20 PHOTOS

Tokyo, My Cut

Our photographer exposes the energy of Tokyo's street life—neon, anime, jagged architecture—as well as its quieter moments and whimsy.

About the photographer
Originally from New York, Jun Takagi studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design and now lives in Tokyo (though he claims, "I'll always be a New Yorker"). His photographs have been published in travel, food, and news publications; find out more at juntakagi.com.

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Photo captions
1 I love that you can go to the beach, get a suntan, and even windsurf at Odaiba Seaside Park, not far from the high-rises and department stores of Ginza. Photo

2 An impeccably dressed Kabuki actress sizes up the competition. This almost 120-year-old Kabuki-za (theater) is to be rebuilt fairly soon. Earthquake safety standards were a little less stringent back then. Photo

3 The sphere observatory of the Fuji TV building in Odaiba—ideal for a super-villain's futuristic lair. Photo

4 The Imperial Palace, right in the middle of Tokyo. Like the royal family, it retains a low-key and timeless presence. Photo

5 Akihabara, where otaku ("fans," and sometimes "fanatics") hang out. In this neighborhood, cute young characters in sailor-type schoolgirl uniforms—possessing super powers, ray guns, and eyes larger than billiard balls—hold sway over nerdy young men. But not this guy. Photo

6 Sometimes, you just want an authentic, scene-free meal. This is a good bet: a bunch of skinny restaurants crammed together in a few alleys on the north side of west Shinjuku. Photo

7 I snapped a shot of these old friends taking a break in one of the alcoves of the Senso-ji temple gates, an ever more familiar scene as Japan's population grays. Photo

8 In ancient times, this statue of Raijin, the god of thunder, must have been a truly frightening sight to pilgrims at the Senso-ji temple. Now his fierce gaze guards a long line of gift shops. Photo

9 A solemn moment of prayer apart from the tourist crowds. I enjoy the quieter moments at the Senso-ji temple and the surrounding shitamachi (old town) of Asakusa. Photo

10 I'm partial to a little romance, and the Rainbow Bridge is one of the few Tokyo sights that always gets me. Photo

THIS IS TOKYO

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