Tokyo in Pics


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

Tokyo at Night - Shibuya

Usually when I head out with my camera I have a specific purpose in mind – shoot something for an article.  Then there are other times when I just head out to shoot with no particular purpose in mind.  When I photographed in Shibuya for this article, it was one of those nights, just walk around, shoot stuff and blow off a little steam that had been building over the past few days.  I really enjoyed it and it did help get rid of some stress.

Taking advantage of every perch to get “the” shot

Shibuya, being one of Tokyo’s major centers, can be a very, very crowded place at times.  The place has everything – shopping, lots of fashion, hotels, restaurants and heaps of businesses.  With nearby Harajuku, the area might be the fashion capital of Japan, if not the world?  It’s the type of place where, even on week nights, the crowds can get so heavy you can just lose yourself in them.  To be in a place so bright and with many people around you, but yet be totally alone can be very surreal at times.

Shibuya - always in motion

It was a good night for me though, just walking around doing nothing but taking random pictures.  Something I might have to do more often.  The first pictures I took were from the walkway that connects JR Shibuya station to the Keio-Inokashira station.  It’s a good place to start with as you can get a good view of Shibuya crossing, but the windows are usually filthy which is something you need to pay attention too.

Shibuya crossing on a rainy Wednesday evening

After that I wandered rather aimlessly, going up to the observation floor of Hikarie Shibuya, down to Shibuya crossing to shoot taxis and then around to Shibuya 109 and Center-gai.  Finally, I ended up near Tower Records to shoot Atom Boy who adorns an underpass and made my way back to the station, with a couple of final shots at the crossing again.

Even though I shot on a Wednesday night, it was busy.  Shibuya is always busy, especially that crossing.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the crossing is famous because it’s famous.  It’s one of those self-perpetuating things.  People go there to check it out, which draws other people there to check it out.  Photograph everyone and they’ll photograph you right back.  There is nothing wrong with that though as it is a lot of fun.  And in the end, taking a few photos there does get rid of all the stress.