Welcome to West Tokyo
During the early boom years of the 1960s the neighbourhoods to the west of Shinjuku, connected by the Chūō line, were developed as commuter towns for the capital's rapidly expanding population. Today they feel like time-capsules of mid 20th-century architecture and urban planning. Tokyoites describe them fondly as shōwappoi (evocative of the Shōwa era, 1927–1989). This atmosphere makes neighbourhoods like Nakano, Kōenji, Asagaya and Nishi-Ogi immensely popular with counter-culture types who reject the constant construction and upward trajectory of the centre city, and whose tastes are reflected in shops, restaurants and bars here.