Posts in Category: 25 Days in Tokyo

25 Days in Tokyo—7: Strange rains

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs, and this series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching scene I saw each day I was there. Click here to see the previous entries in this series.

On the second day in November it was raining heavily in Tokyo so I decided to stay in Nakano-ku to avoid the unpleasant heat and humidity damp passengers always generate in Tokyo public train cars. I happened to be walking by Nakano Sun Plaza while some kind of stage show was in progress. A crowd of almost all men was watching and cheering two women singing a bubblegum rap song in squeaky little-girl anime voices.

I figured out the scene I’d stumbled into was sponsored by a film festival and an agriculture company (maybe you can read far more of the poster in the second photo than I can), but I never did understand why this guy was standing in the crowd in swimming gear with plasters on his nipples in the rain on a chilly November day in Tokyo…

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The event timetable…

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(Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo 2015)

25 Days in Tokyo—6: Strolling

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs, and this series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching scene I saw each day I was there. Click here to see the previous entries in this series.

Just a nice old fellow and his exercise poles, somewhere on the streets in Nakano between the apartment I was renting and the Ministop where I was headed to buy some snacks and beers for the evening. And he let me photograph him twice, so that’s not surprise on his face. I’m not exactly sure what it is…

Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo 2015

(Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo 2015)

25 Days in Tokyo—5: Halloween

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs, and this series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching scene I saw each day I was there. Click here to see the previous entries in this series.

Halloween in Tokyo, 2015 was a gas. I had not been in the city for this holiday since 1987. Back then Halloween wasn’t a big deal in Japan, and you were lucky to be invited to a gaijin friend’s costume party or find an American horror movie from the ‘30s on Japanese TV. Anyway, in 2015 I bopped all over the city, from Nakano to Ueno to Shinjuku and back to Nakano. I was delighted to see many people dressed up for Halloween, and not surprised the Japanese had adopted it and turned it into a marketing revenue stream.

Here’s some of the sights I saw during my Tokyo Halloween…

Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo 2015

A neighbor living next to the Nakano apartment building I stayed in. He’s not in Halloween costume, but I love his face.

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Young men on the Yamanote Line platform in Ueno Station.

Halloween, Tokyo 2015

On the Yamanote Line near Ōtsuka. The fellow wearing the bloody white tie spoke excellent English.

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Costume problems for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man somewhere on the edge of Kabukichō at 11 p.m.

(Various locations, Tokyo, Halloween 2015)

25 Days in Tokyo—4: Tattoos & high-tops

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs, and this series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching scene I saw each day I was there. Click here to see the previous entries in this series.

It was about 11 p.m. on a Friday night. I was in my short-term apartment rental drinking beer and watching a movie on my laptop. I forget which movie. Suddenly outside my apartment door I heard bumping and banging sounds accompanied by a man’s loud voice speaking Japanese. I grabbed my camera, exited the apartment, and saw this punk rocker guy wobbling around the walkway outside. He was clearly rather drunk, but when he saw me eyeballing him he quieted down and insisted on showing me his leg tattoos. I was fine with that, as I was a bit lit up myself. Then we looked at each other with the unspoken mutual understanding that we were both intoxicated but meant each other no harm.

Then we smiled at each other and said ‘oyasumi nasai’ (‘good night’) almost in unison. Then he went into his apartment, and I went back into mine, and that was pretty much it for the night…

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(Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo 2015)

25 Days in Tokyo—3: Freedom

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs, and this series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching scene I saw each day I was there. Click here to see the previous entries in this series.

The first three days I was in Tokyo in 2015, I didn’t wander around the city much. I was getting over jetlag, and a cold I brought with me from California. So I stuck to destinations within about 10 minutes walking distance from the apartment I was renting in Nakano-ku. Fortunately, that restriction encompassed a fantastic little bar called Freedom that I accidentally discovered near a park in September, 2013.

As the exterior shows, it’s a run-down little place. But Mama-san, on the left, and her customer, who was a regular I’d seen before in 2013, treated me with humor, warmth, and respect, despite the fact that, as usual, my Japanese was so bad the three of us really couldn’t talk to each other much…

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(Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo 2015)

25 Days in Tokyo—2: Alley boys

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs, and this series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching scene I saw each day I was there. Click here to see the previous entries in this series.

The second night I was in Tokyo I went to a Ministop convenience store near the apartment I was renting in Nakano 5-chome to buy some beer. Nearby I saw these two men in a grubby alley behind an izakaya, probably taking a break from their jobs in that restaurant. Actually, I saw the guy on the left. I didn’t notice the other man until I saw his face floating in my photo when I analyzed it on my computer about half an hour later.

Tokyo is packed tight and always full of surprises…

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(Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo 2015)

25 Days in Tokyo—1: Standing guard

In late October, 2015, I was in Tokyo, Japan for 25 days. I shot many photographs, and this series presents the most interesting, compelling, or touching scene I saw each day I was there…

Tokyo is always under construction. Something is always being built, rebuilt, renovated, upgraded, repaired, or maintained. So walking by, through, under, or over construction sites is pretty common. And these sites typically employ security guards, usually older men on pensions or limited incomes who need the money or want the work to keep busy. And I didn’t ask into which category this fellow placed himself, but it was clear he took the job very seriously…

Near Nakano Station, Tokyo 2015

(Near Life Nakano Ekimae, Tokyo 2015)

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