Homage or habit?

In a time when religious belief is often used as a rallying cry, Japan makes a refreshing change with its decidedly carefree approach to faith, happily allowing for Buddhist funerals, Christian weddings and Shinto ‘christenings’ — the various doctrines of which, for many at least, are taken, quite literally in regards the latter, with a very large pinch of salt indeed.

And yet that said, many temples and shrines enjoy a surprisingly steady stream of visitors. From all walks of life. And of all ages. But whether it is down to something spiritual, more superstition-based, or merely a habit handed down from generation to generation, I simply don’t know.

Japanese prayer

But whichever it is. And whatever it is people wish for. Or want. Watching and wondering from afar is always fascinating.

Tokyo headhunter?

Just like everywhere else in the world, times are tough in Tokyo, and as such, some people are prepared to do anything to, ahem,

Japanese headhunter

get ahead.

Japanese headhunter

Outdoor office

If work really has to be done at the weekend, then there are probably worse places in the world to toil away for however long it takes.

outdoor office

Heat stroke?

When it’s as hot and humid as it was today, and one has heartily ploughed through the heftiest of hefty midday meal deals, a post-lunch lie down, practically anywhere that’s even remotely passable, is plainly a priority.

Sunny Tokyo

Japanese workers working #28

Simply sweeping away the leaves he may well have been, but with his relaxed rhythm and metronome-like movements, this man made it seem more like a performance than merely something perfunctory.

Meiji Jingu

Shibuya shame

With its bustling crowds and busy crossing, Shibuya may well be the home of fashion and far from furtive fun, but, for those who don’t actually have a home, such characteristics, even when supplemented by the sun, count for nothing in the way of comfort.

Japanese homeless