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Making most of small spaces in Tokyo's Golden Gai

Updated : 2019-08-13 13:55:06

It's no secret Tokyoites are masters of making the most of space. Take the Golden Gai in the Shinjuku district: Tucked between the Kabukicho entertainment district and Hanazono Shrine, nearly 280 bars and restaurants are squeezed into an area about the size of half a soccer field.

A man walks down the steps of a bar at the Golden Gai in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man walks down the steps of a bar at the Golden Gai in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man strolls through a narrow alleyway clustered with tiny bars and restaurants at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man strolls through a narrow alleyway clustered with tiny bars and restaurants at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man walks up a narrow staircase leading to a bar at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man walks up a narrow staircase leading to a bar at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Bar owner Marie Yoshida, far left, chats with a patron in her bar at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Bar owner Marie Yoshida, far left, chats with a patron in her bar at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group laughs as they listen to entertainer Tadashi Yokoda, far left, in a bar at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group laughs as they listen to entertainer Tadashi Yokoda, far left, in a bar at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People walk through narrow alleyways clustered with tiny bars and restaurants at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People walk through narrow alleyways clustered with tiny bars and restaurants at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A sign is posted on the wall clustered with bills from various countries in a bar at the Golden Gai in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A sign is posted on the wall clustered with bills from various countries in a bar at the Golden Gai in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A bartender fixes a drink in a bar decorated with thousands of messages written by patrons. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A bartender fixes a drink in a bar decorated with thousands of messages written by patrons. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Two musicians entertain patrons in a tiny bar at the Golden Gai in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Two musicians entertain patrons in a tiny bar at the Golden Gai in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man walks down a narrow staircase sideways after having a bowl of ramen at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man walks down a narrow staircase sideways after having a bowl of ramen at the Golden Gai. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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