(N2) Noge Joyful (and gay town) map, Yokohama 野毛ジョイフルマップ

Just south of Sakuragicho station 桜木町駅 (map) in Yokohama is an entertainment region symbolized by a creepy clown. Here’s the  Noge Joyful map 野毛ジョイフルマップ:

Much of this district is Noge-cho 野毛町 (hence the name ‘Noge Joyful’).

Nogecho Yokohama Sakuragicho map

The Noge area is connected to Sakuragicho station by Noge-Chikamichi 野毛ちかみち (Noge shortcut).

On the other side of the shortcut is Pio City ぴおシティ, a building with an underground mall of incredible old-ness, a veritable museum of nostalgia:

You need to read the Japanese Wikipedia page for Noge-cho; it’s an interesting area, including its post-war role as a black market area 闇市. There are a number of cultural events, including the “Jazz de Bon Odorifestival 野毛 ジャズ de 盆踊り, and the Noge Daidogei 野毛大道芸 street performance festival, held annually near the end of April (last held April 23-24, 2016). The Noge Daidogei may explain why there’s a creepy clown on the “Joyful Noge” map. See the following websites for more information: Japanese, English.

This neighborhood is also known for Gay Town Noge ゲイ・タウン, home to 30 gay bars and the only gay cinema in the greater Tokyo area: Kouonza 横浜光音座 (website)(map).

This district is also home to a handful of love hotels, including Hotel Fairy Wink ホテル フェアリーウィンク (map), Hotel Nuda 桜木町 ラブホテル NUDA (map), and Nice Day ナイスデイ (map):

The following three photos:  (1) “Gay Town Noge” website map; (2) the Kouonza  theater; (3) Noge Daidogei poster from 1987

A scene from the Jazz de Bon Odori festival. See the 5:45 mark for “Take the A Train”:


“On May 29, 1945, though, U.S. B-29s turned Yokohama to smoke and ashes. Three months later the U.S. Eighth Army squatted in the few buildings still standing in Isezakicho and Kannai. Big white or black men in small vehicles, as described by the self-censored Japanese press, victimized the locals. The Japanese took refuge in unoccupied Noge. A black market flourished along Noge-hondori. At stalls along the Sakuragawa River discharged soldiers drank rotgut and scarfed fried whale meat. Vagabonds slept in doorways. Noge distilled the postwar chaos and confusion.”

“Yet Noge remains Yokohama’s most traditional quarter. Facades show washi paper or reed screens. Willows, hanging lanterns and flower boxes adorn streets. The corpulent porcelain tanuki presides as the tutelary deity. In this age of a lavalike flow of katakana and romaji, Noge establishments hang shingles in kanji. After 5 p.m., middle-aged men descend from Minato Mirai tower aeries and head for the other side of the tracks, where Noge restaurants serve fare for discriminating palates.”



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