Tokyo Alleys (Story behind the photo series at the end)


Tokyo Alleys

When you think of Tokyo, you think of sky scrapers, lights, busy metro stations, and the wide streets and crosswalks where hundreds of people cross 8 ways at once every green light. A thriving modern megalopolis. But hidden within the tall buildings you can find a distinctly different personality. Scattered throughout Tokyo, you will find little blocks of alleys that take on a completely different character.

The alleys are cramped, dark, and dingy. Narrow alleys connected by even narrower passageways only wide enough for a single person to pass through. Tiny shanty-style bars and restaurants are squeezed together, most of which are only one or two-stories tall. Some are so small they can only fit five or so customers at a time.

The ramshackle buildings and dimly lit alleys give a very scruffy and run-down appearance, but they also give off a personality and character that brings you back to the post war past of Japan. The smells of food, the smoke filling the air from yakitori grilling, the lights from the old plastic signs, and more all add to this unique feeling. While most of Tokyo has been redeveloped, these alleys take you to a place back before Japan’s ‘economic miracle.'

Here are some photos I took within these Tokyo alleys that hopefully give you this unique old world feeling within a chaotic new world city like Tokyo.

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