Tokyo is always in a state of flux, and with the Olympics now on the horizon, the speed of change seems to have been ratcheted up way more than a mere notch or two. Wander away from the city’s main hubs and stations, however, and it’s possible to see a very different side of the city. One that’s older, rough around the edges, and now and again completely and utterly dilapidated.
This old subway entrance is a favourite of mine due to its faded, and also very photogenic nature. Or at least in regards the latter, it is when there’s someone equally interesting passing through it. In the past, I was lucky enough to photograph a kimono wearing woman who looked both wonderful, and wonderfully out of place. This time, however, it’s an older fella who seems to fit the scene almost perfectly.
At the height of his alcohol-fuelled feelings of complete and utter invincibility, this fella’s last can — a cheap and cheerful chu-hi — must have seemed like an absolutely fantastic idea. But, due to either a very early start, or an impressively late finish, its only effect seems to have been to quickly summon an embarrassingly public, mid-afternoon slumber.
Should you wish to see more photos of similarly inebriated Japanese drinkers, an ever-growing set of them can be seen here.
Japan has more than its fair share of stunning scenery, but personally, it’s the less conventionally striking sights that appeal the most. Tokyo’s faded and crumbling urban structures for example, or the countryside’s many abandoned homes and buildings.
With this in mind then, the nation’s northernmost coastline between Wakkanai and Cape Soya made for a wonderful half day of photography and exploration. Scenes that most definitely won’t make the guidebooks, but for me at least they possess a sort of forlorn beauty all of their own.