Tokyo in Black and White - Shinbashi
I decided to go to Shinbashi with my camera and do a walk around, just shoot whatever I liked. It was a little difficult deciding what I wanted to shoot as the area has two different faces. One side of the station is ultra-modern (with a couple of exceptions) and the other side, is still locked back in the 1970s, or maybe even 1960s? Whatever side you choose, it is a great place for photography.
Before I start though, just as a disclaimer, some of the places I photographed for this article technically aren’t in Shinbashi, but as far was I concerned they were close enough.
If you don’t know anything about the area, the station there is one of the busiest Tokyo with many major train and subways lines passing through it, including the Yamanote and Yurikamome. And it was actually the site of the Japan’s first railway terminal - today you can find a small museum near the station to celebrate the fact.
I actually pass through Shinbashi a lot as I need to get the Yurikamome line to go to to events, like the Tokyo Motor Show and AnimeJapan, at Tokyo Big Sight which is near Odaiba on the other side of the bay. The station for the Yurikamome line, is just outside the Karasumori exit. I, as well as many other people, have called it a monorail, but apparently that is quite wrong as each carriage runs on four rubber wheels like most vehicles do on a road. Anyway, it looks great as it passes through the skyscrapers on its elevated tracks.
Shinbashi has so much to shoot. If you are into skyscrapers and architecture, you can do that. If you are into small alley-like streets, you can do that. As it is a major train/subway station you can also do lots of street photography too as so many people pass through it.
When it comes to shooting the buildings you just need to be a little careful shooting around the Dentsu building as there is a signboard near the main entrance which asks that people refrain from photographing the building. If the security guards see you, they will (very politely) tell you to stop however, they will show from where you can photograph the building from.
As I mentioned before, the two sides of the station are very different. One side it looks all ultra-modern and very vertical, while the other side is very low, very 1960s/70s architecture and covered in power lines. It is also home to lots of bars, izakayas and restaurants that rapidly fill up with salarymen at night.
A place in Shinbashi that some people might find interesting is Karasumori Shrine. In my experience, it’s an unusual shrine in that is mainly constructed from concrete. It is hiding in the backstreets, but it’s not that difficult to find. A quick search of Google maps before you go will reveal its location, not too far from the station.
For this article the last place I'll recommend is the Nakagin Capsule Tower and it is extremely popular with photographers. It's within easy walking distance of Shinbashi station and is one of Tokyo’s most iconic buildings. Built in 1972 and taking only thirty days to complete, this building reminds me of Rubik’s Cube. It looks beautiful.
You could easily spend a few hours around Shinbashi with a camera. I think I've written about quite a lot already, but there is still a lot more waiting there for you to discover.