Photos of colorful Tokyo

So 100 yen is about 85 cents, for a variety of non soda drinks, which alone puts Japan far ahead of america.

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The common price when I got here in 1997 was 120 Yen then went down to 110 then 100 but after the recent tax increase and attempts to re-inflate the economy, the common price is 130 in most places, these are either old photos or from one of the increasingly rare machines thats still at the lower price. Also the new standard price for the larger bottles and cans is 150 Yen. You can see that in the second vending machine pic if you look closely so my guess is the second is the newer photo and the first is either old or one of the rare low price machines.

Well, if you’re looking for ‘maximum vibrancy’ in your pictures they’re a great place to start.

Teleport. They’re so far ahead.

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Suika! Yay for random Touhou cosplay.

Soon they’ll find out that Japanese people have extra colour receptors, which is why their country looks like this woman’s paintings:

I quite like that. We seem to have hit this point in the west where you need to demonstrate your commitment to your sub-culture with a full sleeve tattoo, or you’re just a wannabe.

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You must walk really fast. I’ve walked Harajuku to Shinjuku. It’s > 1hr for me

Rant mode on

I really hate this fetitization of Japan. 1/3 of these pictures are of the Robot Restaurant. They don’t represent Japan any more than pictures of Cirque Du Soleil pictures from Vegas represent the USA.

As for the people in colorful outfits those same things exist in every country. I could easily walk down Venice Beach, Hollywood Blvd, Melrose Blvd, or any Comicon in the USA and get similar pictures.

I like Japan, lived there for 8 years. But I find it … for lack of a better word … racist to gawk at this supposedly strange other culture and not look in your own backyard first.


Same here. I was on the JET Programme in Shikoku for 2 years, and stuff like this really gets under my skin. Japan’s the size of California; the area covered is like singling out 1-2 neighborhoods in, I don’t know, Las Vegas. Definitely not indicative of the country as a whole, and stuff like this can mislead people who just don’t know anything more than anime and pop culture and very particular photo sets like these.


You’re right, it’s misleading. Any series of photographs of interesting aspects of any other culture, country, city, is misleading in the sense that it doesn’t capture the “truth” of that culture/country/city as a whole. Does that make it less meaningful?


As far as I can tell, there really is no “sub-culture” going on with these kids in this case, its just playing dress up according to a certain code.

I guess it depends where in Shinjuku your destination is. Straight up Meiji-dori from Taskeshita-dori (parallel to Harajuku station) to Takeshimaya in Shinjuku or Shinjuku station shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes but other parts of Shinjuku could be over an hour total. Shinjuku is pretty big city!

Research shows that it can lead to a severe mental illness known as Weeabooism.

The point is if “Tokyo” wasn’t in the title these pictures wouldn’t be on Boingboing. You could just as easily taken similar pictures in NYC, in London, in Los Angeles, in Las Vegas, in Austin, in Miami, in San Francisco but all those those wouldn’t appear here because they aren’t about “those strange people on the other side of the planet”

Sure, pretty much any pictures can be meaningful to someone. I’m just questioning why these particular pictures were interesting enough to be posted here. AFAICT it’s only because they are from Tokyo, not because they are actually special or unique in any way.

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You answered your own question / quibble. They’re interesting because they’re from Japan. Japan is a country that most boingboing readers are very interested in, but many haven’t visited. So they’re interested in pictures from Japan, and Japanese culture. Just as I was, to the point that I spent many thousands of dollars to visit. What exactly is the problem again? That Japanese culture is “fetishized”? Particularly ironic point given the degree to which American culture is “fetishized” by Japanese culture.


My point is they actually aren’t interesting. Here’s some pictures of McDonalds hamburgers. Which ones are from Japan? Why does sticking “From Japan” make them more interesting? Hint, It doesn’t.

The problem with the pictures linked is that marking them as “from Japan” when there’s nothing uniquely Japanese is effectively saying “look at those weirdos” when in reality there’s nothing out of the ordinary about them (at least as seen in these pictures).

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