Yoyogi park is a popular hangout and the large pond with its water fountains is one the main attractions where people gather on holidays. This Sunday the weather was fine and it was quite relaxing to spend some time in the park, watch the people and take a couple of snapshots of the scenery.
This weekend was the Eco Life Fair 2010 at the Yoyogi park. I expected it to be a big event thanks to the many seminars, workshops, performances and demonstrations aimed at raising awareness of the impact modern lifestyle has on the environment. Thus I was pretty surprised that the festival area was poorly attended with virtually no crowding. While the Japanese love all things natural, environmental concerns seems to be less mainstream than in Western countries. So I guess for all the NGOs/NPOs providing information about volunteering and their projects to protect or improve the environment this much have been a rather disappointing event. However, it was nice to see that some people care, but it will probably take a lot more effort and many more eco fairs like this one to bring some serious change here.
Central Shibuya on the weekend is one of the most crowded neighborhoods in Tokyo. The sidewalks are so crammed with people that Japanese parents have resigned to carry their children instead of exposing them to the dangers of pedestrian traffic. And it’s really the fastest way for them to get from point A to point B!
By accident I walked into the Adidas Sala Festa 2010 at Samurai Blue Park area near the Yoyogi park. It was a rather lightly attended event and I stayed only for a short while watching the futsal game of Japan versus Brazil. I am not sure it was really an official futsal event or just a marketing ploy to raise awareness of the upcoming soccer world cup. Because as I left the Sala Festa 2010 the Japanese team was 3:1 ahead of the Brazilian team…
When my friend Nekoi of Psydoll informed me that her band was playing this Saturday at a small venue in Shinjuku, I didn’t need asked twice. The underground rock club Urga was celebrating its 10th anniversary and for about six weeks tons of live acts were performing there almost every evening. Psydoll and some bands they are friends with were among them.
When I arrived the the band Neurotic Doll was already playing. Their music style was quite unique — a blend of industrial and what I call “death metal”. Very unusual for Japan.
Next came Psydoll. They were playing a number of classics and some stuff from their latest release 10spyglasses. As always the performance was energetic, loud and very powerful. Unfortunately, they did only play about 30 minutes, but I managed to get a couple of nice pictures.
The last band for the evening was C.H.C.system. The music were not really my cup of tea and visually the performance was not that exciting — just a couple of guys behind their keyboards and turntables with very little singing or movements.
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.
Having covered the art of the Design Festa vol.31 in my previous post, I present you here a collection of photos of the people I saw at this art event. As with the previous shots it is a random collection of exhibitors, performers and visitors — don’t ask me for details…
I love the bustling creative chaos of the Design Festa. Many people grab the chance to dress up themselves. Stall owners present themselves as their alter egos or creative inventions, trying to impress the visitors so that they may stop and take a look at their artworks and merchandise. Others are performers or cosplayers, just dressed up for the hell of it. So in many ways it is very Japanese — a restrained outlet for one’s individuality and passions in a controlled and acceptable environment.
Hanegi park in Daita, Setagaya-ku, has several fields for outdoor sports. I guess most of them are for use by students of the local highschools. Here a young batter is shown on the field of dreams, practising his art.
A common fixture at the entrance of the Yoyogi park in Harajuku are the rockabilly groups that gather there on the weekend. For hours they like to party to rock ‘n roll, showing off their dance moves and cool blue jeans and black leather retro fashion. While they apparently don’t mind being photographed, everyone keeps their distance as the tattooed members of these groups are rumored to be possible bōsōzoku, yakuza wannabees.
Another shot of the visitors of the One Love Jamaica festival at Yoyogi park. As always the people were not reserved at all when it comes to being photographed at parties and festivals. This couple reacted in a very un-Japanese way when I pointed my camera at them, showing the funny and friendly atmosphere of the event.