Tokyo Express (3 of 5): Behind the Scenes

With so much happening around you at all times, life in Tokyo can seem to rush forward at breakneck speed. It’s no wonder then that the city is so often portrayed in pop culture as an always-on, neon-lit futurescape. Many areas of Tokyo do have these exciting characteristics, but the metropolis also has its quiet moments, even in the busiest parts of town. The following shots try to highlight some of the breaks in the action by taking a literal look “behind” the scenes of everyday life in Japan’s capital.

A couple pauses to enjoy the scenery from a footbridge in Yoyogi Park.

5-Shot HDR @ 45mm, f/2.8, ISO 1000
5-Shot HDR @ 45mm, f/2.8, ISO 1000

Two women bargain shop at a vendor stall beneath the Yamenote Line train tracks in Ameyoko, the sight of Tokyo’s post-WWII black market.

105mm @ 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 100
105mm @ 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 100

Three boys enjoy a lunch break atop the Bunkyo Ward Civic Center observation deck, which provides breathtaking views of Tokyo’s northern and western wards.

70mm @1/200, f/3.2, ISO 100
70mm @1/200, f/3.2, ISO 100

On his way home from school, a young boy reloads his train pass at an automated ticket machine.

105mm @ 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 1600
105mm @ 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 1600

A young woman dressed in traditional Japanese garb visits a Shinto shrine in Ueno Park.

105mm @1/250, f/3.2, ISO 100
105mm @1/250, f/3.2, ISO 100

As dusk settles over the city, lanterns light the path as locals and visitors exit Yoyogi Park by walking beneath a massive wooden torii.

105mm @1/15, f/2.8, ISO 800
105mm @1/15, f/2.8, ISO 800

A man buys cigarettes from a sidewalk vendor in one of Shinjuku’s many bustling alleyways.

15mm @1/200, f/4, ISO 1600
15mm @1/200, f/4, ISO 1600

Nighthawks wander Golden Gai’s dimly-lit passageways in search of cheap drinks and good music.

24mm @ 1/50, f/2.8, ISO 1600
24mm @ 1/50, f/2.8, ISO 1600

In the predawn hours before customers arrive, a fishmonger ices the day’s fresh catch at a stall in Tsukiji Fish Market.

50mm @ 1/125, f/2, ISO 1600
50mm @ 1/125, f/2, ISO 1600

Two traditionally-attired ladies wait at a crosswalk while shopping in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza district.

50mm @ 1/30, f/2.8, ISO 1600
50mm @ 1/30, f/2.8, ISO 1600

Check out these and other high-resolution shots from my trip to Tokyo in my set on Flickr.

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