The real Tokyo?

A preference for neon, packed trains and teeming entertainment districts are common images of Tokyo — particularly so in foreign media outlets. They are images that don’t lie either, as that’s exactly what places like Shinjuku are like: bright, noisy and often busy beyond belief.

Yet at the same time, much of the city simply isn’t like that. Quite the opposite in fact. It’s quieter. Older in every sense of the word. Plus not nearly so busy. And in many ways, it is all the more interesting for it.

old, real, Tokyo


  1. says

    Great shot, this is the Tokyo I have come to appreciate a lot and quite often you only need to look in the streets behind the glossy, neony shopping streets to already start discovering this face of Tokyo.

    • says


      Yes, likewise. I do have a real soft spot for Shinjuku. Or at least parts of it. But areas like this are where I enjoy walking/exploring the most.

  2. says

    Reminds me of walking through the back streets of Nakano when I was looking for a particular, small restaurant. Was a very pleasant place to be in many ways.

  3. GenjiG says

    I love just walking or cycling through neighborhoods like this. Feels calm and relaxing, like villages in a big city…

  4. Oshida Lucile says

    I love these littles streets! You can feel the daily Japan, where live ordinary people! Beautiful photos!

    • says

      They are really great places to walk around. Usually very friendly too. The past and present all rolled into one.

  5. willy says

    …and they always seems to squeeze in a bit of greenery despite the extreme spacial constraints…

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