If you were opening an Asakusa flower shop you could do worse than a spot on Kokusai Dori at Tawaramachi station. It’s right on the temple route and teems with families on grave visits. During festivals such as the long weekend’s O-higan spring equinox, you could do a nice line in colourful bouquets. Ancestors appreciate some help across the river to paradise.
Rock Kaen owner Masao Yoshida planned to have everything up and running by now. But there were construction delays. He says, We had to do a lot of waterproofing. There’s a music studio underneath us. But he’s not complaining. We sold like crazy, he says. It’s a good weekend for business. Mrs Kanariya at her elegant and cheap classic blouse shop next door says she’s been run off her feet.
The previous shop here was a takeout sushi franchise. You wondered during construction what it was going to become. It’s nice it turned out to be a local business, and not another chain store.
It’s Yoshida’s first branch outside the original store, which still operates in nearby Rokku, the traditional entertainment district. He’s a Sumida-ku local who has been selling flowers for 16 years. He has hired two staff, Masayuki Mizukoshi and Yuuki Takase. They are not shy, cheerfully soliciting customers on the street. How else do you cross the river from suffering to enlightenment.