Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Tokyo at Night - Shinjuku

I remember when I first went to Shinjuku in 1991, for a job interview.  It was the era of the bubble economy.  Such huge crowds.  I had never seen such numbers of people in one place, and it made me feel a little apprehensive.  Brisbane, back in Australia where I came from, just didn’t compare on any level.  Shinjuku was, and still is, an exciting place.

At that time it was very easy to get excited by all the neon lights, the izakayas and the zillion and one taxis on the road every night.  Shopping has never been my thing but, I was completely bedazzled by the concentration of all the big brand shops, like Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari and Chanelle, in one area.  So many new experiences were to be had in Shinjuku .  To see its streets at night was quite an experience.  1991 Tokyo was all glamour and glitz.

Twenty-six years on and much has changed.  The bubble economy has well and truly gone and Japan has probably become a little more of a pessimistic place, but not Shinjuku.  Shinjuku is still the place to go in Tokyo, for business or pleasure.  It pulls the people.  Especially at night.

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower seen from Shinjuku station's west exit

Night comes and the streets of Shinjuku become full of people looking for a good time.  Places like Kabukicho and Omoide Yokocho are filled with places to drink and eat and they literally overflow with people out looking for a good time.

Even after so many years here, Shinjuku is still one of my favourite places in Japan, not just Tokyo.  Each area of has its own vibe, its own feeling.  Where is my favourite?  I wish I could give you an answer, but I can’t as I enjoy them all.  Just walk around with a camera in hand and there is so much to shoot.  East side, west side, north or south.  Anywhere you go you’ll find something of interest.

When I went to Shinjuku for this article, I thought about getting some pictures from every area, but as some of you might notice, Golden Gai, and a few other places are missing.  Golden Gai being Golden Gai, deserves its own article I thought so it was included here.  Hopefully soon, I’ll get around to doing it.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.