Ginza

Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

 

Ginza is an area in Tokyo that’s known for its luxury brand name stores and lavish dining experiences. It’s not overflowing with teenagers like Shibuya, and it’s not filled with pop culture like Harajuku. It’s a place for sophisticated urbanites that attracts many, many visitors all year around.

Not everything in Ginza is expensive, either. There are plenty of delicious, affordable restaurants and cafes (especially if you go at lunch) and it also has fast fashion retailers like Zara and H&M. (And an enormous Uniqlo with 12 floors! It has a nursing room too, for any moms out there.)

Anyway, when I was still in Japan, I wandered around the streets of Ginza with my tiny Rollei 35SE, one of the smallest full-frame 35mm cameras ever made. It looks and feels kind of like a toy and I had no idea how my photos would turn out. It’s all about zone focusing (or in my case, some serious guess-focusing) since there’s no rangefinder or anything to assist you when you focus. I’m not good at guessing distances so I just preset to infinity and took a few shots, hoping that they would turn out decently.

Not knowing how your photos will turn out until you get them developed is another part of film photography that I love.

The photos I took in Ginza didn’t turn out too bad.

And I found they made me a tiny bit homesick for Japan.

Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
untitled
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

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14 Comments

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    • Thanks, Claire! Well, I lived in Japan for fourteen years but it’s like I never left the States–the move back feels that natural. Although being so close to the beach all the time is definitely new ;)

  1. Ginza is one of those places that is so close and yet I rarely go to. It screams Showa in Japan to me for some reason. But the last time I was there, I had a tempura-don that I still dream about. So good. Do you have any おすすめ spots in Ginza?

    Also, love love love your black and white photos, especially the one with the moving taxi! x

    • Thanks, Kaori!
      Well, let me see if I can remember some spots… One of my favorite お茶 places is ぶどうの木, a cafe that serves delicious dessert dishes. It’s a bit pricey, but the souffle and the crepe sabayon are to die for. Seriously. There’s also a yummy soba place called 日月火, but maybe that’s more near Yurakucho. Oh and there’s a cute little bistro called Aux Amis with yummy pate if you like that… but that’s also near Yurakucho. Haha. A had a few go-to places in Ginza that actually closed recently. 残念!

  2. Not too bad – I’ll say!! These are so good! I love the grainy quality of the one in the mirror. And the light in the second one is gorgeous! For the first time, I practiced focusing to infinity on my DSLR and the results were, well, underwhelming, but maybe they can be saved with a little editing that I’ll have to google how to do. We were in northern Sweden attempting to photograph the northern lights and for the life of me I couldn’t get my camera to focus, so I just present to infinity and crossed my fingers!

    • Thanks, Sarah!! You saw the northern lights?! Did I miss that? You haven’t posted that yet, have you? I definitely can’t wait to see those shots! I’m sure they turned out much, much better than you think!
      And the shot of me holding a camera? I’ll let you in on a little secret–that’s me, holding my Canon DSLR, and the shot was taken on my Rollei film camera by my mom, the previous owner of the little film camera ;) So it’s not actually a mirror shot at all!

  3. Oh, but … these photos are stunning! My favourite part of Ginza is, predictably, the unfashionable and slightly grungy eastern part close to the tracks, where there are some great little yakitori-and-beer restaurants. :)

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