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Tokyo synchronisation

Sometimes, some scenes look tailor-made for the right person to walk past. What I didn’t realise until it happened, however, was that in this particular case, it was actually two people I was waiting for.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


Solitary reflections above Tokyo’s urban sprawl

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku remains an interesting place to visit every now and again. The views of the city below are obviously quite something, but generally I go there to try and take pictures of people looking at said views, or even people looking at me, looking at them. At the moment, however, it’s rather different. The crowds are gone, and a once bustling observation deck is now almost eerily quiet, making it the perfect spot for solitary reflections.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo, Shinjuku


The terribly sad sight of a quietly decaying old Tokyo house

Six years ago I took this photograph. It’s an image I hold incredibly dear. The brief connection, the house and the abundance of life on display made pressing the shutter very special indeed. Yet while it was special then, it feels even more precious now. That extra significance came about a couple of years ago, when I passed by again and was shocked to find the building empty and devoid of life. Fast forward another two years, and it’s now an even sadder sight. Age, its wooden nature and...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


No Tokyo Olympics and almost no people

Today is a national holiday in Japan. It’s Taiiku no Hi to be exact, or Sports Day, which is usually in mid-October, but it was understandably brought forward this year in order to celebrate the first competitive day of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Or at least what would have been the first competitive day of the Olympics. Instead, it’ll just be another day — a day similar to so many of late. Like the one below in touristy Asakusa last weekend. A spot where up until recently it would have been pack...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Japan, Tokyo, Asakusa


A Tokyo bar owner, her cat and decades of clutter

Old, cluttered and decidedly grubby little bars where cats ultimately call all the shots aren’t uncommon in Tokyo, but there’s clutter, and then there is clutter, and this particular establishment most definitely falls into the latter category. In fact, there is so much stuff strewn about the place that the current mama-san, who took over from her mother, almost looks like she’s stood in the aftermath of an explosion. In business since the early 1960s, it’s a distinct possibility that some of...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Food And Drink, Tokyo


An old Tokyo shop leaning this way and that

This shop and home has apparently been standing for over 60 years. I know that as the owner told me. A man who was just out of frame on the right; very wisely sat reading in front of his neighbour’s house rather than his own.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


A lovely big smile outside a local Tokyo shop

A minute down the street from the shop below is a well known supermarket. One that was busy too, as convenience and cost understandably come first. But for a little bit more money, this suburban fruit and vegetable seller offers the priceless bonus of a lovely big smile.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Food And Drink, Tokyo


Life and looks in Tokyo’s old shuttered shops

There are a huge number of shuttered up shops in Japan. They aren’t just in more rural areas either, as they can be found all over the capital as well. Some of them, of course, are now abandoned properties, and are left to gradually deteriorate before demolition. Many others, however, are still lived in, as lots of traditional little operations are a combination of both the home, and the workplace. In regards the latter, without a doubt the most poignant place I’ve ever found and photographed w...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Japan, Tokyo


Connoisseurs of Blue

Blue wasn’t always my favorite color. When I was young, I don’t even recall having a favorite color. I wasn’t ever particularly good at coming up with an answer to those inane yet popular favorite thing questions kids seem so fond of asking. Over the years, it’s more like I’ve grown into blue. From the glasses on my face to my phone case, clothes, and my entire home, I’m am surrounded by blue. Then I step outside here in Amalfi and find a world of blue between the sea and the sky. It truly ...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Amalfi Coast, Amalfi, Colette


A giant Tokyo octopus and a rare gestured insult

The dreaded ‘peace sign’ invariably appears if you ask to take someone’s photo in Japan, and the number of times I’ve been presented with it is way too many to remember. How many times it has actually worked as part of an image, on the other hand, is a much smaller number. It’s one. This one to be exact. So as offensive as it can be, getting the decidedly non-peaceful V sign was a very unexpected treat. One further added to by being brandished under a similarly surprised looking giant octopus. ...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Japan, Tokyo


Time up for an old Tokyo tofu shop

The tofu shop below always fascinated me. It was so old and ramshackle that each crack and layer of grime seemed to conjure up some sort of story. Photographing it, on the other hand, was easier said than done, as the little alleyway it was located in is way too narrow, so I just enjoyed stopping by and looking at it every time I was in the area. In the summer of 2014, however, the owner unexpectedly appeared, allowing me to get a shot of him, and a bit of the building. Then, just shy of 3 ...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Food And Drink, Tokyo


Old school Tokyo take out yakitori

Grubby little bars are without a doubt the best places to enjoy yakitori, but similarly grubby little take out shops are definitely the best alternative.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Food And Drink, Tokyo


Old Tokyo shutters and smiles

The shop below has presumably long since closed, but like so many little businesses in Tokyo, it’s a part of the house, so is still in use for storage, comings and goings, plus now and again a good bit of gossiping. The latter was briefly interrupted when they spotted me, but thankfully there was time for a clearly visible yet covered smile before they got right back to it.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


A dilapidated and uniquely paint daubed old Japanese house

Ramshackle structures are incredibly common in Japan. Not just in rural areas either, as away from its main entertainment and shopping hubs, Tokyo has more than its fair share of them. There are countless homes, shops and restaurants that despite their utterly dilapidated states, are more often than not still in use. And yet despite seeing so many that I have an Instagram account almost entirely devoted to them, this particular house is like nothing else. It’s still lived in for starters. The ...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Japan, Tokyo, Kyoto


A tourist-free traditional Tokyo wedding

Rainy season, it has to be said, isn’t the nicest time of year. The humidity ramps up enormously, and, as the name suggests, it tends to rain rather a lot. Yet despite such unpleasantness, June is a popular month to get married in, and probably just as popular as a venue is Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine. A money making machine that at the weekend sees up to around 15 weddings in a single day. Given the surroundings and the ceremonial outfits, the public procession element of each service is quite the spe...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Religion, Culture, Tokyo, Meiji Shrine


A disturbing Japanese clown head kids playground

Some Japanese playgrounds are almost delightfully bleak, whereas others are just bleakly disturbing.
Tags: Travel, Photography


A window into a changing Tokyo world?

Things change a lot in Tokyo. Buildings go up and down, and businesses come and go. Perhaps none quite as starkly as this previously featured old bar. Sometimes, however, the more things change, the more they somehow remain the same. Like the place below that I first photographed almost 4 years ago. And then once again last weekend. It’s now different, but also the same, as well as similarly hinting at some kind of unknown story.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


Agora aerial photo contest

On May 8, the mobile app Agora launched a free photo competition. Entries had to adhere to the theme of aerial photography. The finalists were revealed last week, and they’re incredible. From intricate skylines to desolate natural landscapes, the competition received 9,018 submissions in total. Ewold Kooistra won first place and walked away with a $1,000 prize for his photograph titled “A magic morning in The Netherlands.” The Agora app is known for its globally inclusive photo contests that...
Tags: Travel, Photography, China, Colombia, Netherlands, Amsterdam, Agora, All, Michelle, Bangkok Thailand, Perth Australia, Austerlitz, Fraser Island, Singapore Changi Airport, Lago, Photography Contest


NASA ‘Photographer of the Year’

NASA isn’t typically associated with its artistic endeavors, and that should probably change. By launching the Photographer of the Year contest, NASA is seeking to give its internal photographers some much-deserved recognition. NASA photos are often released to the public domain and credited simply as “Photo by NASA,” with little acknowledgement of the photographer who made the photo possible. Maura White, NASA’s head of mission imagery, created the Photographer of the Year contest in 2018 to d...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Nasa, James Webb Space Telescope, All, Air Space, Caroline Sheen, Don Petit, Maura White, Places People Portrait, Chris Gunn, Harlen Capen, Jordan Salkin


A terrifically askew old Tokyo tofu shop

The old tofu shop below has appeared on Tokyo Times before, but back then its incredibly large signboard was still proudly intact. Now why something so impressive is no longer in situ is a mystery. A typhoon did strike the capital around the same time period, so that could have damaged it, or maybe even ripped it off the roof. Who knows? Yet whatever did happen, it has never been put back or restored, and instead, a spot of renovation has taken place. Work that, without the sign as a visual dec...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Food And Drink, Tokyo, Tokyo Times


She’s a (Tokyo) rainbow?

She comes in colours everywhere. She combs her hair. She’s like a rainbow.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


An elderly Tokyo bar owner and her enormous cat

There are numerous reasons to seek out old Tokyo bars run by equally old people. The often similarly ageing decor is one thing, as is the invariably relaxed and carefree vibe, but perhaps most of all it’s the wealth of stories one hears that makes them truly memorable. Tales from an incredibly long life lived on the city’s far western reaches for example, or the culinary adventures of a lovely fella who left home at 14 so he could train to be a French chef. All unique and genuinely enriching ele...
Tags: Travel, Asia, Photography, Food And Drink, Tokyo, Shibuya


Tokyo back to commuting, and back to clock-watching

With no more state of emergency, and most restrictions now deemed unnecessary, Tokyo is slowly but surely retuning to normal. A normal that admittedly involves more masks, and more protective measures in shops and bars, but with each passing day, the city rather miraculously feels more and more like it used to do. With this in mind then, students are heading back to school, and many workers are once again dealing with long and arduous daily commutes. For some of course it’s a welcome return, as ...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Japan, Tokyo


A Tokyo playground squeak consultant?

What this local government employee’s official job title is remains a mystery. Is he a squeak consultant, specialist or even a connoisseur? But whatever it is that’s written on his business card, there can’t be many better jobs than cycling round the city, trying out all the swings, then rather precariously de-squeaking any that aren’t perfectly smooth and silent.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


A wonderfully ramshackle old Tokyo restaurant

When in a new area and it’s fast approaching lunch time, there’s always the hope that an interesting little place will present itself. And for me at least the Chinese restaurant below was pretty much perfect, as it’s old, cosy and happily displays all the dilapidation of its five-plus decades in operation.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Food And Drink, Tokyo


Shadowy Tokyo looks

Masked or unmasked, it’s almost all in the eyes.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


Tokyo’s least practical parking space?

Sometimes, some things, simply don’t make any sense whatsoever.
Tags: Travel, Photography, Tokyo


The life and death of an elderly Tokyo bar owner

Several weeks ago I documented the death of a traditional Tokyo bar. The terribly sad sight of a once lively little place that now lies empty and quiet. Why it shut, however, remains a mystery. Its former owner’s relatively advanced age is the obvious answer, but then again, the planned demolition of the building could easily be another. The closure of the bar below, on the other hand, is unfortunately not lacking in facts. A friend and I drank there back in March 2016. It was one of those lovel...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Food And Drink, Tokyo



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