Most of my photos focus on the older parts of Tokyo. The areas that are changing rapidly, and yet at the same time still contain so much of the past. A feature of the city I find infinitely fascinating, but obviously it’s not something unique to the capital, so below then are photos on a similar theme taken during a recent stay in Osaka.
All of them were shot in Nishinari ward, which is well known as the city’s most neglected district. An aspect that’s very obvious due to the many dilapidated structures, along with a large day labourer population. A sprawling neighbourhood that feels very much like Japan, and yet at the same time still very different from even the corresponding part of Tokyo.
It’s a place that for want of a better description feels real. Genuine too when compared to the shiny glass buildings and fancy shops that increasingly make up so much of modern Japan. Also, and much more importantly, genuine in regards the people. There’s an openness on the streets and in the many little bars, eateries and coffee shops, with no need at all for any airs and graces, let alone fake politeness. Many of the residents most definitely don’t have much, but they do at least have the benefit of being able to be themselves, something that’s arguably not all that common in Japan. At least not in public, anyway.
All that said, I was only a visitor, so these are just thoughts from my time staying there. Thoughts I can hopefully either confirm or dispel during future visits. Trips that need to be made sooner rather than later, as just like the photos show, modern Osaka is visibly on the march.