Oct 292011
 



 
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!

A team of three smiley DJs at the turntables of the Trump Room.
A team of three smiley DJs at the turntables of the Trump Room.
Japanese girl dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for Halloween.
Japanese girl dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for Halloween.
A group of partygoers hastily posing for their picture.
A group of partygoers hastily posing for their picture.
The second of two Japanese girls with matching Marilyn Monroe costumes.
The second of two Japanese girls with matching Marilyn Monroe costumes.
Japanese girl in an old-school flight attendant's costume at the Noir Halloween party.
Japanese girl in an old-school flight attendant's costume at the Noir Halloween party.
Japanese guy suited up and sticking out his tongue.
Japanese guy suited up and sticking out his tongue.
A Japanese girl going for the kawaii cute look at the Noir Halloween party.
A Japanese girl going for the kawaii cute look at the Noir Halloween party.
Two girls in Spider-Man costumes posing with their friend.
Two girls in Spider-Man costumes posing with their friend.
Friends Shōko and Reiko costumed as black and white cats.
Friends Shōko and Reiko costumed as black and white cats.
 Posted by at 23:59
Oct 222011
 



 
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.

A leather-clad macho man and three Japanese ladies posing in the Trump Room.
A leather-clad macho man and three Japanese ladies posing in the Trump Room.
Two beautiful Japanese girls in matching nurse costumes.
Two beautiful Japanese girls in matching nurse costumes.
A blond Japanese girl wearing an elaborate Halloween costume.
A blond Japanese girl wearing an elaborate Halloween costume.
Two other girls wearing nurse outfits at the Halloween party.
Two other girls wearing nurse outfits at the Halloween party.
Japanese DJ Takeru with three female friends in the White Room.
Japanese DJ Takeru with three female friends in the White Room.
A Japanese girl wearing a naughty Little Red Riding Hood costume.
A Japanese girl wearing a naughty Little Red Riding Hood costume.
Two Japanese girls cosplaying in black and white Black Swan costumes.
Two Japanese girls cosplaying in black and white Black Swan costumes.
Popular DJ Takeru dancing in the Trump Room.
Popular DJ Takeru dancing in the Trump Room.
A dressed-up cute Japanese girl at the Mysterious Halloween Night event.
A dressed-up cute Japanese girl at the Mysterious Halloween Night event.
 Posted by at 23:59
Oct 092011
 



 
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).

Japanese goth girl with headphones holding a drink.
Japanese goth girl with headphones holding a drink.
A long-haired girl wearing colored contact lenses dancing at the Artism event.
A long-haired girl wearing colored contact lenses dancing at the Artism event.
Dressed-up goth DJ Mikan on the dancefloor.
Dressed-up goth DJ Mikan on the dancefloor.
Another costumed goth girl with a pink wig and blue contacts.
Another costumed goth girl with a pink wig and blue contacts.
Japanese goth couple of a cute magical girl and an elegant aristocrat.
Japanese goth couple of a cute magical girl and an elegant aristocrat.
A Club Theatic Show 22 guest wearing a gothic Helloween costume.
A Club Theatic Show 22 guest wearing a gothic Helloween costume.
 Posted by at 23:54
Sep 172011
 



 
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.

Young Japanese woman with light-brown hair and hat in the Shibuya afternoon sun.
Young Japanese woman with light-brown hair and hat in the Shibuya afternoon sun.
A stylish Japanese girl with black fur hat holding her mobile.
A stylish Japanese girl with black fur hat holding her mobile.
Japanese guy wearing glasses grimacing.
Japanese guy wearing glasses grimacing.
Japanese guy with blond hair and a black coat looking quite surprised.
Japanese guy with blond hair and a black coat looking quite surprised.
A Japanese girl in a sailor suit (school uniform) checking out the advertising screens in Shibuya.
A Japanese girl in a sailor suit (school uniform) checking out the advertising screens in Shibuya.
Japanese boy with fair hair throwing a wary glance.
Japanese boy with fair hair throwing a wary glance.
A good-looking Japanese girl running her hand through her hair.
A good-looking Japanese girl running her hand through her hair.
A young Japanese lady with pearl jewelry looking to her left.
A young Japanese lady with pearl jewelry looking to her left.
Two Shibuya girls in elegant Japanese fashion looking around.
Two Shibuya girls in elegant Japanese fashion looking around.
A Japanese toddler being carried by her mother at Shibuya crossing.
A Japanese toddler being carried by her mother at Shibuya crossing.
A Half-Japanase salaryman busy telephoning with his mobile.
A Half-Japanase salaryman busy telephoning with his mobile.
A girl and her friend trying to find directions with the help of a map.
A girl and her friend trying to find directions with the help of a map.
 Posted by at 19:45
Sep 132011
 



 
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.

The Tokyo Medical University Hospital opposite of a huge mural of a turtle with the 勝 (Victory) kanji on its back.
The Tokyo Medical University Hospital opposite of a huge mural of a turtle with the 勝 (Victory) kanji on its back.
Weird white balance setting: Looking towards Tochō-dōri from Minami-dōri with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office on the left and Shinjuku NS Building on the right (and the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building in the distance).
Weird white balance setting: Looking towards Tochō-dōri from Minami-dōri with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office on the left and Shinjuku NS Building on the right (and the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building in the distance).
Another nighttime view of the Shinjuku skyscraper district from Chūō-dōri: Shinjuku Center Building, Mōde Gakuen Cocoon Tower and Keiō Plaza Hotel.
Another nighttime view of the Shinjuku skyscraper district from Chūō-dōri: Shinjuku Center Building, Mōde Gakuen Cocoon Tower and Keiō Plaza Hotel.
 Posted by at 23:50
Sep 112011
 



 
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.

An anti-nuke activist desperately tries to keep the police from arresting him.
An anti-nuke activist desperately tries to keep the police from arresting him.
Although without any real riot gear, the work of the police was only interrupted by shouting.
Although without any real riot gear, the work of the police was only interrupted by shouting.
Japanese policemen finally arrest the exhausted anti-nuclear protester.
Japanese policemen finally arrest the exhausted anti-nuclear protester.
Another tense situation at the 'Stop Nuclear Power!' demo in Shinjuku.
Another tense situation at the 'Stop Nuclear Power!' demo in Shinjuku.
Protesters struggle against policemen to avoid another arrest in Shinjuku.
Protesters struggle against policemen to avoid another arrest in Shinjuku.
Japanese policemen and anti-nuclear protesters clash in Shinjuku six months after Fukushima.
Japanese policemen and anti-nuclear protesters clash in Shinjuku six months after Fukushima.
Japanese policemen forming lines to to contain the rally on its route.
Japanese policemen forming lines to to contain the rally on its route.
The angry protesters were pretty aggressive and loud, but did not physically attack the police officers.
The angry protesters were pretty aggressive and loud, but did not physically attack the police officers.
The police is busy trying to herd the anti-nuclear power demonstrators in Shinjuku.
The police is busy trying to herd the anti-nuclear power demonstrators in Shinjuku.
'Do not buy from the manufacturers of nuclear power plants Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi!' (原子プラントメーカー - 三菱、東芝、日立 - 絶対買わにゃい!).
'Do not buy from the manufacturers of nuclear power plants Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi!' (原子プラントメーカー - 三菱、東芝、日立 - 絶対買わにゃい!).
A masked woman protesting next to a banner at the 'Stop Nuclear Power' demo in Shinjuku.
A masked woman protesting next to a banner at the 'Stop Nuclear Power' demo in Shinjuku.
Public anti-nuclear protests are still an mostly extreme leftist issue in Japan, as these punk activists show.
Public anti-nuclear protests are still an mostly extreme leftist issue in Japan, as these punk activists show.
The demonstration was accompanied by a 'sound car' with punk bands playing anti-nuke songs.
The demonstration was accompanied by a 'sound car' with punk bands playing anti-nuke songs.
The 'Stop Nuclear Power' protest march on the Yasukuni-dōri in Shinjuku.
The 'Stop Nuclear Power' protest march on the Yasukuni-dōri in Shinjuku.
A Japanese man injured by the police still determined to continue protesting.
A Japanese man injured by the police still determined to continue protesting.
 Posted by at 20:42
Sep 042011
 



 
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.

One of the main exhibition halls in 3331 Arts Chiyoda.
One of the main exhibition halls in 3331 Arts Chiyoda.
Hundreds of small pictures of the ''Dream Planet'' (ユメミる惑星) artwork.
Hundreds of small pictures of the ''Dream Planet'' (ユメミる惑星) artwork.
Some Japanese paintings by various artists at the Chiyoda Art Festival 2011.
Some Japanese paintings by various artists at the Chiyoda Art Festival 2011.
The style of the presented artworks was very different, here the ''Happy Adventure'' crayon triptych.
The style of the presented artworks was very different, here the ''Happy Adventure'' crayon triptych.
A weird sculpture of a man resting in a shoe.
A weird sculpture of a man resting in a shoe.
Another look around inside the 3331 Arts Chiyoda exhibition space during the Chiyoda Arts Fair.
Another look around inside the 3331 Arts Chiyoda exhibition space during the Chiyoda Arts Fair.
A large plastic dodecahedron with a doll inside.
A large plastic dodecahedron with a doll inside.
Lots of colorful paintings displayed in 3331 Chiyoda Arts.
Lots of colorful paintings displayed in 3331 Chiyoda Arts.
A Fukushima-inspired installation with a radioactive waste container at Chiyoda Arts.
A Fukushima-inspired installation with a radioactive waste container at Chiyoda Arts.
 Posted by at 19:37
Aug 282011
 



 
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.

 Posted by at 18:44