Paul and I stayed at the Tokyu Excel Shibuya, 24th floor, with an unparalleled view of the city. Spending so much time so high above the streets of Tokyo made me start to feel quiet and abstracted, the same feeling that I get when I’m standing in front of a Gursky print. The somatic experience of walking through Tokyo’s crowds and the distilled flotation of skyscraper views are totally distinct experiences — especially because the sounds of Tokyo, as much a part of the Tokyo cityscape as the physical environs themselves, have completely evaporated. It reminds me of Emerson, sort of:
Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball – I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me – I am part or particle of God. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances – master or servant, is then a trifle, and a disturbance. I am a lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I have something more connate and dear than in the streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.
Of course, Tokyo isn’t exactly the wilderness, or even Concord, but I think you can see what I mean.
This is the view directly from our bedroom on the 24th floor. These buildings had several moods, which I tried to capture with the power of the Voigtlander’s 15mm lens. Unfortunately, I failed to slip the film correctly over the winding teeth, so I ended up taking 36 photos of nothing. (All these photos were taken via digicam.)
A view taken from the 24th floor after a brief rain took all of the haze out of the atmosphere.
This is an outdoor soccer ground — probably futsal, actually — located on top of a building that attaches to Shibuya station. If you look to the left of the photograph you can see the Hachiko entrance.
A view of the intersection outside Shibuya station. This is one of the most famous intersections in the world.
Here’s a night view of the bus station outside of our hotel window. The image on the top of the page is the same view during the day.
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Tags: architecture, センター街, ハチ公, buildings, Center Gai, city, cityscape, Emerson, floating, Gursky, Hachiko, hotel, scramble crossing, Shibuya, skylines, skyscrapers, Tokyo, transparent eyeball, urban, 東京, 渋谷区