Shinjuku Street Photos
Photo Art by Stefan Stenudd
Tokyo street photos, 2000.
Now we lower our eyes from the celestial height of the skyscrapers, to the street level, where the people roam. Here, Shinjuku gives quite a different impression from that of its strict and rigid architecture.
Between numerous department stores, electrical appliance extravaganzas and restaurants of every size and style, the stream of pedestrians carries an atmosphere of leisure, of delight in leaving the right angles and taking a break from the rat race or denouncing it completely. Having fun.
One might speculate that this atmosphere is not Japanese at all, but a way of approaching the west. I am not sure of that. I think this is contained in the Japanese culture, just as much as the famous self-discipline and work-around-the-clock is. The other side of the coin. If not, they would not only have stayed inside their buildings, but actually have become them.
Certainly, the western influence is visible just about everywhere, but not as a contradiction to the Japanese culture, rather a consequence of it. Enjoying what's around, whether it be eastern or western. People all over the world are pretty much alike.
My City mingling
I have been a teenager, I know when I find the place to dwell, to hang out and hang on, while puberty rages inside. For the Shinjuku area, this place to be is the wide pavement in front of My City department store - not a mall, strictly speaking, but pretty much the same anyway.
This small area in front of the My City main entrance is a meeting place, as well, and a very convenient one at that, since this is also the exit from the Shinjuku central subway station. I don't know how many people pass each minute, but many of them remain for quite a while, looking at each other, chatting with their friends, and so forth. From the early afternoon to late at night.
It is very clear that many of them dress up for the occasion. Everybody also brings their cellular phone.
The skyscraper celebration of the right angle.
Nocturnal spirit of those same buildings and their habitat.
The constant flow of people, searching for their delights.
People enjoying themselves. Events taking place on the streets and in the park.
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