I must admit I am not the best traveller. Before I leave home, I often get nervous about the language, the currency, even if I will find my apartment when I first arrive. So when I was told that Shinjuku was a great location to stay in Tokyo, I was unsure what it would be like staying in the Red Light District. After arriving late in the evening in Shinjuku Station, it felt completely overwhelming. There are so many people and so many levels and platforms. You can easily get lost just in the station itself. But the reality is, that I felt perfectly safe and the people were so obliging when I asked for directions. Thanks to the Lonely Planet, I managed to locate the Mylord food courts just above the southwest exits of the station, the Laksa and beer was just fabulous.
Even though Tokyo is a dizzying megalopolis ablaze with neon, it was surprisingly quiet on the streets. People rarely use their horns while driving and are so polite, they often apologise if you bump into them. I stayed in an Air-bnb apartment right near Kabukicho, which is the entertainment and red-light district, part of Shinjuku Tokyo. Located on the eastern side of Shinjuku Train Station it is a large area with hundreds of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hostess bars. It is famous for its Love Hotels that charge by the hour or overnight, they are designed to give couples privacy, but are often used by travellers.
This wall was in the Kabukicho Area, often cars or bikes were parked here so I was fortunate to find it clear this particular evening. The silhouette of the subject adds interest, as well as scale to this image.
I enjoy the difference in the attire of these subjects and the reflection in the van of the surrounding clubs and illuminated billboards. The neon lights and the colourful characters add to the futuristic feeling to this city, it really is larger than life.
This artwork was found in one of the exits on the West side of Shinjuku Station, just follow the Mode Gaken Cocoon Tower signs. I find the eye shape quite compelling, the challenge is to isolate a subject in such a busy location. The Cocoon Tower makes a good landmark when you are looking for the station. Even with Google Maps and my trusty compass with me, I got lost on a daily basis. As a Street Photographer, I recommend getting lost, you never know what is down the next alley.
Have you been to Shinjuku or Japan?