Off piste Tokyo: a photo tour through the charming backstreets of Village Tokyo

Off-piste Tokyo: a photowalk through the shabby chic of old-fashioned streets

In need of a relaxing walk through some quiet neighbourhoods last Sunday, I took the train to Okachimachi and went seriously off-piste for a few hours

One of the most frequent enquiries I get from folks coming to Tokyo wanting a photo tour is ‘get me off the beaten track, please’.

Over the years I’ve walked a lot of Tokyo. It’s helped me develop a series of photowalks that I’ve come to call ‘Off Piste Tokyo’.

These are walks I do a lot, myself, too. Walks I use to keep my eyes sharp, keep my mind fresh and just to relax myself. Tokyo is a big, busy, frantic place. But at heart it’s just a collection of villages, each with its own charm. Keeping that in mind and keeping in touch with it regularly can help make sense of the chaos and pace of the city.

Last Sunday was just one such episode: I’d had a manic week, shooting an event for five days solid. My brain was tired, my eyes had been looking at much the same thing (and shooting it) for five days straight. 

Starting at Okachimachi, I basically headed east then south. These are all areas I know well. But I hadn’t walked them all in one go for a while.

It’s a few years since I’ve walked through Okazu-yokocho and it has changed a little but it still has 90% of the olde-worlde charm I remembered from my last time there.

I ended up walking over 12kms. It was a great outing.

If you’re visiting Tokyo and are looking for someone to help you get to the real charm of the city, drop me a line. All the walks I do typically tend to be bespoke, crafted for each individual client. You can get a flavour of what I do here, at the page about my ‘Photographic Concierge’ services. 

All the shots in this gallery were taken on a Fuji X100s compact camera.

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