Photo essay: Street photography in Japan

On his first trip to Japan, Christopher Whiteoak tries his hand at a photographic tradition

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Tokyo shares similarities with London and New York, among them being one of the most photographed cities in the world, yet it maintains an unexpected tranquility.

Both Yokohama and Tokyo are bustling cities, with people either rushing about or catching a quick nap, but there is an undeniable order to the chaos. Walking through a busy train station, one side can be completely empty while the other is packed, as everyone adheres to the designated walking lanes without deviation.

I recently travelled there for the first time and endeavoured to capture the sights, colours, smells and everything that makes Japan such an enchanting country.

The advertising boards are unlike anything I have ever seen, adorned with charming anime characters at every turn. As you stroll through Yokohama, street vendors offer an array of items, including personalised art. Despite the language barrier, everyone is patient and kind, always eager to assist.

Food is a cornerstone of Japanese culture. Tiny restaurants with queues stretching out the door are commonplace, with waiters taking orders right on the street. Both tourists and locals search for the best sushi, ramen or tempura, eager to savour the authentic flavours.

Japan is one of the most extraordinary countries, home to the most remarkable people. As you wander through its streets, you will never run out of captivating moments to photograph.

Updated: May 24, 2024, 6:01 PM