Sometimes the fastest way to get somewhere when walking in Tokyo is to make your way through the alleys between the major streets.
During my last trip to Tokyo I had been out sightseeing with a retired colleague. I parted with him at a subway station so that he could make the long trip home by rail, and I headed off by foot to my hotel.
I thought about which way was the quickest way back to the hotel. By major streets I would have to walk past where my hotel was and then angle back toward it. However, I knew some of the alleys in the area and knew I could take a shorter path. Besides, I knew that I would have a scenic walk.
You can see that I had to descend down into the residential area here. A lot of the major streets may be very flat, but the areas between them are often not. They follow the original contours of the land.
How do they get their cars to their houses? This is an easy question. Many people who live in the city do not have cars but use public transit, or use a bicycle. Many will also have pull carts to use when going shopping in nearby shops. Large items are usually delivered by companies that have special methods of moving large items through the alleyways.
Now you know what is behind some of the long rows of high rises in Tokyo.