While walking in the Tenri Hondori earlier this month, I noticed a banner announcing the launch of a webpage named “Tenri Nigiwai Sanpo,” which loosely translates as “Tenri Lively Stroll” (a lively stroll in Tenri?).
Before I dive further into the subject of this post, I have to presume there are not many people out there who may be aware that Tenri Hondori—the shopping arcade in Tenri that leads from the train station to Tenrikyo’s Main Sanctuary—is made up of two separate sections.
To explain, Tenri Hondori runs through two neighborhoods, Kawaharajo and Mishima. Thus, Tenri Hondori is overseen by two separate merchants associations: the Kawaharajo Merchants Association (the station side) and the Mishima Merchants Association (Sanctuary side).
You might notice the division between the two sections at night, when one of the two sides turns off the lights at a slightly earlier time than the other. You may also notice that the background music changes when you cross from one section into the other.
Since the Mishima stores are nowhere to be seen on the site, I must assume the Kawaharajo Merchants Association spearheaded the launch of the website.
The website appears to have launched sometime late last year. Although it’s only in Japanese, it has a useful “shop guide” with the following categories:
- 飲食店 Restaurants and drinking establishments
- 食品・名産品・おみやげ店 Food, local products, and souvenirs
- 日 用・雑貨品・サービス品 Everyday sundries, miscellaneous goods, service companies (this category has a wide range of businesses, including bookstores, florists, a sporting shop, clock shops, eyewear, stationery… even a fortune teller!)
- 洋品・衣料品店 Clothing stores
- 薬局・病院・化粧品 Pharmacies, clinics, and cosmetics
- 美・理容店 Beauty salons and barber shops
- 神具・装束店 Religious paraphernalia
- 趣味・スクール Recreational/instructional
- 事 務所 “Offices”: Includes Tenri Tourist Info Office, a kids’ play area, and the office of the Fureai Stamp Association (my guess if you collect enough of these stamps they pass out when you make purchases, you get a small discount on your next purchase)
You now have the option to plan your next shopping trip or late night outing online. It’s nice to see that the Tenri Hondori (at least the Kawaharajo section) is entering the 21st Century!