Asakusa, Cramped and Refreshing

Drugstore Beauties, Asakusa

Asakusa is a great part of Tokyo.  It is one of those spots that all foreigners and domestic tourists make their way to when they visit Tokyo.  I never really liked Asakusa that much.  There is the famous Sensoji Temple located there, but it was rebuilt after the war.  There are some touristy shops that line the way to the temple.  The shops that line the main thoroughfare reminds me of the story of Yeshua (Jesus) and driving the sellers from the temple.  Different faith, but got to get your amulets, and kitsch to take back with you.

However, once you get off the main streets of Asakusa, and wander around the backstreets, there are plenty of quality shops, restaurants, and little pockets of the Tokyo of old.  Buildings still stand that have been build of corrugated metal.  Shop signs crack with age.  In Japnese they say aji ga aru (it has character).  I dig those characteristics immensely.

These are the streets that I love to wander around.  I like to wander until I don’t see tourists walking around.  There is where I can loose my self in the moment.  I can just become one with the streets.  I take it all in.  And from time to time I am compelled to photograph a scene.

People always ask me where is your favorite spot to photograph in Tokyo.  I like to reply that I don’t have one.  Wherever I go it is a chance to become one with the surroundings.  To explore neighborhoods for the first or the hundredth time.  That is what it is all about.  But, I am really drawn to the old neighborhoods in Tokyo.  They have so much character, and I feel that they won’t be with us much longer.

Seafood Forrest, Asakusa


Barbershop Garden, Asakusa

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