The standard image of Tokyo as a busy, sprawling concrete mass is an accurate one. It really does feel like the city goes on forever, and the sometimes monstrous number of people can be overwhelming to say the least. But head west, a long way west, and the suburbs eventually make way for something very different — a part of the capital that is not only quiet, but also boasts mountains, abandoned cable cars, a disused railway line and even a bar owner in her 90s who still opens for business on a daily basis. An area where, as the latter suggests, the country’s ageing population is more pronounced. So in many ways, the sight of an elderly woodcutter is more expected than that common symbol of Tokyo, the salaryman.
A scene from the past with several clear hints at the present.
Inside Tokyo’s fantastically ramshackle Tsukiji fish market, each stall has an office to deal with the business side of the very busy fish business; the vast majority of which are small, basic affairs like this one I photographed last year. But when it comes to the tiniest, this box definitely takes some beating.