Hutong Culture

[Photos] Wudaoying Hutong: The Next Nanluoguxiang

With all the construction taking place around the Gulou area in Dongcheng District, Beijing and  with the new  subway line planned to run through the old city, I can’t help but to notice all the changes being made all around this area. Wudaoying hutong, located right by Lama Temple Subway station is another project; similar to the Nanluoguxiang hutong, this hutong is slowly transforming into a much more commercial themed hutong. If you walk along the street, the exterior is accompanied by  hutong style architecture but the interior is occupied by trendy boutiques and cafes serving up western food. I walked by Wudaoying two weeks ago and it already looked a lot different from what I could remember from last year.  The entrance to the hutong from the Lama Temple side looked as if it was almost complete. Here are some photos I snapped from Wudaoying hutong entrance.

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[Photos] Construction Around Nanluoguxiang

Living in China is definitely one of the best choices I have made thus far in my life. Coming from a Japanese background and heavily influenced by American culture, China is the perfect place for me to play around with my lost roots and observe and feel what Japanese people have lost over the years through the daily activities of the Chinese people whom I witness. But just like every corner of the world, income gap prevails and is seen in Beijing. Behind the blue construction fences are migrant workers working day and night while the rest enjoy their shopping along side Nanluoguxiang. Photo taken at the south gate of Nanluoguxiang, one of the most well-known commercial and touristy Hutong in Beijing.


[Photos] Getting Lost in Gulou

One of my favorite locations in Beijing is Gulou in Dongcheng District. I enjoy walking along the hutong’s observing the interaction of local people and the close community that they live in. I really don’t mind getting lost at all but this past weekend, I was heading for the Drum Tower and got lost in the hutong’s around Gulou. You’d think that it’s a straight road leading to this tower from the photo below but I ran into constant dead ends and had to rely on local people to tell me which way to go.

I should have looked at the street signs that clearly says "Dead-end ahead"

Most Dogs in Beijing are usually unleashed.


[Photo] Drum Tower with Moon Light

As the title suggests, I spent some time walking around Gulou this weekend and was able to come away with this one photo. I think this is one of my favorite photos so far in the year 2011. This was taken right at dusk with the Beijing winter sky and moon light shining the Drum Tower.


[Photo] Chinese Longevity

I really enjoy walking around Lama Temple on the weekends. Here, you can  see so many things that make you feel like you are in China. Since I spend most of my time in the central business district, it’s really nice to get out and walk around the hutong. I found these peach-looking objects with a chinese character on it. This character 寿means longevity in Chinese and you can find this character all over China within people’s houses. We can all agree that a long, healthy, prosperous life is one of the most admirable and highest goals of humanity and especially in China longevity is something that is valued highly. The peach is not only a symbol of longevity but it comes from an ancient story of the fruit that enables immortality which this peach of immortality can only be planted every 3000 years.


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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Photo] The Good Old Summer Days in Beijing

Oh the summer days. When everyone was so happy and we were all looking for restaurants with air conditioning. Long gone are those days and Beijing Winter is already here. This is a good image to remember the good old summer day in Beijing. Photo taken in Beixinqiao area.

 

Creative Commons Licence
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Photo] Growing up in Gulou

Photo taken in Gulou right by Drum Tower. Growing up, I think Hutong communities are the perfect playground for kids.

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Photo Essay] Saturday Afternoon in Gulou

Gulou is the area surrounding Drum and Bell towers mainly with Hutong style housing which is currently under the threat of redevelopment programs which are mainly the construction of transportation centers in the area. This photo essay is my walk through of Beijing's beloved old city.

 

Rickshaw drivers rest as they await for customers. Drum tower in the background.

Rickshaw drivers ride back to the Drum towers. Most of their income comes from tourists. This day it was mainly French tourists who didn't feel like walking around the Hutongs.

Girls hanging out on the swings?at the park on a Saturday afternoon. Drum tower in the background

Elders meet on a daily basis to play mahjong. They didn't seem to mind the cold wind that day.

Rickshaw drivers were everywhere in Gulou that day. Weekends are busy days for these drivers.

Girls busy on their phones, on the way home from school.

Students heading home from school.

Rickshaw drivers taking French Tourists around for a ride.

A dog walks by. Dogs tend to be unleashed in China. Chinese people love their dogs here.

Looks like someone had a party last night. The local beer Yanjing Beer seems to be the popular choice around here.

Biker cycles past a green sign that asks for citizens to cooperate in the Census program that is taking place right now in China.

A worker is seen through the walls. The north side of Gulou is already destroyed and a transport station is supposed to be built to compliment the ever growing population and transportation efficiency.

On Gulou Da Jie. Construction can be seen at every corner of Gulou.

Creative Commons Licence
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.