Tokyo can be cultural, visceral, colorful, surprising, calm, boisterous, welcoming, delicious, and so many more things. I spent around six days in Tokyo on a recent trip and it struck me as an amazing opportunity for street photography and people-watching. This blog features some of my photographs and random thoughts from Tokyo.
Retail in Akihabara, Tokyo largely focuses on electronics and ‘geek culture’ which I say in a positive way!
Cat Cafe Calico in Shinjuku. There are a lot of cats and they are well looked after. Over-lavished with attention they may not be all that interested in you… that is unless you have one of the cat lollypops which they go absolutely mental for.
A good spot to find some food. Tokyo is so full of alley ways stuffed to the brim with different eating options.
We arrived at Ueno Park before the Cherry Blossom were blooming – as we planned timing for the bloom around Kyoto and other areas. So watching street performers and cats up sakura trees.
You never know what you’ll stumble upon while wandering the back streets, like this temple devoted to swordsman and its graveyard.
Playing with the curved mirrors that are everywhere in Tokyo to help you see around corners.
Shibuya crossing is anecdotally regarded as the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. It’s a great place for people watching, and for watching other people people watching! The nearby Starbucks is very popular for its bar seating looking out the windows to this crossing, although it’s not positioned well for photographs.
The New York bar is an amazing dining (and potentially music) experience in Tokyo. It has amazing views paired with amazing food and drink. Each evening they also have live Jazz bands performing, although we came earlier so we spent more on food rather than having to also pay the cover charge.
Infrared experimentation in Hamarikyu Gardens, central Tokyo.
The Nanohana (Rapeseed Blossom) flowering in Hamarikyu Gardens, central Tokyo. It’s supposed to be even better when the cherry blossom are flowering at the same time!
Nakagin Capsule Tower is one of the world’s most well known examples of Metabolism Architecture. The apartments were built in 1972 and are pretty damn cool!
The Tsukiji Market is probably the most significant food market in Tokyo. Every day buyers come here to purchase all their fish for the day, including restaurants and other business. The outer markets were a good place to try out some basic Japanese as I asked some stall holders if I could photograph them.
The Mori Art Museum and City View, in the Mori Building in Roppongi, is an awesome building for both art and city skyline viewing. I shot quite a lot of panoramics from on top of the building, this one being a ‘tower to tower’ kind of perspective, taking in both Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Skytree.
Meguro River is a great place to take in the sakura festival atmosphere as well as some great boutique shopping.
Street performance in Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden.
My selfie of sorts on Tokyo trains. Tokyo has an amazing public transport system, and aside from the quirks like different lines having different entrances, and some stations having no English at all, it’s a dream to use. You rarely have to wait more than 5 minutes for a train at any time of day.
The entry to Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku is well known for its amazing mirrored entryway.
And finally a few more photos of Shibuya’s mega crossing.
I really enjoyed my time in Tokyo and one of the best things you can do is allow yourself to wander. If you’re a foodie you will absolutely love it here. With thousands and thousands of restaurants, including many clustered around transportation and shopping hubs, as well as the Japanese attitude of investing themselves 100% in the quality of their work, it’s near impossible to have a bad meal here!
If you’d like to read more, why not check out Ten Ways Traveling Japan Surprised Me.