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Kotto-dori 骨董通りKotto-dori
  • Kotto-dori 骨董通り
  • Kotto-dori 骨董通り
  • Kotto-dori 骨董通り
  • Kotto-dori 骨董通り
  • Kotto-dori 骨董通り

The inspiration people seek: Kotto-dori (literally “antiques street”) used to be a place where connoisseurs and admirers of antiques and old traditional art pieces from Japan and the Orient would gather, sometimes coming across a rare find or mistakenly purchasing a fake. It was a road for enthusiasts and where a discerning eye would be thoroughly tested. But now, it’s becoming a place where people simply view genuine art pieces in museums instead, and for these art and antique fans, a large part of the road’s appeal has been lost. Read more

In short: Kotto-dori is the name of the street that connects the Minami Aoyama 5-chome intersection on Route 246 with the Takagicho intersection on Roppongi-dori. It’s also sometimes called “Aoyama Kotto-dori.” At some point, the street naturally took on the name because of the many kotto-ya (antique stores) along it. It divides the neighborhoods of Aoyama 5-chome and 6-chome, and near the Takagicho intersection, you can find the Nezu Museum known for its collection of traditional Japanese and Oriental artworks, and the Eiheiji Betsuin Chokokuji Temple (Tokyo branch temple of the zen Eiheiji Temple in Fukui Prefecture) originally established in the Edo Period.
Kotto-dori is home to many boutique shops, showrooms, brand-name recycle shops, restaurants and more.

Some background: It’s said that antique shops (kotto-ya) began opening here after World War II, but when the street began to be known as Kotto-dori is undetermined. There are other areas of Tokyo where antique shops are concentrated and have a longer history than here, but “Kotto-dori” refers only to this street. One theory for the naming suggests the influence of antique art appraisers appearing on popular TV shows in the 1980s. Read more

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