The term 'hutong' originates in China, but I grokked its meaning in Japan. I think of it as a commercial alley. Oriental cities contain a plethora of such little streets and walk-throughs brimming with close-quarters commercialism. The difference is that in Japan, the concept is upgraded to the 21st century and incorporated into a modern cityscape.
In particular, Osaka, where the shopper's paradise makes New York look like Reykjavik, and even Tokyo cannot compete in sheer density, the alluring retail maze is everywhere. If you spot an entry, be careful. It will suck you up, and if you are low on will-power, it will not spit you back out until you max your credit.
In the following series of pictures, I have included one from Hong Kong and one from Beijing, to round it out.