Sights such as the one below never cease to intrigue me. Not only do they contain unknown stories, but personally I feel they have a very distinct, melancholic beauty about them. To add to their interest, they are also the exact opposite of almost everything that Tokyo is famous for. An element that in some ways makes them even more special.
On the theme of older, lesser seen Tokyo, I have just started offering photowalks round the capital. So should you be interested, or know somebody who might be, the details are on my portfolio site here: Bespoke Tokyo Photowalks. There’s also a link on the top menu of these pages.
lee I think that is very cool that you have started photo walks! If I find myself in Tokyo i would definitely be interested. I hope it all works well and I know you will inspire many photography lovers.
Thanks a lot. Very kind of you. Something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Been suggested numerous times too. So finally got round to setting something up.
Dan Waldhoff says
I’m always encouraged to see someone this old who is still working and active. Suspecting that his neighbors are of a similar age, he’s also providing an important service to the neighborhood. I have to walk a kilometer for fresh sashimi (close to the center of Tsukuba for 30+ years). It doesn’t look like he’d make it back in time for dinner!
The bikes also suggests grand children in the household are eating sashimi and probably not macaroni and cheese from the microwave â€¦
Yeah, amazing how many people his age and older are still working. Very often 6 days a week too.
Good call on the bikes. That’d make total sense. And yes, no crappy fast food at Grandad’s place!
The photowalks sound interesting and I will check out details when I return to Tokyo. When I go, I go to the predictable neighborhoods that tourists or business people would visit and I just don’t see these streetscapes.
That’s totally understandable. What I did when I first came here too. I’ve just had the benefit of time.
As is the case anywhere I happen to be, I’m always fascinated by the ancient and decrepit. Be it a business or a home or a playground, at one time each was brand new, freshly painted, shining and ready for visitors, and I can’t help but wonder what that first moment of newness was like. It’s bittersweet to see in some cases (as probably here in your photo) the original owner who is still hanging on—like his shop—but has also at some point succumbed to the passage of time, falling little bit by little bit into disrepair.
Yes, those thoughts always strike me too. Now and again it’s possible to see photos of what such places were once like, but mostly it’s left to the imagination. An element that in many ways makes them more interesting.
Beautiful photograph. A patchwork of infinite time decayed layers surrounding the owner who maybe only oversaw some of its life.
Every chip, scratch, patena and paint peel has charm and appeal. But probably not to who lives there.
I loved visiting my grandparents industrial area 2up2down with no hot water and an outside loo. There was so much more character to it than my own comfortable suburban semi childhood home. Of course my Dad had other views, having lived many freezing winters there (I was only a summer visitor). In fact when he was conscripted he was the only guy in his baracks who appreciated its comforts 😉
Thanks. It really is a fascinating structure, isn’t it? So much to take in.
That’s a very good point. Something I’ve talked to a friend about numerous times. Photographing and seeing places like this fascinates me, and as such I’m quick to bemoan the gentrification of older parts of the capital. But at the end of the day I go home to a modern apartment with all the comfort and convenience that brings, and not an old, tumbledown place like this.
This is so cool. I have to ask, is it still open?
The photowalks are a great idea. Good luck.! When (if……?) I make it to Tokyo you’ll have a booking! 🙂
Thank you very much. I look forward to the opportunity!
I presume so, yes. Admittedly it wasn’t open when I passed, but with the labels still in the little cooler outside, and him kitted out in work clothes, I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t.