Tokyo in Pics


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

Tokyo in Black and White - Shimokitazawa

I used to go to Shimokitazawa quite regularly when I first came to Japan in the nineties.  Over the years though, I just stopped going there even though I never lived far away.  I’ve got no idea why I stopped going as it is an interesting place, lots of great places to eat and drink at.  Quite strange I guess, to stop going to a place I liked, but such is life.

This would probably be considered a wide street in Shimokitazawa

Recently I saw some great black and white street photographs of Tokyo recently and it made me want to take some of my own, and Shimokita just immediately popped into my head.  Go there and do nothing special, just walk around and take photographs.  Walk around, take pictures, try to improve like I’ve trying to.

The sign on the road says, "No bicycle parking"

While walking, I couldn’t believe how much Shimokitazawa has changed over the years, but then again maybe it hadn’t.  Maybe it had always been changing but I never realized?  The area is still just a maze, narrow streets with a lot of shops jammed in next to each other.  Many old shops along with a lot of new ones, the latter all nice and shiny to attract the younger generation.  Some graffiti here and there.  The years have passed but the effect is the same, everything is still there packed in, all tight and close.

Walking around the station brought back a few memories.  Lots of secondhand clothes shops.  So many places I used to eat at.  I’m not sure if anyone remembers American Rock-n-Roll Diner?  I think it closed down, nearly twenty years ago, maybe 1997ish?  That was a place I often used to go to, another was a bar which I think was named, Gold.

And it was good to finally get out and shoot, as Tokyo has had so much rain in August 2017.  Seventeen days straight? Not quite a record, but getting close.

There are so many places I want to photography in Tokyo that I wonder if I will be able to get back to Shimokita in the near future.  I doubt my photos would be called “street photography”, it’s more like just taking pictures of thing I want to photograph.  But like so many things, I’m working on it.

Shimokitazawa from the rooftops

If there are any places in Tokyo you’d like to see, in black and white, please let me know by leaving a note in the comment section.