Photographs from a small group of islands
Jul 24 2015 12 Comments
7/24/2015 at 9:01 am
Very cool shot. The contrast between these two characters is wonderful. One with a place to go full of purpose and the other not.
7/24/2015 at 6:57 pm
Cheers. Yes, it’s quite a contrast, isn’t it? Terribly sad, but at the same time not terribly unusual…
7/24/2015 at 8:24 pm
We’re you waiting for someone to cross her path or did you get lucky with this?
7/24/2015 at 11:29 pm
Nah, got lucky. I was a bit worse for wear after more than a few drinks and was heading for my train when I saw her crouched there. Just about had the time to fire off a quick shot, and fortunately the young fella moved into the frame when I did. Lovely when things work out that way.
7/24/2015 at 10:35 am
Payphones still exist?
7/24/2015 at 6:58 pm
They do. There are quite a lot to be honest. But I guess there has to be, as if an earthquake hits, the cellular network is highly likely to go down.
7/25/2015 at 2:53 am
I’ve heard, from another Tokyo resident, that during emergencies like big earthquakes, the pay phones are free.
I’ve also heard that two (urban legend) reasons pay phones are still around are: 1. Japanese just like them; 2. Vested interests keep them around despite zero sound economic justification.
Re: the photo – was that a senior citizen, or a gaijin, or gyaru? It’s the hair, can’t make out if it’s gray, or dyed, hakujin-ke. Anyway, another great urban life shot – the stories all around us…
7/25/2015 at 10:17 am
Interesting. Haven’t heard anything like that, but none would surprise me. I do though recall measures to maintain a certain number of phones in wake of the 2011 quake, as even then there were hardly enough, with massive lines to use them.
As for the woman in the photo, she’s definitely getting on a bit, but I can’t say for sure whether she’s a gaijin or Japanese. A story there like you say. One of the countless that are going on around us that are so easy to miss. But what this particular one is I really don’t know.
Hans ter Horst says
7/26/2015 at 2:11 am
Weird and so wrong to see somebody with a cigarette in a public area!
The homeless are as good as invisible to my Japanese friends and I get frowned upon for pointing them out. 🙁
7/26/2015 at 8:54 pm
Yes, people are very, very good at ignoring them…
7/27/2015 at 3:47 am
The lack of obvious homeless, buskers, beggars was one of the most obvious differences between UK cities and Tokyo. I saw the occasional passed out salaryman in a doorway or under stairs but they again are a difference – far too dangerous to be incapable like that in London.
That payphone looks to be almost glowing of it’s own accord.
7/27/2015 at 11:12 am
It does, doesn’t it? The glowing green phone!
Depends where you go in Tokyo, but the homeless are far more visible here than when I first arrived over a decade ago. Go to certain parks and along the rivers and you’ll see a lot. Also in poorer parts of the city, in particular the area once known as Sanya. I took some photos there a while ago. You can see them here. A very grim part of town.