After last week (and last year) it was a given that I would go again to a Halloween event in the Trump Room. Organized by Me And My Friends the party today was called Noir Halloween with the motto “I’m your inner monster”. Again lots of people came costumed for Halloween, which is no surprise since the Tokyo party crowd loves to dress up for going out. So it wasn’t too hard to shoot some nice pictures of the friendly patrons. Enjoy!
Like last year, Tokyo’s party scene loves to celebrate Halloween as an opportunity to dress up in weird fashion or naughty costumes and dance the night away. Although this foreign holiday is not yet here, this Saturday was one of many pre-Halloween nightclub events at the Trump Room. Located in Shibuya, it is a small but nicely decorated club with three rooms on three floors.
The party was presented by bunny.×Tokyo cherry×Dead or Alive and called Mysterious Halloween Night – Tarot Fortune Teller, because it featured not only popular DJs from Tokyo and Nagoya, but also a small booth with a girl reading tarot cards for a measly ¥1000. However, I was more interested in the costumes and attires of my fellow partygoers and tried to capture the best of them. Sexy nurse outfits were rather popular this year, as were ballet costumes from the Black Swan movie, the usual Japanese cosplays and Western gothic/horror classics.
Again I went to an Artism event, this time the 7th anniversary of the Club Theatic Show at Live Inn Rosa in Ikebukuro. This “Gothic Culture Club Party” consisted of nine musical performance by goth, rock and metal bands, interspersed with DJ music. Among the music groups were Vanished Empire, Zodiaque, well-know Psydoll, Death Trance Delilah, Hernia 44, Zwecklos, PeaceToPieces, Remnant and Solomon Grandy.
But first I want to show some pictures of the people attending such an Tokyo underground goth party. Unsurprisingly, many were dressed up in elaborate costumes as they are artists and DJs themselves (or just love the chance to wear a gothic cosplay).
I love documenting people on the street. I am a street photographer at heart and I am especially fond of shooting candid portraits of everyday people, showing their style, clothing, and expressions when walking in public. The fashion hub Shibuya with its millions of commuters, shoppers and visitors is my favorite hunting ground for this photographic endeavor where I try to capture my subjects unaware.
The skyscraper district of Nishi-Shinjuku (西新宿) is one the defining attractions of Tokyo. Large avenues and lots of tall buildings in many shapes and sizes makes this neighborhood an impressive sight. Especially later at night, when the traffic has subsided and the crowds of office workers and businessmen have left for the nearby izakayas of Shomben Yokochō (しょんべん横町) or the amusement centers of Kabukichō (歌舞伎町).
Although I’m occasionally in the area, only this time did I bring my camera and a tripod thingie to shoot some long-exposure cityscape photography. I just love the futuristic look of the office towers in this ward, especially the Tokyo Government building (see above). It looks so unreal at nighttime.
This green-eyed alley cat lives in a small park area in 初台 (Hatsudai, Shinjuku-ku). Like other cats in this area he was not immediately frightened by passers-by, but still was a bit turned off by being photographed. Maybe that’s why the cat is poking out her tongue here.
Today it was exactly 6 months after the big 2011 Tōhoku earthquake hit Japan. The most serious long-time effect of this natural disaster was the nuclear meltdown in the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Damaging several reactors beyond repair, releasing a large amount of radiation and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, this catastrophe is severely affecting the Japanese psyche and everyday life. For example, while food from the Fukushima prefecture is still being sold in supermarkets and normal life goes on outside of the 30km evacuation zone, some people start to wonder about the reactions of the Japanese national government and local authorities. Few even question the official information policies and urge the government to protect their children from radiation leaking from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
However, taking to the streets is still an extremely unusual stance and reserved for political fringe types. Demanding answers about nuclear safety issues and openly criticizing the authorities in the form of a public rally does not draw big crowds. Even in the metropolis of Tokyo the “9.11 Shinjuku Stop Nuclear Power protest!” (9.11 新宿・原発やめろデモ) was rather lightly attended, I guess about 1500-2500 people showed up. The demo route was through the busy Sunday shopping frenzy in Shinjuku. A large number of police kept the protesters in line, although incidents did happen and arrests were made.
3331 Arts Chiyoda is one of the newest large galleries in Tokyo. Occupying the renovated building of the old Rensei Junior High School, it boast three stories of gallery and workshop spaces. It is located close to Akihabara in Chiyoda-ku (duh!). Many small individual galleries are housed inside 3331 Arts Chiyoda, promoting the exchange of creative ideas between the various artists and curators.
Not totally unlike the Design Festa they had a special event where many people get the opportunity to present their artwork. Unlike the DF, the Chiyoda Art Festival 2011 is more artistic in nature and not as much arts & crafts. Several hundred artists and performers presented their work to the public (admission was free) and I walked around and snapped some pictures of the things I saw this Sunday.
Only in Japan! This dude was driving on his Honda bike cross-dressed in a red plaid skirt and shirt outfit in Meguro. But I guess this is not his normal everyday attire — he probably is a performer of some kind on his way to work.
The Daien-ji (大円寺) temple in Meguro is quite small, but comes with a rich history. It was here that the Great Meiwa fire (明和の大火) started in 1772 which killed many thousands of old Edo’s citizens. Unfortunately, I did only a short stop here at this temple and grabbed some quick close-ups of a few stone statues.
Above you see one of the jizō figures with the wall of small atonement statues behind it. Below is a closer look at one of these statues of the 500 followers of Buddha, each with its own design and facial expression. These gohyaku-rakan stone sculptures were made to appease the souls that departed in the fire.