If you speak more than one language you know that “meow” in English is not the cat meow in another language/country. It’s “Nyaa-Nyaa” or “Myaa-Myaa” in Japanese in case you want to be bilingual in cat talk:) In fact, Japanese language has refreshing variety of Onomatopoeia to capture the sounds of heart thumping to rivers flowing to birds chirping… My personal favorite is “waku-waku!” for hearts pounding with excitement and anticipation ! Another fav might be “uki-uki” – a feeling of anticipation, looking forward to something – that feel of spring:) We want that daily in our lives, don’t we?
Cat lovers’ store is open only on weekends… then this store named simply “S” is only open on Saturdays. Tucked away in one of these narrow alleyways. It’s a quaint retro throw back to Showa era kind of town.
Nostalgic air fills the narrow streets where new space is emerging – charming “shitamachi”* here off the grid from the “Monjya” main street.
What’s “Monjya”? It’s a signature dish in this parts of town consisting of a grill for table, and pancake like batter to be grilled with all kinds of savory morsels of meats, shellfish, veggies, mochi noodles and even … cheese and the latest new ingredient option … tortilla. It’s a total mix-up, thus, “monja”! Japanese are a master at incorporating foreign ingredients and making it their own … whether be curry, mayonnaise or demiglaze sauce
It’s Moon Island of a place … we recognize so much can co-exist and still be traditional and harmonious.
* “shitamachi” – what is “shitamachi”? Usually points to an older part of town that’s more a commoner’s merchant district vs. the more upscale and fashionable or polished uptown areas such as Aoyama, Hiroo, Daikanyama, etc. Contrast to the more elite areas, there’s a more vintage feel to this area as the area tends to be untouched or left behind in the rapid architectural commercial development taking place in rest of the city. For that reason, it’s charm is undeniable.