Pachinko chindonya promotion

The distribution of leaflets and tissues, or the simple system of simply shouting, are tried and trusted techniques in Tokyo when it comes to promoting new businesses and big sales; both of which, considering how common they are, must result in at least some success.

Gauging the merits of a traditional campaign by a chindonya troupe, on the other hand, is probably much harder, but considering that there are only 30 or so groups still operating in and around Tokyo, it’s probably fair to say that they don’t draw in the customers like they once did back in the day.

Yet regardless of results, with their cheerful demeanor as well as drums, they do at least make for a very welcome change indeed.

Chindonya

Plants vs Structures

Apart from coming across possessions that can piece together at least something about the life of the person who once owned them, the other truly fascinating aspect of exploring abandoned buildings/haikyo is the sight of nature slowly taking back the structure; an open door or broken window allowing the weather and plant life to slowly but surely impose their presence.

But there again, the latter is something that can also be seen, albeit to a lesser extent, in suburbia too. And this house, which no longer appears to be lived in, was almost completely covered in vines — something similar to this one. A state that, along with an old-style post box that I have a peculiar penchant for, made, at least through my eyes, for a strangely appealing picture.

old Tokyo house

Shopping in Tokyo’s shotengai

With its opulent department stores and mass of shopping malls, Tokyo is undoubtedly a shoppers’ paradise, and the visiting of such sites is a very popular pastime indeed.

But despite the predominance of these modern emporiums, some parts of the capital still retain their old, character-filled and often covered shotengai.

Tokyo shotengai

Small enclaves that may not boast the brands of their bigger and brasher cousins, but at the same time still offer enough choice to keep a variety of regular customers coming back.

Tokyo shotengai

People of all walks of life.

Tokyo shotengai

And of all ages.

Tokyo shotengai

But mostly, especially in this neighbourhood, the elderly.

Tokyo shotengai

A lovely old lady and her cuddly little companion

When taking pictures on Tokyo’s streets, my main aim is to do so discreetly, with the hope of capturing a true moment, and not one interrupted by a camera-wielding intruder. An ideal that’s sadly not always doable, resulting in what could sometimes be deemed the odd dirty look.

And yet now and again, actually getting caught can produce a scene that’s a little bit special, and something that simply wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. Although to be fair, the lady’s contentment is somewhat countered by her dog’s apparent discontent.

Tokyo dog owner