From Tokyo with Love: November 2019


train journey toyoko line japan tokyo

On a train again. Where to now?

Dark street atmospheric Tokyo

An atmospheric street scene along the tracks of Motosumiyoshi, a station on the outskirts of Kawasaki. I actually used to work at this station once a week a long time ago (seven years now, wow) but today we went there for a different reason…

banh mi tokyo motosumiyoshi

Banh mi! ❤ Vietnamese sandwiches are the best in the world, I just love them. There’s a decent place in Ebisu but this place (Thao’s Banh Mi) in Motosumiyoshi is worth checking out.

old liquor store Tokyo

Motosumiyoshi is pretty grungy, in a good way. It’s quite built up, with a huge shopping street stretching away over a kilometer from the station. I like that a lot of the stores are obviously independent, with decor dating back to the 1970s and 80s.

Japanese Japan Taiwan restaurant motosumiyoshi

A Taiwanaese restaurant lit up at night

MOT museum Tokyo outside

A few weeks back we headed to the MOT: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. There was an interesting exhibition of Japanese media artist collective Dumb Type.

sculpture at MOT Tokyo art

A sculpture at the entrance of the MOT collection.

manga books in cafe Tokyo

We stopped for a coffee at a random cafe. They had a lot of manga to read and would even let you borrow them if you wanted.

Japanese characters drawing manga cartoons

I loved the simple style of this one – they captured the look of Japanese elderly people so well. They seriously look like this, unmistakable.

storefront Japan old retro

It was nice to walk around Kiyosumi Shirakawa, the area where the museum is situated. We saw shopfronts like this.

retro street scene tokyo

And this.

old shopfront cats Japan

And this 🙂

old vending machine tokyo cheap

I find it interesting how in Japan sometimes buildings are just left to disintegrate over the course of not just years, but possibly decades. This building’s owner evidently just decided to leave it like this, but without approval I guess the government or authorities can’t do anything about it. This vending machine must be owned by the building owner too. It’s so old – you can’t get drinks for 80yen anywhere anymore.

retro streets shops arcade japan tokyo

I still find beauty in scenes like this.

low buildings tokyo blue sky

This was Myorenji, an random station on the Toyoko line. I found it quaint how low the buildings were.

temple in autumn japan tokyo

The temple just outside Myorenji station. There was a funeral happening but we were able to walk around the quiet grounds, the only sound the pebbles underneath our feet.

leaves ground couple japan tokyo

Speaking of feet, here are ours – autumn leaves included.

temple entrance autumn

The entrance to a favourite temple.

red leaves tokyo temple

With red leaves…

cute statues colour japanese shrine

And red hats. If you’ve ever visited a temple in Tokyo you’ll most likely have seen statues wearing little red hats and bibs. These statues are said to keep watch over children, particularly those children who have died before their parents. It’s said the tradition of putting bibs on the statues started when grieving parents put the bib of their deceased child on the statue, hoping that the deity would look after them in the next life.

koyo temple leaves japan

Silence and solitude. We hope to have one more weekend to enjoy the autumn leaves before winter says hello.


  1. Yet another nice post. There’s something sweet and inspiring in your blog posts’ unpretemptious simplicity. Coming once again to Tokyo in just one week. Just know that your posts have inspired a few of my planned excursions.. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I have seen so many blogs over the years in various subjects that just seem so self important, the authors having some weird delusions of grandeur. I am glad that you think my stuff is sweet and simple, because that’s all I want. Thanks – it means a lot.

  3. Impertinent Tweed

    Great photo ditty here – autumn so lovely over there. Seeing the leaves on your shoes reminds me of riding trains out to the near country side to go hiking and seeing those gangs of genki grandmas off for day trips. Occasionally there’d be a slightly dejected looking Obachan with her newly retired husband in tow – one of my local friends told me these fellas are colloquially known as ‘autumn leaves’ because they stick to your shoes! Enjoy those last pre-winter rambles 🙂 T.

  4. Among many self-proclaimed “street photographers”, “travel photographers” etc., more interested in being noticed (and of course “liked”) than in seing, your blog seems refreshingly “humble” and honest. The few times I feel so about a blog, I like to let people know. Keep them coming.

  5. Leonie Hartley-Hoover

    Thank you Justin.for all these little ” slices of life” which bring so much joy in their simplicity and spontaneity! It’s always a delight to read your blog!

  6. I read tons of posts on your blog before my trip to Japan earlier this year. Your stories were a help in trip planning and gave me an insight into the culture before arriving. Thanks for having such a great blog.

  7. Impertinent Tweed

    Hey hey – happy new year! I’m headed to GCANS on April 27 – it’s a Monday – have some friends based in Sasazuka that are building a tour around it – it will be the inaugural visit. Let me know if you’re up for it (perhaps via FB message).

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