Cut Through a Mountain: Street Photography in Japan

It all starts with skateboarding for me. I learnt about photography in the pages of skateboarding magazines but in the early 90s the pages included halftone glimpses of Japanese street culture, manga and anime. At that particular age your eyes open wider as your childhood horizons grow from the end of your street, to the edge of world.

The focus of the visit was to film & photograph for a marine multinational but I had to figure out any and every way to explore with my 35mm film camera. 14+ hour work days meant getting creative with the time I did have to myself: leaving the hotel at 5am and walking & exploring before it was time to get to work.

The city of Toyama is on the west coast, Tokyo on the east, a connection by railway that cuts deep through the mountains that separates them. Beyond the contrast of language, culture and food, I would experience Toyama at it’s quietest and the streets of Tokyo at it’s most intense.

Skateboarding is my beginning – it was how I first caught sight of a country in the pages of a magazine, and how I would inevitably find the means to get there with my camera. It is the motivation to explore around every corner and the drive to capture what you see, what you feel.

Toyama and Tokyo, Japan

Nikon FE2

Colour and B&W 35mm Film