Some things are done differently in Japan.
A bird is standing on the road. You want to see it closer up.
In most places:
- Be very quiet.
- Approach slowly, indirectly.
- As much as possible, remain hidden.
Tokyo, a truly spectacular city by night.
The incredible density of buildings seen above is but a tiny fragment from the full city-wide view (below). The sheer size of the city seen from such a height is staggering, with an ocean of lights stretching away to become a blur on the horizon, each individual light signifying a house, an office, a shop, a street scene, a car.
And wherever there are lights, there are people. Within this photograph alone, unseen but present, close to ten million!
It’s humbling to witness. Humbling yet at the same time inspiring and elevating, to feel both one’s complete insignificance, and the freedom that signifies.
The only times I recall experiencing similar feelings were standing looking out across the Indian Himalayas, and gazing into the deep night sky above a vast desert – the only difference being that in those places one feels humbled by nature’s magnitude, whereas here it’s all man-made.
Moments of wonder.
(click all images to enlarge)
Living in Tokyo, not only the most populous metropolitan area on Earth but the biggest in the entire history of the planet, it’s easy to forget how rapid the speed of development here has been.
I still find it hard to fathom, whenever I’m reminded that only a few decades ago the urban landscape here was so very different. In fact as recently as 50 years ago one could find large areas of green, and even rice fields, in the middle of the city.
The breakneck speed of construction and development which began in the mid 1940’s continues to this day, although now consists mostly of destruction and replacement of old buildings rather than the urban encroachment into open land which came before.