Sweet showmanship

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Have you ever wondered what it's like to shop in a bustling, old-fashioned Tokyo shopping district?

The Shimaura Discount Chocolate Shop webpage will give you a taste (including a very loud WAV file) of what it's like to stand in front of their stall in the alleys of Ameyoko near Ueno station.

Frenetic showmen, they work as a team--one man on a platform, surrounded by candy, takes handsful of chocolate bars, boxed candies and seasonal treats and holds them aloft then thrusts them into a plastic bag held up overhead by his assistant on teh ground. 4000 yen's worth of candy for only 1000 yen! Not a bad deal. It's chocolate that's almost reach it's sell-by date or overruns of special promotions.

They've been featured on TV and in print and for good reason. They not only give you candy, they give you a performance, too.

We stumbled across Shimaura a few years ago at the New Year and visited it again this week. You might like to see it for yourself if you're in town, or virtually if you're not.

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