Tokyo Reverse Homesickness

…and after the calm and serenity of Shimane and Okayama, we arrived back in Tokyo. Overwhelming in so many ways, I found it surprising that this was once normal for us; the volume of people, the noise and traffic at any time of the day or night. We were both incredibly excited to be back, we get a really different kind of energy from being in this city. We really do get homesick for Tokyo. even on the first night, we were already feeling like we didn’t want to return back to London…

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118 comments
    • joe said:

      People are all so cool in Tokyo, I love the varied styles. Somehow not as stressful as London though, despite there being way more people in Tokyo (32m vs 12m!)

    • Yes…the women are all cute. I especially like the ‘school-girl’ uniforms and the hipster-glasses!

  1. Fantastic people shots. Made me miss just walking around Tokyo’s busy streets. :)

    • joe said:

      I know! I find it hard to look at these shots now because I do miss Tokyo terribly; the streets and all our wonderful friends there.

  2. I feel “homesick” just looking at your photos of Japan… ;)

    • joe said:

      haha – sorry! : )

    • joe said:

      Thanks for the kind comment!

  3. Is it just me or are people in Tokyo quite purposefully dressed? Work or play, they have put thought into it.

    • joe said:

      Yes I think purposefully is quite a nice way to put it, I remember feeling terribly scruffy the first time I visited. People are mostly very neatly presented whatever their chosen style.

      • That’s the exact impression I got from all your photos.

  4. Oooooooooooh…every time I read a post about someone in Japan (especially Tokyo), I get so jealous! It’s on my list of countries to visit! Hey, have you ever been to Akihabara?

    • joe said:

      Yeah I have been a few times, but years ago now, its a pretty fascinating part of town!

    • joe said:

      Thanks! Yes there are so many other parts of Japan worth visiting more perhaps but for once I felt like standing still in Shibuya and just letting the camera capture the real feeling of being on that iconic crossing. I enjoyed myself because I had never got any good shots here before, it was always somewhere I simply passed through.

      • Spoon Feast said:

        These were taken in Shibuya, nice to know. I love Tokyo, it is such a great city! Shibuya and Shinjuku used to be great places to hang out.

  5. I went to Japan once in high school and your photographs have me dying to go back! Great post!

    • Mocha said:

      Japan, Tokyo particularly is an awesome place. I just got back from Japan about 4 weeks ago. Planing to go back next spring.

  6. aahh i miss this city so much, haven’t found anything remotely similar anywhere else, such vibe!

    • joe said:

      Thank-you – it was your message that let me know what was going on. My email alerts were going mad while I was out with friends last night and I couldn’t understand why.

  7. I have travelled many places in the world but haven’t made it to Japan yet, Tokyo looks like the ultimate city.
    Steven Wade, Edinburgh and Dundee

  8. Hibari said:

    It’s been 3 years since I left Japan after a year there, and I still get homesick. There’s something about Japan, and especially Tokyo, that makes it unlike any other place that I’ve been.

    • joe said:

      Yeah, I can’t put my finger on the why, but I do love that city like crazy.

  9. The fashion is even better than NYC! I will have to make it a point to visit someday :)

    • joe said:

      Maybe! I think everyday fashion in Tokyo is unbeatable.

  10. Great pics. Yes its universal. Pants sagging in tokyo. Congrats on fp

    • joe said:

      Ha-ha, yes ‘fraid so…

  11. ibport said:

    I first see many photos about Tokyo life, looks clean and bright…

  12. David said:

    It’s a magical place, in so many ways!

  13. JL said:

    Tokyo always has such eccentric dress!

  14. Jay Dee said:

    Nice people shots! I live just outside Tokyo, and I miss it! I haven’t really gone there since last year, just staying in the Yokohama area. I often feel too self-conscious taking people photos. I usually take scenery and building pictures.

    • joe said:

      I am a bit of a shy-photographer too, this was a bit of a new experience for me. I used my fixed 50mm lens for these, it is the most discrete. I also find that actually if you just stand still shooting and relax, people hardly even notice you. You would be surprised.

      • Jay Dee said:

        If there’s a big crowd in a touristy area, I find that I have no problems with taking people pictures, as everyone else is doing it. But if I’m the only foreigner or the only person with a camera in a place that isn’t frequented by tourists, I tend to feel a bit shy about it.

  15. Great photos! I miss traveling to Tokyo big time! You make me wanna plan our next big trip – now with a baby in tow. :)

    • joe said:

      Thank-you for the comment, you should definitely introduce your baby to that wonderful city!

  16. I feel homesick for it too, and I’ve never even been to Japan!
    Thanks for sharing your amazing photos and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  17. Cafe said:

    Tokyo is definitely such an interesting, unique to visit!
    So are you in Tokyo more than in London? Or half and half?

    • joe said:

      We would love to be split completely half and half but we are living in London now and we only make it to Japan around once a year for family trips. About 4 years ago we were doing the same thing, only the opposite way around.

  18. Amazing snapshots. I feel like I was there just by looking at them. :)

  19. Alyssa said:

    Tokyo is an awesome place, there’s something about the culture that makes you revisit the city. I love these photos, by the way. :)

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  20. dan_h said:

    Love those photos :-)!

  21. Really amazing snaps! I wish to photograph Japan someday. According to a photographer friend of mine, first I need a proper SLR, not point and shoot!

    • joe said:

      Oh – not necessarily! Point and shoot would be fine as well! SLR gives you a little more option but any camera is fun.

    • joe said:

      That was my favourite too!

  22. Love this, it brings back memories from my travels there a few years ago. Can’t wait to return.

  23. It’s strange how big capital cities may have similar qualities (high population, noise etc) but have such different characteristics. Tokyo and Japan in general is definitely on my places-to-visit, I hope I get to experience it all sooner rather than later. Keep up the good work (^o^)y

  24. taraleshdude said:

    No pics of the typical JP woman with X-shaped legs? Nr 1 from top reminds me of one of the episodes of “Babel” from A. Iñárritu, one of the best movies ever

  25. specpro said:

    Great street shots. I can take pictures in Tokyo all day and never get bored!

    • joe said:

      It is a dream location for photography.

  26. Your pictures are awesome. What kind of camera did you use? Thanks for sharing.
    You Matter! Smiles, Nancy

    • joe said:

      I use a Canon 550D and for this set, simply used a fixed 50mm lens.

  27. Shay M said:

    Looks great. I am in Korea teaching now but have every intention to move to Tokyo.

  28. Gakko – ee – na! Tokyo was my home for a decade – lived through the sarin attacks (only by chance was rescheduled and did NOT end up on one of those trains) and many other scares… yet always and still blown away by the resilient strength of the Japanese people ~ not to mention their grace. I too am very homesick for Nippon! Kisses! from Tombo

    ps – your page is beautiful – I am inspired to begin writing again!

    • joe said:

      Thanks for the kind comment, please check back sometime.

  29. Are people in Tokyo ever offended that you take their photos? I, too, am in Japan and see the most fabulous people, but I’m reluctant to take the shot. Perhaps I’m gun shy after visiting other countries where it was most certainly a no-no. In my last post, I did include a security guard playing air guitar, and a group of schoolboys waving. I just love people. Thanks for your photos. The beaded white shoes are so great! And the girls with balloons is the best!

    • joe said:

      You can always upset people if you are too pushy but generally people don’t mind if you are sensitive to people’s personal space.

  30. rere27 said:

    love the pictures. and congrats to being freshly pressed

  31. Great compositions, lively subjects, and I love the way you put this post together.

  32. been there about 3x and as always its really a place worth visiting, love your shots of everyday tokyo..

  33. Wayne said:

    I LOVE Tokyo and the Japanese. So many people and such a beautiful solitude ….

    Wayne

  34. famgg said:

    Amazing photos! great job

  35. Great pics of city life. I lived in Seoul for 3yrs and never thought I would want to live in a city with 11million people (that was 10yrs ago), but I missed it every time I left and still do. There is just so much life and energy in certain cities around the world. Will have to visit Tokyo sometime soon.
    (trailingtrekker.wordpress.com)

    • joe said:

      Seoul is my current dream-destination, I’ve never been and I’m longing to experience the architecture and culture. And food of course! Thanks for finding our little blog.

      • Well if you have any questions when you plan a trip let me know. I have some great suggestions on food and markets…. mmmm I miss the food so much!

  36. What I noticed is the styles are really not much different than what is worn here. Very interesting

  37. Carl said:

    Lovely photos. I have always been a lover of Japan.

  38. Who would ever want to return to London? Nobody of a sound mind and of some taste.

    • joe said:

      ha-ha, London has its charm. Both places have pros and cons but Tokyo is a fantastically exciting city.

  39. jericoj said:

    Funny cause you just made me incredibly homesick from Tokyo! That’s my home!!!

  40. Spoon Feast said:

    Love, love, Love Tokyo!

  41. I really enjoyed reading your post. :) It’s my dream to visit Japan someday.

  42. Nice, it almost seems like Tokyo is like New York. Everyone seems so busy and getting to where they need to go but nice work on the pics and i hope you have all the fun that comes with visiting there -,o

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  43. nice photos :D i miss Japan more after seeing your photos.. ^___^

  44. i get reverse homesickness for Tokyo too! Pity my Japanese language skills are so terrible :(

  45. Leah said:

    Even going from Kanazawa to Tokyo is very shocking to me. Ikebukuro was much to the effect of “HOW ARE THERE SO MANY PEOPLE WALKING HERE.” Love the fashion shots!

  46. I love your blog. I get homesick for every place I’ve lived. I’ve got to stop moving or I’ll always be wishing I were somewhere else!

  47. Chizzy said:

    The fashion in most of these pics are so nice and simple, and refreshing :) Got me thinking about how fashions differ and compare from city to city. Also, I used to live in Hong Kong, and your pictures made me miss walking around in HK, completely surrounded by Asians :) Great post and congrats on landing Freshly Pressed!

  48. Lace said:

    The photos are wonderful! I love the hustle and bustle of Tokyo! Seems like a place I should visit, and just drink in!

  49. fmvt said:

    I’ve been intrigued by Tokyo and Japan for years, so I look forward to seeing more of your photos & stories :-)

  50. Patrick said:

    Great photos of Tokyo! There are many who feel that the city life of Tokyo is different from other cities. And I often wonder about how special Tokyo is. Thanks much for posting the photos! They look great!

  51. I miss Tokyo a lot, too. Where I am out west ain’t bad, mind you. But there’s a great charge in the air, all over Tokyo. I think I might go and live there for a month before returning home when I’m done in Japan. :)

  52. I know exactly what you mean except it is kind of reversed again. I’m always homesick for Seychelles even though I’m in the UK and that is where I’m from. The first time I touched down in Seychelles I felt I was coming home. Everything about the place was perfect. Probably helps that my wife is from Seychelles but after three trips over there, about a month each, I always find myself missing that easy and slow pace of life – the opposite to Tokyo and moderately so to my home here in UK.

    Thanks for a great post and for inspiring me to write one about my ‘second’ home Seychelles.

  53. pavanscorpio said:

    Tokyo has been one of my fav cities. Very much neo to me :). Love to see your post. Pics are awesome and well taken

  54. Great photos! So much fun looking through your pics. I was in Tokyo last year and these photos really made me wish I were going back soon. Loved checking out all the outfits, and walking through that intersection in Shibuya. Always seems like everyone at that crossing is on their way to something important!

  55. Justine de Jonge said:

    I felt the same after leaving Cairo a couple of years ago. Thank you for sharing your photos and a very real state of mind :)

  56. I grew up in Tokyo, and I definitely know what you mean. I feel more at ease and at home in big cities than quiet places with less anonymity. Beautiful pictures – they made me tear up with a wee bit of jealousy. :)

  57. Already starting to miss there! I love their fashion sense, they’re such a conservative people in so many ways, but when it comes to fashion, watch out! They’re trend setters!

  58. Wonderful photos of the old and the young… and a glimpse into Japanese fashion.

  59. Soy Asi said:

    Beautiful street photos!! Amaizing!!

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