Tokyo

I travelled to Tokyo on the 26th of November 2019 and stayed for 5 nights. I wish it could have been 5 months. This analogue photo blog gives a snapshot of my time there and might give you an idea of what you can get up to there. Scroll to the end for my Tokyo recommended reading list.

Yoyogi Park

Late afternoon. Golden light. Musicians come here to practice so they don’t disturb their neighbours. A man creates bubbles with a net he swings around his head. The kids chase after them. An infant flaps her hands about popping them all, her laugh rings out. Cyclists and runners loop the ring road. Girls pose for photos against the ginkgo trees surrounded by fallen fan-shaped leaves.

35mm Analogue Photo taken in Yoyogi Park Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken in Yoyogi Park Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken in Yoyogi Park Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken in Yoyogi Park Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken in Yoyogi Park Tokyo

Shinjuki

Day. Mister Donut. Coffee. Commuters. Hunt for Cinestill 800T. Zero stock in all of Tokyo. Shinjuku Gyoen. 4/4 Seasons coffee and cake. Unplan Hostel. Should I visit the Robot Restaurant? Night. Kuyakusho-dori: African hustlers. Hey man, where you from? Local working girls. Massagie? Dug Jazz bar. Silent. Expensive. Vagabond Izakaya. Warm lights glow within tassel bell shades, horns sound from the corner, Aga fixes a Moscow Mule. Liveatdominoes talks of Portugal in my ear. Where’s the bar with all the vinyl records I visited in 2017?

35mm Analogue Photo taken in Shinjuku

Shibuya

Shibuya crossing. Umbrella Battle Royale. Takeshi Kitano watching from the wall. Tower Records. Hear the Wind Sing. Shakeys Pizza, Dance, Dance, Dance. Scramble bar. Milan Nataraj corner table Saag Paneer. Hello to the 3 art students. The Millennials Hostel.

Senso Ji and Asakusa

35mm Analogue Photo taken at Senso Ji Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken at Senso Ji Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken at Senso Ji Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken at Senso Ji Tokyo

Yokocho – Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho, Nonbei Yokocho

Lanterns, drunks, karaoke. Members only. Cover charge. Death Match in Hell bar. Say hi to Wayne. Kameya Shinjuku Tentama Soba. Fish stock ramen with vegetable tempura. 5 Years vegetarian. Ended. Sake from square wooden cups. Hibiki Whisky. Winestand Bouteille. Louis musician from Kent talks Japanese to the bartender as the Swedish cider makers sample natural wines. Glasses clink. Empties rattle. 3:30 in the morning. Chairs upside down on counters of vacant bars.

35mm Analogue Photo taken at Golden Gai Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken at Omoide Yokocho Tokyo
35mm Analogue Photo taken at Omoide Yokocho Tokyo

Recommended Reading for Tokyo

If you liked Tokyo Analogue Photo Blog, check out some of my other travel posts.

P.S.

I left copies of my novel Vagabundo all over Tokyo. Did you find one? Tell me where on the forum.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam Analogue Photo Blog

I was twenty-four when I first started visiting Amsterdam. I was lucky enough to have a friend who used to live there. Many of the places he recommended to me 16 years ago are still worth a visit today.

Analogue photo of Neon bar signs in Leidseplein at night

The Last Waterhole

If you’d been standing with me when I took the photo above, you’d have seen a place called The Waterhole. When I first started going, it was called The Last Waterhole. Although the years haven’t been that kind to it – someone recently described it to me as dingy, druggy and dirty – I seldom miss out on having a beer there when I’m in town. Every night there’s live music with different bands and musicians from across the globe.

Line Drawing

I was walking through Dam Square years ago when a guy got in my face and kept up with me while sketching on a pad. He tore the page and held it up for me. In a 30 second line drawing he’d managed to accentuate all of my worst features while retaining none of my redeeming ones. He must have thought I was the ugliest person in all of Amsterdam. One Euro, he asked as I laughed at the drawing. I wish I had paid up and taken it home. I’d have it framed if I found it now.

Girl on a Train

I saw this very pretty, very well dressed girl on the platform at Central Station one summer as I waited for the train to Paris. I must have been feeling confident, or maybe I was still drunk, because I went up and talked to her. We got along and sat together. There was something dangerous and interesting about her that I couldn’t figure out. She’d been moving from city to city every night or two.

A driver was waiting for her at Gare du Nord when we got off the train. I kissed her and agreed to see her the following evening. But when I texted her the next morning, she was already in Brussels. I did some research and decided she was a drug mule. Pretty, well dressed women are, or were, less likely to be searched, so dealers would use them to shift stuff around Europe. Or maybe she was just avoiding me.

Eat

  • Sherpa Restaurant. Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 58, 1017 RD Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Bojo Indonesian Restaurant. Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 49 HS, 1017 NG Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx. Voetboogstraat 33, 1012 XK Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • La Perla Pizzeria. Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 53, 1015 RZ Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Drink

  • Jazz Cafe Alto. Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 115, 1017 PX Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • The Waterhole. Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 49, 1017 PW Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • H.Murray’s Nieuwebrugsteeg 15, 1012 AG Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The photos on Amsterdam Analogue Photo Blog were taken using a Pentax K1000 and a Canon AE-1 Program.