Travel Photography: Tokyo
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This was my third time in Tokyo. It was nice not to feel the initial confusion of figuring out a totally new place. The subway lines didn’t seem like an impenetrable spider’s web. For the first part of our trip, we stayed in Shinjuku and explored around Shibuya and Meguro. After going around solo for two days, we were joined by Eli’s Japanese relatives for some additional adventures around Asakusa.
On my first trip to Tokyo, Eli’s youngest cousins were kids and now they’re young adults. I’ve become one of those people that can’t get over how fast kids grow up. They’re so tall! They spend as much time ogling food on Instagram as I do!
When I first started traveling, the thought of revisiting a place was a no-go for me. Thankfully, I’ve become less of a maniac about constantly chasing newness. Novelty is nice but it’s also wonderful to revisit and reconnect.
I've studied Japanese on and off for a few years. At this point, I can catch a word or two and get a sense of what's being discussed but am hopeless at communicating anything beyond the basics. Even with the language barrier, Eli's family quickly discovered that I wanted to photograph all of the food. They kindly paused for me to take a photo before eating all of their snack purchases!
Whenever friends ask me for Japan recommendations, I really struggle. These days Eli and I usually go without a plan. We try to get together with family and pick a few places to visit but mostly we meander. Everything in Tokyo is fascinating and even after 4 visits, I feel as if I’m just barely scratching the surface. I think I would need to live in Tokyo for at least 2 years before I felt even remotely confident giving recommendations. There’s just so much to do, see and eat.
At the start of every trip, I love being jet lag. Everything is so exciting and fresh. Getting up with sunrise to venture out is a joy. For the first leg of the trip, we stayed in Shinjuku and it turned out to be a bit of a party scene. Eli and I would venture out first thing in the morning and bump into odd mixes of people heading home after a night of partying and people heading to work.
We quickly realized that we could meander around Yoyogi park for a more serene experience. There’s a little bit of everything in Tokyo.
Eli and I are already plotting our next trip to Japan. We have some schemes to combine a Japan trip with a trip to Taiwan (update: this scheme was totally successful and as an extra bonus I photographed the food scene in Taipei for the Wall St. Journal!) I also have some ideas about adding on a quick hop over to Angkor Wat (update: this scheme was not successful but I will 100% make it to Angkor Wat one of these days). Either way, we're excited for our next visit.