Shinjuku’s Omoide Yokocho

Shinjuku’s Omoide Yokocho

Shinjuku’s Omoide Yokocho, or ‘Memory Lane as it is known, with it’s cramped bars and restaurants gives you a view into post war Japan.    The alley was rebuilt in 1999 after a fire burned everything to the ground but they managed to bring it back the grease, grime and feel of old world Tokyo.   A lot of foreigners refer to this place as Yakitori Alley due to the vast number of Yakitori restaurants that line the narrow alleys.   There are also motsu-nabe and hormone-yaki (offal stew and organ meats…yum!).   A lot of Japanese refer to this place as ‘Shonben Yokocho’ or Piss Alley, as there were no restrooms prior to the rebuilding.   It is located just a short walk from Shinjuku’s West Exit.  It’s great for Yakitori as I pass on the other menu items…and excellent for photography.

This place is packed with little tiny stalls like this…

It’s great for shooting bokeh…

I have been spending a lot of time ‘working’ my shots lately to see if I like it with or without something in it…

With or without…

I have also been spending time working on where the focus point is in an image…

I love shooting in Shinjuku… so many choices.

If you like what you saw today, please share it by clicking one of the links below…


  • joanlvh

    the question of where the focus point should be is so interesting and fun. I have pre ordered one of the new Lytro cameras bec you can change focus after the image has been taken and i think it will be fun to try different focal choices in one image. joanlvh

  • Jim

    This is why digital is so great. It is all about choices..what YOU see and when you see it.

  • Simon

    I like the way you have included both photos to illustrate the power of composition. For the second pair of BBQ shots I prefer the one with the woman turning the food. It implies that action is happening with the food and that they are not simply neglected and left keeping warm until someone wants to buy them.

    With the focal point photos I prefer the second one with woman in focus. It feels like we are peering through a window between the older man and the lantern to focus on her. I like the detailing of the lantern, but the human face wins out for me on this one. Great blog by the way and reminds me of my 3 years living in Hangzhou

  • Celesta

    With or without: I find that having any life on the photo – even out of focus, even on the background, or even in the form of a sculpture instead of an animated life, even a part of a body such as a hand in place of a whole figure – makes it livelier. What do you think?

  • Dave

    Celesta – I think so as well. I am including people more and more. I am also very comfortable now shooting people so it is very easy for me to stop someone and take their photograph or nod to them that they will be in my shot.

  • Dave

    Thanks Simon. I love Hangzhou. I was lucky enough to spend a few days there last year and really loved shooting there.

  • Dave

    Joanlvh – Interesting. I can’t decide if that camera is going to be a break through or a pain as you need to edit everything when you get home. It should be really fun to shoot with. How much did it cost you?

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  • Kurt

    With all your with or without photos I don’t see it as which is better but as two separate photos telling two different things. Same if you were to edit them one as colour and the other in black and white. I can’t pick a favorite with the ones above :)

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