An atmospheric Tokyo side street photographed from three different angles

The almost warren-like nature of many parts of Tokyo makes it incredibly easy to get lost, not to mention sidetracked, as it’s often impossible to predict what’s round the next corner.

Not that it’s always something interesting of course. In fact invariably it isn’t. But when it is, photographs and further exploration are usually essential.

For starters from ground level.

old Tokyo street

And then if possible from above.

old Tokyo street

Which in this case at least allowed for a real sense of what Tokyo once was, and fortunately in a few places, still is.

old Tokyo street


  1. Matt says

    I love these street scenes you manage to find. They have so much character and always make me want to have a seat at one of these tiny bar. Works well in b&w.

  2. says

    I never really considered myself becoming ‘lost’ in such places , not some much in Tokyo (to which I rarely traveled, but Kyoto). Getting ‘lost’ like that usually ended in me finding some hidden gem.

    • says

      Definitely. When out walking or cycling in an area I’m relatively familiar with, I purposely try to get ‘lost’ in the hope of finding something new. The trouble is, the more times I do it, the more often I know where I am….

      There again, Apple Maps may well change all that!

  3. says

    Lee, I love the constrasty blacks and whites in these photos! Any post processing done or are these straight from your Leica?

  4. Jordan says

    How many spots similar to this still exist in Tokyo? And more so, how much of the older stuff was actually lost throughout the country due to the war? Outside of Tokyo and the other major metropolitan areas is there still a lot of old Japan to be seen?

    • says

      That’s a very good question. A good few I reckon, although in Tokyo at least, an awful lot was lost in the bombing raids.

      Outside the cities it all depends where you go. There are a lot of old places, although a lot of them aren’t anywhere near as photogenic as this street.

  5. June says

    Lee, this is great! Where were you standing to get the 2nd and 3rd shots? Inside one of the buildings? On a roof?

    • says

      Thanks, June. I was in a bar on the corner, and it has a nice big balcony, so I was able to get the shots from there. Having a few beers and firing off the odd leisurely shot was very nice indeed!

  6. Ian says

    Very atmospheric shots. I particularly like the movement you capture between the couple in the first photo. It seems very intimate – like the alley itself. And the little cameo of the two men drinking to the side (with the kettle on the heater behind them) is brilliant.

    • says

      Thanks a lot, Ian.

      I got one other shot of the young couple and they looked just as intimate and comfortable. Like you said, exactly like the street itself. The two men were a nice constant. Along with the kettle of course!

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