Shinjuku skyscrapers and the HAL building

Written by on August 6, 2009 in Photo Posts, Photos and Stories in Progress with 2 Comments


The western side of Shinjuku Station is like no other place in Tokyo, or in Japan. A long tunnel leads from the station to this area, and when you emerge it’s like you’ve found something hidden. Most places in central Tokyo are a mishmash of poorly coordinated development, a bird’s nest of wires overhead, layers of plastered signs, and exhaust fume tinted concrete. This place presents an alternative vision of modern Japan, one that would never stand a chance on a wider scale in this country. Behind me, as I took this picture, is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. That is probably the source of all this order in the immediate vicinity: an image to frame a perception. The newest addition to the collection is the HAL building, the rocket ship, a school that teaches students to write software for computer games.

About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .


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  • Shanghai has a similar area across the river called Pudong. (浦东, lit. East of the (huang)Pu river) It’s the new financial district, home of the city’s most famous skyscrapers , super wide streets and a totally un-Chinese feel. 🙂

  • I guess it’s all about image, and creating an atmosphere for big business. Every company in Japan seems to crave an office in Shinjuku.