Omotesando (Oh-moh-tay-sawn-doh) is Tokyo’s best impression of Paris, France.
From the design of neighborhood, to the fashionable locals, to the sheer number of bakeries, cafes, and crêperies, Omotesando is a haven for Japanese Francophiles. Subsequently, it is also some of the most expensive real estate in the city.
It’s a wonder how some shops survive. Pictured below, you will see a bright red scooter from a scooter rental shop. Fashionable, playful, extravagant, costly—when in Rome.
Walking through the station, you pass about a dozen places selling croque monsieur sandwiches, pastries, pastel green and pink candies, and coffeehouses powered by shiny silver espresso machines. This is not an ordinary train station.
At the surface, you are greeted with long, tree-lined streets. Behind the world class brands and the rush of tourists that line the main streets, however, lies the back streets, and a decidedly different vibe.
When I visited, the weather was cold enough for a jacket but not too cold that you found yourself needing to rush inside after 20 minutes. I watched young families amble along the street and twenty-somethings duck in and out of the endless selection of high-fashion boutiques, art galleries, salons, and specialty restaurants (tea, crepes, croissants, molecular gastronomy).
I tried to catch a few faces and a few alleyways. In surveying the shots I took, I didn’t come up with a lot of keepers, though I had a great time. C'est la vie.