The Tokyo Project
The Tokyo Project, Volume 3

The Tokyo Project, Volume 3

It’s that time again! Over the next few months I will be publishing the third installment of The Tokyo Project, a deep look at the city’s extensive transit oriented development and culture of urban commons. Volume 1 used transit as a framework to highlight interesting development. Volume 2 focused more on the business considerations of...
The Tokyo Project, Volume 2: Epilogue

The Tokyo Project, Volume 2: Epilogue

We’re now here at the end of the second volume of The Tokyo Project, and if I had to sum up the experience in only one word, I think it would have to be change. Over the last year since I shot the photos, I made significant changes to how I approached post-processing, research and...
Togoshi Ginza Shotengai, Session 2

Togoshi Ginza Shotengai, Session 2

Originally, I had planned to shoot video for my second visit to Togoshi Ginza Shōtengai (戸越銀座商店街), but heavy rains during the week courtesy of Typhoon Lekima passing out at sea had other ideas. With a compressed schedule, I decided not to rush things and just enjoy the evening there. On our first visit, we saw...
Musashikoyama Palm Shotengai, Session 2

Musashikoyama Palm Shotengai, Session 2

On my first visit to the Musashikoyama Palm Shōtengai (武蔵小山商店街パルム), I was focused on getting a representative sample of photos from the entire arcade, and explaining the form and function of shōtengai using Palm as an exemplar. This time takes a more casual approach, lingering on whatever happened to be interesting at the time. Where...
Muteppo in Nakano

Muteppo in Nakano

The Muteppō (無鉄砲) honten is way out in the hinterland of Kyoto Prefecture. Fortunately for Tokyo tonkotsu fiends in search of their next hit of thick pork soup and noodles, in 2010 August they opened a satellite in Egota, Nakano Ward (無鉄砲東京中野店), about a ten minute walk north from Numabukuro Station. Though there isn’t much...
Ramen Jiro in Mita

Ramen Jiro in Mita

A small sliver of the internet was recently sent into a tizzy over Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s posting of a photo from his visit to the Ramen Jirō branch in Kabukichō. Concerned followers made an effort to explain to Musk that many do not consider Ramen Jirō to be ramen, just Jirō. Indeed, for...
Ivan Ramen Plus in Kyodo

Ivan Ramen Plus in Kyodo

Previously, we visited the original Ivan Ramen in Roka-kōen for the earthy shio (salt flavored) ramen that gained Ivan Orkin his spot on the Tokyo ramen map. In volume 2 of The Tokyo Project, we head to Kyōdō, also in Setagaya Ward, for dinner at the second shop, Ivan Ramen Plus. Both locations use warm wood...
Shimokitazawa, Session 2

Shimokitazawa, Session 2

I make no secret of my affection for Shimokitazawa (下北沢). I enjoy coming back again and again to see what’s new, what’s the same, and just absorb all of the great things that exemplify Tokyo’s walkable, livable and lovable transit oriented development. In the first volume of The Tokyo Project, I presented Shimokitazawa as an...
Shimotakaido

Shimotakaido

Shimotakaido (下高井戸) is an official municipality in Suginami Ward. However, in practice the name often refers the cluster of shopping streets and residential neighborhoods that surround Shimotakaido Station, almost all of which (including the station) are not actually in Shimotakaido, but right across the line in Akatsutsumi and Matsubara municipalities of Setagaya Ward. This cluster...
Ikaruga in Kudanshita

Ikaruga in Kudanshita

Ikaruga (斑鳩) serves up tonkotsu ramen for people who think they don’t like tonkotsu. The telltale stench of boiled pig bones is mysteriously absent, while not sacrificing anything with regard to flavor and texture. If anything, it’s probably the creamiest of this style I’ve ever had. Where some traditional tonkotsu styles can be greasy and...
Tanaka Shoten in Hitotsuya

Tanaka Shoten in Hitotsuya

I finally made it. After postponing the trek out to Adachi Ward due to rain when I was shooting the first volume of The Tokyo Project, this time I jumped on the Tsukuba Express and headed up to Tanaka Shōten (田中商店) in Hitotsuya for what many consider to be the best Hakata Nagahama style tonkotsu...
Yanaka Ginza Shotengai

Yanaka Ginza Shotengai

Yanaka Ginza Shōtengai (谷中銀座商店街) attempts a balancing act. The 170 meter shopping street in Yanaka, to the north of Ueno Park and a few minutes west of Nippori Station, honors its roots as a local neighborhood market place and public space, while capitalizing on its popularity among domestic and foreign tourists as a place to...