I've been squeezing as much as I can into my last few days in Tokyo. After my disappointment that meticulously planned shoots were falling apart through matters beyond my control, yesterday everything fell into place beautifully. I took 2 trains out north west of the city for 1 shot at blue hour and then back in again for a guided night shoot around Shinjuku & Shibuya, including Kabukicho, Golden Gai & Omoide Yokocho. I was the only client so it was brilliant & I didn't have to pay for a bespoke tour.
Today I made a huge trek out to Saitama. I had wanted to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Discharge Flood Protection Facility back in 2018, but you need to be able to speak/understand Japanese or have an interpreter with you. That requirement hadn't changed, but I discovered a group of volunteer guides. Actually you cannot really call them volunteer as you do pay them a fee, your & their entry fee, plus their travel expenses. Even so it was worth it. The facility is simply amazing & well worth the hassle of arranging a visit. I'll do a separate post on it later to intrigue ...or bore you.
I had a panic moment this morning as I failed to get off the 2nd train at the correct stop. It was an old local express train and didn't have the route map, station listing & English voice overs that most trains here have. Luckily for me there was a very nice young man who looked it up on his phone & told me I could get off at the next stop & then go back 3 stops (on a non express service) to my station. The worry for me was that my guide was waiting & we had a local bus to catch & a specific tour timetable to adhere to. Fortunately I was able to get back quickly, on time & with no damage was done, except to my stress levels.
After the visit and a 1.40 hour trek back again, I'm now hanging out on the opposite side of the city on the 33rd floor of the new Azabudai Tower... there is a large crowd all waiting to take photos of the view. When its your turn at the front it's bloody hot with people crushing in behind you 2, 3, & 4 deep. I've braved the frenzy twice & had enough now. I did have another shoot planned for tonight but I've run out of energy so I'm going to go back to my hotel and have wine & a soak in the tub.
Coming home tomorrow.