THIS IS TOKYO

Tokyo, My Cut

Source Article: Tokyo, My Cut
  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. (Jun Takagi)
  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. (Jun Takagi)
  3. The sphere observatory of the Fuji TV building in Odaiba—ideal for a super-villain's futuristic lair. (Jun Takagi)
  4. The Imperial Palace, right in the middle of Tokyo. Like the royal family, it retains a low-key and timeless presence. (Jun Takagi)
  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. (Jun Takagi)
  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. (Jun Takagi)
  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. (Jun Takagi)
  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. (Jun Takagi)
  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. (Jun Takagi)
  10. I'm partial to a little romance, and the Rainbow Bridge is one of the few Tokyo sights that always gets me. (Jun Takagi)
  11. Miru dake desu (just looking). (Jun Takagi)
  12. Every time I see this Louise Bourgeois spider at the Roppongi Hills complex, I wonder what they were thinking. The owner, building tycoon Minoru Mori, is famous for developing a wide web of buildings throughout Tokyo. The piece seems a little symbolically creepy here…. (Jun Takagi)
  13. On the left is Akibanana (a banana cake's pink-haired mascot), and on the right is the prime minister of Japan, Taro Aso. Everything in Japan has the potential to be transformed into a cartoonish character. Except the royal family. (Jun Takagi)
  14. A savory pancake topped with an egg and seaweed, the Ameyokoyaki is named after the street it's sold on, Ameyokocho. It's home to a great street market, from the fish sellers' patter to the "authentic" designer bags. (Jun Takagi)
  15. Three young men—smoking isn't allowed until you're 20 years old—taking a tobacco time-out in Akihabara, the anime/computer game center of Tokyo. (Jun Takagi)
  16. Compact mirrors at Venus Fort, a shopping mall styled after 17th-century European streets. The Japanese tend to like their kawaii (cute) factor combined with a little high fashion. (Jun Takagi)
  17. The Tokyo International Forum building in Yurakucho resembles a fish or a ship. I can't decide. (Jun Takagi)
  18. The ancient gate at Shiba Daimon on the road leading to the Zojo-ji temple and, just a little further on, to Godzilla's favorite target, Tokyo Tower. (Jun Takagi)
  19. Kabukicho: Neon signs for everything. Mah-jongg, karaoke, moneylenders, Internet cafés, hostesses…everything. (Jun Takagi)
  20. Shinbashi Station: that short pause after the cheerful departure jingle, just before the door closes. (Jun Takagi)

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