The Relentless Metropolis – Tokyo, Friday May 24

I’m torn between organizing photos of my trip to Tokyo thematically, as any good curator would, and taking the cowards way out and doing it chronologically. So I’m doing both: pictures of some days, combined with themes when they develop. I’ll start small, so as not to make you feel like you’re trapped in my living room watching slides – which, in a virtual sense, you are.

Our first destination was the hipster neighbourhood of Shimo-Kitazawa, the Hongdae of Tokyo (sorry for the obscure references.) It was a warren of small, well-paved streets lined with boutiques and bars. I liked it so much I went back a few days later. But this time, we just wandered a little, went for sushi and moved to the bustle of nearby Shinjuku:

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Shinjuku was notable for its love hotels: this one was built to look like it’s falling down:

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Below the hotels were impossibly-coiffured young guys, whom I first thought were hosts touting for women clients, but which I later read were recruiters: they wanted women to work in the hotels. We saw three of these women emerging from a basement love hotel, accompanying one nerdy-looking guy with lots of energy and money, apparently. There was definitely an energy in the neighbourhood, part cool and part seedy. Or maybe it was the full moon:

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See? That wasn’t so bad. Keep reading.

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