Aug 01, 2021
One of my favourite sounds in Tokyo is the sound of a level crossing. Just adjacent to Araiyakushi Mae station in the early morning people are making their way to work and school across the tracks. Many have just alighted from the departing ever-punctual train. The trains in Tokyo really are a wonder. We had just finished a three train journey across Tokyo during a Friday morning rush hour, and despite the sheer number of people, it never felt overcrowded or uncomfortable
Jun 17, 2021
Utility poles, with their spectacular nests of cables, are everywhere in Tokyo. They line the edges and paths of the city distributing power and communications to tens of millions of addresses. Some people find them ugly. More don’t even notice them, and on occasion the Government expresses its embarrassment at them. Personally I like them. It’s like looking up at vapour trails. It makes me wonder about the locations and people they connect.…
Apr 15, 2021
I am not enamoured of all things kawaii, but there is something intriguing about a door like this. One has to wonder what lies behind. Perhaps I have been watching too many Ghibli movies. This door was beside the Sumikko Gurashi store along 1st Avenue in the underground shopping mall of Tokyo Station on the Yaesu side.
Ningyocho Night Bars
Mar 14, 2021
There is something wonderful about the bright neon lights and other signs that beckon you into darkened doorways on streets all around Tokyo. They often appear intimidating, especially for those without any Japanses language skills, but I have never had a bad experience and always found both the staff and clientel to be welcoming and friendly. This is a short stretch of a small street in Ningyocho.
Feb 14, 2021
It is interesting to see how many of the buildings around Tokyo Tower are not as tall as you might expect. Here, looking closer along Sakurada-dori south through Minato City towards Takanawa, the apartment and business buildings seem to rise as they get further away. It may not be deliberate, but it does have the happy consequence of making for many wonderful views from the Tower. It was a lovely sunny day when I took this, making me want to join the pedestrians down on the sunlit pavement.…
Looking down on Zojoji
Jan 20, 2021
The viewing platform at Tokyo Tower provides an excellent opportunity to look down on the magnificent Zojoji Temple complex. Taken at the end of 2020, and a few days before I was standing in the Temple on a subzero New Years Eve, this is a view from just before the world changed and the travel options we so much took for granted were taken away. The narrow road on the left is a familiar route for me, being my approach of choice to the iconic Tokyo Tower.…
Nov 09, 2020
There is something special about a Japanese tour bus, and these from the 70 year old Hato Bus company, at the foot of Tokyo Tower, are a fine example. They carry you in comfort along the paths and between the districts of the city and beyond. The smartly uniformed staff keep you informed and entertained, and the views and sights are an endless source of opportunities to note for future exploration on foot.…
Roads and Skylines
Sep 07, 2020
This photograph was taken looking south towards Shinkawa towards the end of the day. The red brickwork is part of the Royal Park Hotel. I love the way layer upon layer of high rise buildings jostle for a place in the sky, presenting a line far more complex than the most intricate key, and just as unique. From every one of countless windows there is a different and individual skyline.
Aug 11, 2020
Looking south over Sumida and Koto wards from the Skytree on an almost cloudless April morning over countless homes and businesses all the way to the Tokyo Gate Bridge and Haneda Airport and the highrise cluster of Chuo City. It looks vast, and yet is still only a small slice of the whole of Tokyo. Below, in the long thin Sumida River Park where I had just walked, are chaperoned tribes of colourfully hatted kindergarten classes playing, and old men quietly fishing in a fragment of an old canal.…
Roads upon roads upon roads upon roads
Jun 05, 2020
The complexity of the transport infrastructure is not often appreciated from ground level, but at some places you can look up and see a glimpse of it. Like here at Hakozaki Junction where four layers of roads can be seen.