Toyama Noir: Red Light District in the 5am Rain

The waiting figure under the umbrella, obscured from view by the darkness and the heavy rain, was the only other person on the street. I was exploring with my camera and they had me wondering who they were and who they were waiting for. The empty heart of the Toyama red light district was quiet apart from the rainwater washing the streets and flooding the drains. The usual crowds had left, the grills pulled down and doors closed and locked. The neon lights now dark.

Every morning I would get up and leave at 5am to try and explore the city with my camera, wandering down streets and getting lost. I had ended up finding myself in the red light district in the midst of a storm, with a roll of black and white 35mm film and thoughts of Blade Runner. The backdrop of the normally neon-lit signs and dark alleyways might tell a story such as longing, desire, and vulnerability, as I sheltered in one doorway from the downpour. I was soaked through and I wasn’t going any further until this storm passed.

Toyama, Japan

Nikon FE2

Ilford HP5 35mm Film