Since I started street photography, I’ve seen a lot of works from many street photographers around the world as references and inspirations for my street photography. When I learn and explore about their works, I found that there are many interesting stuff and street characteristic that I would never met in my place right now. Because of this, I setup a new goal. I want to capture street photos from another city and country. I want to know how it feels like to capturing street photos with different culture, people, and civilization. Just me and my camera. Strolling around and get lost.
TOKYO: Heaven for street photographer
I must admit that Tokyo’s street photographers is giving the biggest influence for my street photography. Seeing their works of exploring Tokyo is always amaze me. From high contrast black and white, light and shadow play, until woman interest. That things become my concept when capturing street photos. So, that’s why I put Tokyo as my priority to visit. I want to learn capturing street photos like Tokyo’s street photographers do. Trying from their point of view may improve my vision of street photography.
In my first day came to Tokyo, this city already amazes me. The street was so clean! Some view that I’ve rarely seen in my place.. Hahaha. Also, with their culture, architecture, technology, is like there’s nothing in this place that not interesting to capture. Every corner on this city is full of beauty and artsy. Seriously guys, I spent a whole week to exploring Tokyo, 12-15 hours/day on the street, and still not satisfied. Arrghh!! Should arrange my next plan to Tokyo again… Hahaha
There are many “super catchy” things in Tokyo to capture when doing street hunt. Here’s my favourite list:
Yes, crossroad in Tokyo is always appealing to my eyes. You may know that Shibuya Cross is the most famous spot, right? But, there are plenty crossroad that similar to Shibuya cross around Tokyo and I feel so much fun when exploring crossroad in Tokyo, like in Ikebukuro or Shinjuku. The cleanliness from the street, white stripes from the crossroad, and people who crossing the street always become the perfect frame and well match for high contrast monochrome.
Man in Black Suit
When I do street hunt in weekday, the view of a man wearing black suit for work is like very common things in Tokyo. You can find these scenes everywhere in this city. Try to find nice background and waiting for the black suit guy to entering the frame, then you get an authentic shot from Tokyo.
Tokyo Girls and their Fashion
Well, since I like a beautiful girl (who doesn’t like it?), the beauty of Tokyo girls is always stole my eyes (and my heart.. hahaha) to capture them. Also, their fashion is always fascinating to watch. From the weirdest until glorious fashion from this city is always interesting to capture. You can go to Ginza or Shibuya to find classy girls to capture or go to Harajuku at Takeshita Dori to find maid or cosplay girls.
Alley Street and Neon Sign
Tokyo has a one of street characteristic that very interesting to capture, narrow alley. From the modern artsy architecture until traditional beauty of alley can be found in here. My favourite is Omoide Yokucho. Try to sneak around in Shinjuku and you will find this beautiful place, with crowd and busy atmosphere you will get various emotion of people with beautiful alley as the background. Also, don’t forget to do night walk to capture street with full of neon sign. You can go through Shinjuku street or Akihabara, there are super crowd and has so much neon sign that will amaze you.
Subway is major transportation that people use in Tokyo. You must know that Tokyo has a very busy railway system. Because of that, you will see so many people come and go at the station, from a kids until an old man, from a plain looking girl until a super fashionable one. You don’t have to walk around. Just stay at where you stand and wait until the moment comes. My most recommendation to seek the emotion in the crowd is Shibuya and Shinjuku. But if you seek for architecture, Tokyo station is very suitable because its unique design and the location is in the middle of business district, so you can find many tall buildings to capture.
Temple and Shrine
First, you must know that temple is different with shrine. Temple is a Buddhist sites and Shrine is Shinto sites. For Buddhist Temple, Sensoji at Asakusa is the famous one. Honestly, I not really exploring the temple. Our main stage as street photographer is at Nakamise Dori, a street market before the temple. Try exploring many shop and traditional stall along the street and take a walk to Tokyo Skytree.
For Shinto Shrine, you can go to Meiji Jingu. It placed in the middle of Shinjuku and Shibuya, near Harajuku. But, I’m not exploring it a lot. Shrine that really catch my attention is Hie Shrine at Chiyoda. Why? Because, if you want to capture the beauty of Torii Gates like Inari Shrine, but didn’t want to spend time and money to go to Kyoto, then Hie Shrine will serve you with its beautiful Torii Gates. Yeah, even its not as long as Torii Gates at Inari Shrine, but its quite good enough to satisfy your vision of Torii Gates.
That’s my experiences when doing street hunt in Tokyo. Hope it will help when you’re planning to go to Tokyo and doing street hunt. And, if you any ideas or addition or maybe experiences when you do street hunt in Tokyo, let me know in the comment!