Squalid. Seedy. Simply wonderful, Shinjuku

Particularly during the day, when the distracting neon is dimmed, the dirty and not in the least glamorous underbelly of Shinjuku is there for all to see. The squalor. Sleazy touts. Its truly dizzying array of adult-related shops. And yet without them, Shinjuku would more than likely just be another drearily homogenised district, rather than the truly fascinating city it actually is.



  1. says

    Simply amazing. Beyond the look of whatever our TV sets have told us via all those documentaries, it is the day to day, those rigid faces of a blocky city, which are the most appealing. Great picture.

    • says

      Cheers! Yes, it’s certainly the grittier parts of the city that appeal to me too. Often the Tokyo portrayed on TV outside Japan, is very different than the one seen everyday. Or at least what I’ve seen is. The majority of it seems to be just various shots of Shibuya Crossing…

    • says

      I don’t recall it smelling actually, but the drains in some parts of Shinjuku absolutely wreak. Don’t know whether it’s bad design or the system simply can’t cope anymore, but either way it isn’t very pleasant…

  2. John says

    You seem to have everyone’s attention, except for perhaps the dog who has its eyes on a quick forage! Was it a conscious intention to note the woman on the ad. board is pointing?

    • says

      Yes, it certainly seems that way, doesn’t it? All eyes on the gaijin!

      It’d be nice to say yes, but nah, I was aware of the face, but hadn’t noticed the pointing. Instead, it was a nice little surprise to find later.

  3. winnie says

    Interesting shot!
    Oh dear! The rubbish bins were overflowed … I wonder what is the dog’s reaction when walked passed?
    I don’t really like to go to Shinjuku because it is always very crowded and noisy. But also a happening and interesting place!

    • says


      The dog didn’t seem to care to be honest, but I guess it sees those sights regularly. I know what you mean about the crowds and noise, but there’s something special about Shinjuku. Or at least there is for me. A specialness, however, that is very hard to define…

  4. frank stepanski says

    Yes, great new website…

    Surprised to see garbage at all…never saw it when I was walking around.

    Great shot!

    • says

      Cheers x2!

      Depends where you go and when really. This was just before garbage collection, so there was more on the streets than usual. That said, where I took the photo isn’t exactly the most spotless area in Tokyo…

  5. frank stepanski says

    oh…and just noticed the new site is responsive too…very mobile friendly :)

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