“Welcome to Tokyo”

Tokyo, Japan. November 2018 – February 2019 (18 photos)

This is part 11 of my Japan 2018-19 photo series.

“Hello kitties”

Welcome to Tokyo…
Where your inner child need never hide…

“Ban Anime”

Where life is colourful…

“Godzilla meets Draco”

Where fiction blends into real life…

“The Kill Bill Restaurant”

Where real life inspires fiction…

This is Gonpachi, and whilst eating here Quentin Tarantino was inspired to create the House of the Blue Leaves restaurant that features in his movie, Kill Bill.

“Woman in a kimono”

Where tradition and modern collide…

“Lost in translation”

And where nothing should surprise you.

From my previous post about Osaka, Japan’s second city we move on to Tokyo, Japan’s capital and largest city. Of Japan’s population of about 127 million, approximately 13.8 million live in Tokyo. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people.

“Snowfall in Central Shinjuku”

This happened 5 hours after I got off the plane when I returned to Tokyo in February.

“A snowman in the Ginza”

A snowman on a bench in a rooftop garden in the Ginza. My thanks to the two little girls who made it then posed next to it for me. Their mother told me she lived in Sydney a couple of suburbs away from me just a few years ago. It’s a small world.

When I visited Japan in October-November 2018, I spent 10 days in Tokyo. When I returned to Japan in February 2019 I spent another 6 days in Tokyo. I’ll leave you to guess how many photos I took. Here are a few glimpses into Tokyo life…

“Butterflies are free and so is she”

She ran quickly. From a standing start she left her right shoe behind.

“Tweet. Tweet. Tweedle-lee-deedle-lee-dee”

“Tokyo Life”

I may not have mentioned it yet but I was in Tokyo the weekend before Halloween. For many Japanese, Halloween is essentially national dress-up week.

“The Art Scramble”

Shibuya Crossing. Crossing it can be an art form of itself. So can the sight of the multitude of people crossing it.
PS The umbrellas were up because it had just started snowing.

“Godzilla Rules, OK”

This is Godzilla Road and it leads to the Gracery Hotel, but everyone knows it as the Godzilla Hotel. It’s in the middle of Kabukicho, Tokyo’s red light district. Periodically, Godzilla actually roars.

“Somewhere in the Spiderverse”

“Street walking”

Chuo dori, the main street of Ginza is closed to motor vehicles on weekend afternoons. They set up tables, chairs and shade umbrellas in the middle of the street. People like me just wander up and down looking for anything to photograph.

“Lost in Tokyo”

“Reflections of Life”

Life is Art. Art is Life. Apparently this is one of the most popular instagrammable selfie locations in Tokyo.

This is part 11 of my Japan 2018-19 photo series.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Tokyo Life


58 thoughts on “Tokyo Life

  1. Great urban landscape and crowd photos, as usual for you. I am curious: do many people wear masks like some in the next to last picture? Is there much pollution there?

    • Thank you very much. Yes, mask wearing in public is quite common in Japan and Tokyo. I think there are various reasons, including to prevent getting sick, and to not spread germs. I read for some it is a fashion statement and they wear different styles of masks. Others do it to deter having to communicate with others. Pollution did not seem any worse in Japan than Sydney.

  2. So much culture and history! Dress up week during halloween – you can say people consider Halloween a day to dress up too, right?
    And it’s a small world, believe me. I met some people once in Dubai who lived practically next door to me in the middle-east.

    • Yes, the weekend before Halloween, people are out and about in costumes and it builds right up to Halloween with numerous parades and street parties. So many crazy costumes. The Japanese seem to get right into the spirit of costumes and partying.
      Amazing story. Definitely a small world.

  3. Heide says:

    I don’t know how you manage all of these wonderful images with such consistency, Mr. Draco … guess you must just be a really, really great photographer! šŸ™‚ Loved the last one especially because it symbolizes for me the prism of Tokyos you’ve shown us here ā€” each version as different as the person who experiences this legendary city. Also loved “Lost in translation,” though, because it perfectly captures that “what the Dickens?” element of Japanese youth culture.

    • Thank you very much. The secret is I weed out the numerous bad photos first. šŸ™‚
      Yes, the numerous prisms are great visual; metaphor for life in Tokyo. The locals don’t bat an eyelid if a kimono clad woman and a Harajuku girl are walking side by side on the street. Tokyo can be insane but also mesmerising at the same time. I love it.

    • Thank you. Asakusa is a more traditional part of Tokyo and I think you’ll love wandering around it. The Senso-ji is the major attraction and young women flock there dressed in kimonos. It gets very busy but remember the grounds are open 24 hours and you can enjoy the serenity before or after the crowds. You are close to the Skytree as well, and if you go, go early. But any train/subway station can take you across Tokyo in a short time. Trains run every 5 minutes or sooner during the day and all lines freely connect. I visited Asakusa and Ueno a few times and I was staying in Shibuya/Shinjuku.

  4. Lovely photos, and it brought back wonderful memories. There’s cosplay in the park every day, but Halloween must be special. I got quite lost in Shibuya, crossing it again and again to get photos of the seven-way scramble.

    • Yes, Halloween is cosplay on a grand scale. People just wandering around in costumes, particularly in Shibuya. I think everyone crosses Shibuya Crossing a few times just for the heck of it. I did. šŸ™‚

  5. Bravo. A spectacular collection of street photography. I really like the snowman on the bench – it looked like its own little person well and truly alive. What a coincidence the girls who made it lived closed to you at one point.

    I thought people holding up umbrellas across the Shibuya Crossing was a nice touch…making it more packed than it is already.

    • Thank you very much. I didn’t realise it snowed in Tokyo, so seeing a snowman in a roof garden in Ginza really caught my attention.

      After a while I raced down to take some photos/videos standing in and crossing Shibuya Crossing in the snow. One of those silly but fun touristy moments. šŸ™‚

  6. I’m happy I got to visit here through your eyes. What a mixture!! While it’s certainly fascinating, there are few too many people for me, although a short visit would certainly be interesting and might even make me want to stay longer. I like the prism photo, too.


    • Thanks, Janet. Yes, Tokyo is no doubt too busy for some and a situation to thrive on for others. I enjoyed the visits there but it I admit it did feel claustrophobic at times.

  7. Rather too crowded for me so I am happy to see the sights/sites virtually. I looked and looked in the reflections for a Wood Dragon, but couldn’t find you šŸ˜‰

    • Yes, I looked and looked for my reflection too before posting it. šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚
      I completely understand Tokyo is too crowded for many but it does have its many serene spaces.

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