How many homeless there are in Tokyo is impossible to say, but there are a lot. Not as many as some cities, of course, but probably more than many people would imagine. Quite a few more in fact.
Those in the know also say the numbers are rising, although such suggestions are unnecessary, as even a cursory glance around many of the capital’s parks and open spaces confirm this to be the case. Where there was once solitary, makeshift accommodation, has now turned into what would best be described as encampments, and the sight of those on the streets appears to have become more damaged — not to mention desperate.
But just like many things in Tokyo, instead of being dealt with or even debated, it’s almost deftly ignored.
Hans ter Horst says
They really turn their backs on that homeless person. When I first visited Japan you could find these blue tents in the parks or playgrounds, or cardboard boxes under the underpasses, but are the homeless people forced to sleep on the pavement these days? Things have gotten grim!
Some, yes, although it’s still mostly boxes and ‘tents’ in parks and the like. But these days there are noticeably more of them.
Ali Payton says
Is it safe to walk in the parks – do you consider that these people are a threat as I do see that you mention and increased ‘desperation’?
No, not in the slightest. Their plight is desperate, yes, but not their behaviour.
If we do not acknowledge the problem, it doesn’t exit; if we address it, we are forced to take responsibility for failure. “And so it goes…”
Yes, that’s sadly very true…
This picture is making me sad. I saw quite a few time under the staircase of the overhead bridge too.
Honestly speaking, I am lost on what I can do. Unable to help them too. I feel quite depressed or even useless.
I am not being fake but just want to share my feelings about these situations.
I know exactly how you feel Winnie. Buying the Big Issue and the like obviously helps, but it doesn’t in any way begin to solve the problem.
I also heard that if you’re homeless, you can just live in the cybercafes scattered around town, is this true?
You can stay in those places, but they still cost money. Internet cafes are often said to be popular places for the working poor — another group that gets very little coverage in Japan.
More reasons for each of us to count our blessings rather than whine about non significant things. By the way, I love all your pictures and one day I hope I’d get to go there and experience things myself! Cheers!
It does. Certainly puts things into perspective, that’s for sure.
And thank you very much! I hope you manage to get here in the not too distant future. You’ll have a great time when you do.
I found it interesting that I saw more homeless people in a few weeks in Tokyo than in most of a year in Osaka.
That is interesting. Not spent much time in Osaka, but for some reason I assumed the problem would be just the same — possibly even worse.
jamie smith says
Why he sleep there? I think is better to sleep under the trees or something can protect him from sunlight.
At this time of year in Tokyo, the sun offers some very welcome warmth. He’s presumably just making the most of it.
Yep, i did a photo article about homeless in Tokyo on my website : http://www.issekinicho.fr/blog-japon/photos/la-machine-a-broyer
In french sorry ^_^