Posts Tagged ‘people’

Nakamise Dori

Monday, March 1st, 2010
Nakamise Dori

Nakamise Dori is a pedestrian lane that leads up to Sonsoji Temple in the neighborhood of Asakusa, Tokyo.  The lane is filled with shops selling souvenirs and traditional trinkets and foods/candies.  On this day, the place was packed as it was such a beautiful fall day.

Interestingly enough, this location had the highest number of non-Asian tourists that I found in my stay in Tokyo.

Tokyo Scramble

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
Tokyo Scramble

Tokyo is famous for “scramble” intersections, where all directions of traffic stop and allow pedestrians to cross any way they wish. It is quite a sight to see. We have a couple of scramble intersections in Toronto, but they pale in comparison to the sheer volume of people in Tokyo.

Most major intersections in Tokyo are of the scramble variety, which is quite convenient if you’re a pedestrian. The one pictured above was not very busy in comparison to others, such as Shibuya crossing. Only a hundred or so people were crossing at each cycle here. In Shibuya, there are likely thousands crossing at every cycle. Absolutely amazing.

One detail you can’t see from this image is a police stand/lookout on the adjacent corner. Each cycle, a police officer would blow a whistle prior to the signals changing. This is essentially a warning to those still crossing to hurry up before the signals change and the traffic begins. In a city so technologically advanced, with automated machines everywhere, they still rely on officers to blow the whistle every few minutes. Weird.

I shot this photo hand-held, which isn’t too tricky with an ultra-wide angle lens. I probably annoyed a few locals by standing still on the corner when the signals changed, and everyone expected me to start crossing. I think my 6’2″ stature and pale white complexion was a clear indication that I was a tourist. That and my camera strapped around my neck. 🙂

Sunday Shopping in Ginza, Tokyo

Thursday, January 28th, 2010
Sunday Shopping in Ginza, Tokyo

Every Sunday Tokyo shuts down the main street in Ginza (a prefecture of Tokyo) to allow the masses to go shopping in this high-end shopping district.  The streets are lined with designer shops from around the world.  You name it, it’s here.  Consider this the equivalent of New York’s 5th Avenue, or Toronto’s Yorkville, but on a much, much larger scale.

This particular Sunday was warm for December, which I suspect drew a lot of people out to take advantage of the nice weather.  However, Tokyo is so populous that this could be the norm here and just as many would be out on a cloudy winter day too.  But I don’t see too many shopping bags, so maybe it’s the weather… 🙂