane neighborhood of Tokyo.
The neighborhood and the street are known for old money rich people. The wealthy matrons who live there are chidingly called ‘Shirokanese’, a term mocking them for their Europhilia. Although, I suspect they like to be called this. Even the name, Platinum St. is terribly pretentious, but it’s just a translation of Shirokane, which literally means ‘white gold’. Also, there are about a dozen Michelin starred restaurants in the neighborhood, attesting to its snob quotient.
I rather enjoy walking down the street myself because it has unusually wide sidewalks for a Tokyo street, with few people walking down them. The entire street is lined with tall mature gingko, one of my favorite tree species. And the mixture of quaint shops and chic storefronts reminds me of Omotesando, without the crowds
There are at least 3 dog boutique shops, catering to the numerous housewives who can be seen walking their tiny pampered pets. Or more commonly, you can see these pooches be taken around in baby carriages.
I’ve never been to any of the many cafés and chocolatiers that line the street because they’re just over priced. Every few months, stores go out of business, and new stores emerge, as a new batch of bored housewives with too much cash and time on their hands set up shop to sell pricey knick-knacks. I once saw a men’s shoe store open and then close the following week.
Constant new construction is also a hallmark of the neighborhood. But I guess that’s no different than any other Tokyo ward. In my next post, I’ll write about all the new buildings that I’ve seen pop up.