When looking for a photo the other day, I also found the first one in this little series, prompting a rummage back in time for the rest of them. It was a building that always fascinated me. The wonderful mix of signs, and in particular the pachinko ones, got me each and every visit. Plus there was its incredibly ramshackle and overgrown state. Oh, and the silver Mercedes that had inexplicably been dumped next to it. All of that right by Yoyogi station and only a short walk from Shinjuku.
It wasn’t just the exterior either. There was the wonderfully dated entrance, with stairs leading up to the last remaining business — a bookshop so densely stocked it was more akin to a maze than the home of a merchant. Books were even balanced overhead in some parts. A cramped environment, in a crumbling structure, that made it hard not to think about earthquakes and whether it really was all that wise to be wandering around in there.
The rest of the building was rather frustratingly sealed up. Then one day so was the entrance. An inevitability of course, but it was no less sad to see. As was the subsequent demolition. A bit of history gone, along with a very real sense of how much of the city must have once looked.
Oh man that first shot is so cool, it’s like a set from a retro sci-fi movie. Awesome work as always!
Thank you very much. It definitely started to look increasingly unreal as it became surrounded be new and shiny buildings…
These shots look absolutely stunning! Really wonderful work! ♥🙏
Thank you. That’s really kind of you. It was a special place, and very photogenic. Such a shame it has gone.
This is a very interesting building. I’m also curious why anyone would leave such an expensive car there.
It was. Very interesting, not to mention unique.
That’s a good question. One I always asked myself, especially as the car looked in good condition as well. A real mystery.
Oh that is a stunning frontage. And what a collection of photographs altogether.
I remember you mentioning the location when we were discussing possible photowalk tour locations some years ago.
As you say, sad that the whole experience of the property is now gone – I’ve loved the multi-owner old building vibe ever since I got lost in Manchester in the early 80’s and happened across Afflecks Palace, (a converted massive five story 1860’s property which I’m happy to note is still open and home to over seventy “alternative ” businesses).
Cheers. Don’t know I hadn’t posted them before.
Yes, that’s the one. Noting much nearby, but that alone was worth going there. Certainly why I used to walk by.
Ah, Afflecks Palace. That was a real favourite of mine back in the day. And yes, I was similarly pleased to find it is still going strong. I took Akiko several years ago, and she was immediately enamoured with the place. It refreshingly has, and also hasn’t, moved with the times. Long may it continue doing so.
That bookstore, in particular, is incredible. How could anyone find any books in there?!?
The newer buildings around the demolition site offer a very stark contrast.
I thought that, but I dare say the owner knew exactly where each and every book was!
Yes. That whole area had become really quite modern, so this old building stood out even more. I do miss seeing it.
Ah yes, an amazing building and a wonderful bookshop and owner. I wonder where he is now (and what happened to all those books!).
Yeah, it really was. So glad we ventured in that day.
Hopefully it prompted the owner to retire and he’s currently enjoying more spacious surroundings, although goodness knows where all those books went…
Nice, Lee. Love the bicycle-cum-umbrella rack!
Thanks a lot. Yes, nicely multi-purpose, or perhaps now its only purpose!