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What the World Can Learn From Life Under Tokyo’s Rail Tracks

A bullet train pulls into Yurakucho station. Japan’s first elevated rail was completed nearby in 1910, and the first restaurant owner set up shop below the rail a decade later.
A bullet train pulls into Yurakucho station. Japan’s first elevated rail was completed nearby in 1910, and the first restaurant owner set up shop below the rail a decade later.Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

The spaces beneath elevated railways generally get a bad rap. At least that’s the case in the U.S. and mainland Europe, where they are often considered dark, dangerous and noisy. 

In Tokyo, however, the undertracks’ reputation is rather different.