This story has originally been featured on Exposure.co
All pictures taken with Fujifilm X100T
I find Japan’s cityscape (as well as many other aspects of life in Japan) to be very photogenic. Particularly the residential areas with their narrow streets, narrow houses and narrow cars, which all seem to fit perfectly each other creating an impression of harmony, order and safety. The living space per citizen is small, therefore incredibly optimized. The cleanliness is top notch. The aesthetic typography is all around. It’s an environment that invites you to pick up your camera, wander around and shoot.
What strikes me is that attributes of traditional Japanese culture are still very present and visible despite the continuous development of modern life and technology. I take comfort in the fact that the young generation is embracing it by for example visiting the shrines and historical districts or by wearing kimono on various occasions.
Hollywood is creating the image of Japan composed of large metropolitan areas with wide busy streets and colorful city lights. Indeed it’s there, although not on such scale as you’d imagine. Nonetheless, it’s a rewarding spectacle to watch.
The country resembles perfectly functioning machine that consists of well synchronized parts. For visitors it manifests as super-fast, efficient and punctual transportation system that serves millions of hard working and incredibly organized people. However admirable it looks, I get the feeling that there is a cost of living in such an intense world.
I wonder what was first: the pursuit of harmony in the living environment all around, which resulted in the need to balance that with busy, noisy and colorful shopping and entertainment districts filled with pachinko parlors or was it the other way around? Regardless the answer, if you seek peace and balance you can find it for instance in Japanese zen parks or traditionally styled interiors of homes and restaurants.
Believe in everything they say: it is stunning, it is beautiful and it is a must-have experience. Even though Japanese live through it every year, they get equally overwhelmed each time the trees bloom again. Every flower gets photographed thousand times. Parks turn into the place where whole families picnic and celebrate the beauty of nature.