Recently there has been a widespread revival of Tokyo's vintage yokochō. As spaces for drinking and eating, the forced intimacy in these cramped interstitial spaces fosters sociability and association among strangers.
James Farrer. 2020. “A Tokyo Restaurant Community Faces COVID-19” Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa 2020 (2); 245-54.
Independent restaurants are threatened both by COVID-19 and the social distancing measures necessary to contain the pandemic. In one Tokyo community, restaurant patrons have organized to support local eateries.
With fewer resources than corporate chains, small independent restaurants are particularly vulnerable to an extended economic downturn. This paper looks at how independent restaurant owners in Tokyo have coped with the pandemic both individually and as members of larger communities.
"Global Japanese Cuisine" is Nishiogiology's sister project. It researches Japanese food around the world based on fieldwork and interviews on five continents. The project webpage includes photos from fieldwork as well as links to the numerous publications from the project.