Tokyo has no shortage of big chain coffee shops and cafes, but fortunately it also has plenty of old school, lost in time little outlets.
Even in the 1980s, the once commonly touted line that, all Japanese are middle-class, probably didn’t hold much in the way of truth. Nowadays, however, it most certainly doesn’t. And increasingly, the very obvious signs of social and economic division are sadly all too clear to see.
Shuttered-up old shops are increasingly common sights in both Tokyo, and Japan in general. Unlike many other countries, however, these small operations often double as homes, so even when the business is long gone, the building itself may still be in daily use. Like the place below. A scene that explains why the old lady is present, and also her surprise at someone photographing her as she does little more than leave the house.
Back in July 2014, I took this photo of a young woman feeding a pigeon some bar snacks. At the time, I was going through more of a black and white phase, but returning to the image recently when assessing pictures to include in my portfolio, I decided to see what it looked like in colour. Not surprisingly it looks very different. Perhaps more than anything it feels a lot warmer, which considering the intimacy of the captured moment, seems to work better. That said, I was equally convinced monochrome was the right choice all those months ago, so there’s no guarantee that opinion will persist.
The great thing about summer in Tokyo is the festivals. The not so great thing about summer in Tokyo is that it’s summer.
On a similar, summer-related note, later this week I shall be leaving the intense heat and humidity of Japan and travelling for a month, meaning the usual three posts a week will be temporarily reduced to a much more manageable one. So, starting from today, there’ll only be a new photo each Monday. From August 21st, however, the usual Monday, Wednesday and Friday updates will resume as normal.