Shinjuku Ni-chōme (新宿二丁目), referred to colloquially as Ni-chōme or simply Nichō, is Area 2 in the Shinjuku District of the Shinjuku Special Ward of Tokyo, Japan. With Tokyo home to 13 million people, and Shinjuku known as the noisiest and most crowded of its 23 special wards, Ni-chōme further distinguishes itself as Tokyo’s hub of gay subculture, housing the world’s highest concentration of gay bars.
Within close walking distance from three train stations (Shinjuku San-chōme Station, Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station, and Japan’s busiest train station, Shinjuku Station), the Shinjuku Ni-chōme neighborhood provides a specialized blend of bars, restaurants, cafes, saunas, love hotels, gay pride boutiques, cruising boxes (hattenba), host clubs, nightclubs, massage parlors, parks, and gay book and video stores. In fact within the five blocks centering on street Naka-Dōri between the BYGS building at the Shinjuku San-chōme Station and the small Shinjuku park three blocks to the east, an estimated 300 gay bars and nightclubs provide entertainment.
Akihabara (秋葉原), also called Akiba after a former local shrine, is a district in central Tokyo that is famous for its many electronics shops. In more recent years, Akihabara has gained recognition as the center of Japan’s otaku (diehard fan) culture, and many shops and establishments devoted to anime and manga are now dispersed among the electronic stores in the district.
Maid cafes are themed restaurants where guests are served by waitresses that are typically dressed as French maids. In addition to serving food, the maids engage in conversation and games with the customers and ‘apparently’, treat them with the care and respectful language due to the master of a house.
If you want a genuinely bizarre experience and a very expensive drink/meal, this may be for you.
The mirrored entrance to Tokyu Plaza in the Shibuya district provides a perfect opportunity to create fragmented images of people as they walk by this busy shopping area. Multiple reflections overlap, merge and intersect like a giant kaleidoscope or contemporary Cubist image. I was mesmerised by the constellation of shapes as bodies appeared, disappeared and reappeared in a constant swirl of motion.
See below for 2016 style chart….must be one of those………maybe
Serving as the main connecting hub for rail traffic between Tokyo’s special wards and Western Tokyo on inter-city rail, commuter rail, and metro lines, the station was used by an average of 3.64 million people per day in 2007, making it, by far, the world’s busiest transport hub (and registered as such with Guinness World Records). The station itself has 36 platforms, including an underground arcade, above ground arcade and numerous hallways. There are well over 200 exits. Another 17 platforms (51 total) can be accessed through hallways to 5 directly connected stations without surfacing outside.
The audience were clearly fascinated and intently focused on the skills of this young street magician in Yogogi Park, Tokyo.
Fuji x100s: f8, 1/125, ISO 1600, Fuji Red Mono Conversion
From my brief reading of travel literature, everyone who has visited Japan comments on the calm and serenity that they experience, the all encompassing sense of order and civility. This is a country were inner tranquillity, or at least its outward appearance, is effortlessly maintained.
I hope to post a few photographs over the next week or so that attempt to capture something of the spirit of the people and the place.
Fuji X100S f2, 1/50th, ISO 2500, Fuji Mono Red Setting