Tokyo, 2011. Leica M9 x 21mm Lens

TOKYO as One of the Ultimate Cities for Street Photography

We cannot deny:

Tokyo is one of the apex cities for street photography in the world.

Me and Tokyo go wayyy back

I am eternally grateful to all my friends and guides from Tokyo (Charlie Kirk, Bellamy Hunt, Hiroaki, Michael Nguyen, Mijonju, etc) who have helped me early on in my street photography journey.

In Tokyo is where I got my feet first wet shooting film (Leica M6), then later the Leica MP (thanks to Bellamy for helping me source it).

Tokyo inspiration

Anyways, Tokyo is one of the apex spaces for street photography. Why?

  1. Strong printed book culture
  2. Lots of photo galleries
  3. Tons of Leica and film aficionados in Tokyo
  4. TONS of people in the streets (so many people to photograph)
  5. Tokyo as very different and ‘weird’ (in our western eyes).

What is it like shooting the streets of Tokyo?

Tokyo is great to shoot. Lots of tourists, so it is quite ‘easy’ to shoot street photography in Tokyo.

Furthermore, Tokyo is like the ultimate playground for street photography. So many diverse neighborhoods and places to shoot.

Also if you’re a foreigner, Japanese people are super duper friendly to you. Even if you’re an Asian-American tourist like myself.

Lots of diversity in Tokyo as well — in the shopping areas and the hipster areas.

Long story short, yes– go to Tokyo for street photography (at least once before you die!)


Shot mostly with Ricoh GR II, some Leica M9, some film Leica M6/MP (Tri-x 400 film pushed to 1600), some Portra 400, etc: