Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Shin Marunouchi life
Passersby at a complex intersection in front of the bright Shin Marunouchi building.
endless tokyo
View of Tokyo's endless, towering houses, gilded by urban light.
Lost in the Crowd
Crowds intersect at the Shibuya intersection made even more famous by Sophia Coppola's "Lost in Translation" movie.
Salarymen vs Hosutos
Salarymen (company executives) pass by a hosuto club filled with images of hosts. Many of these hosts will easily earn more than they do.
A refuge from pressure
Salarymen, live in a corner of a street bar protected from the wind and rain.
500 yen dinner
Customer leaves a restaurant for noodles and other low-cost specialties.
toast to the past
Antiquarian poster at the entrance of a bar signposted with illuminated paper balloon.
News or accounts?
Tokyo resident opens his mailbox or PO Box.
catalog of houses
The entrance to a hosuto club, decorated with images of the available hosutos (hosts).
milk tea for 2
Maid moe Macaro and a friend warm up drinking milk tea next to one of Tokyo's countless drinking machines.
hands for everything
Cyclist hits a treadmill on a rainy Tokyo night.
Grill atmosphere
Smoky street restaurant protected from the elements in a passage under an urban railway line.
Sophisticated lighting at the LO HB Natural Dining restaurant in the middle of Shibuya square.
Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.

We looked for a Maid Café in the Akihabara district when, in the shadowy back of a block of buildings, we noticed the silhouette of a couple standing next to one of the countless city ​​drink machines.

Unhurried, still half lost in the eccentric Tokyo nightlife, we approached them with the valid pretext of using the device.

It's freezing cold. We know that the machines dispense us, at a glance, against a hundred yen, a warm and invigorating milk tea.

We apologize for disturbing your interaction and we will approach you. dressed in maid, Macaro arrests us with a smile as wide as his inebriated Lolita eyes.

Milk tea break, Tokyo

Maid moe Macaro and a friend warm up drinking milk tea next to one of Tokyo's countless drinking machines.

tucked into a bonnet of picachu who covers his orange hair, his lips pierced with piercings, the friend struggles to laugh. The duo was also warming up, everything indicated a short break or escape from the business of the establishment we were looking for, or something else like that.

Three or four questions later, we confirm that they don't speak a word of English. Trying Japanese or any other language was out of the question. Instead, we toasted them almost silently, photographed them, interpreted their gestures that the café where they worked was next door and we said goodbye.

We turn the corner. We identified a sign with graphics that left no room for doubt. We climbed the narrow staircase.

At the top, another “maid” dressed in as much color as Macaro, almost unwinds in welcome: “Okaerinasaimase, goshujinsama!” she screams with one of the sharpest and most childish voices we've ever heard, and then settles in a dolled-up nook decorated in style “candy Candy” of the establishment.

We ordered tea. As we sip it, we enjoy the intriguing servility and cartoon grace with which the waitresses tend to and pamper customers.

Restaurant detail from Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Salarymen (company executives) pass by a “hosuto club” filled with images of hosts. Many of these hosutos will easily earn more than salaryman.

The Profitable Tara of Maid Cafes and Cuddle Cafes

Originally, Maid Cafes emerged as the commercial satisfaction of Japanese male kink otaku, which is like saying fans of anime, manga and the like with particular fetishes for maid moe, young girls, innocent but attractive, even more in their shrunken French clothes, full of lace and ruffles typical of Gallic maids of other times.

Our maid cafe More attentive, the maids even feed the customers' mouths, clean their ears and give them massages on their clothes. They are also entertained with children's games, board games, sardines etc..

Aware of the craze of many customers, the establishments are governed by a series of strict ethical principles: it is not allowed to photograph or touch the maid in an abusive way. It is not tolerated for customers to ask them for contacts or pursue them, among other restrictions.

Other Less Cozy Establishments

For some time now, the maid cafes as if they opened doors to a panoply of competing cafes and restaurants outside the box.

An entirely different variant are the prolific restaurants, cafes and “robot” nightclubs in which these automated metal protagonists serve meals or dance, exhibit choreographies and liven up the noisy nightlife.

Some in apocalyptic clubs inspired by the "Star Wars"; others, where the service robots are female, somewhere between real women and maid moes.

At the same time, almost unimaginable variants of these eccentric variants have emerged: Ninja restaurants, an Alice in Wonderland café, dungeon bars and the Yurei Izakaia, a bar-restaurant with a chilling ghost-train atmosphere.

One more return to the megalopolis night scene and we return to the realm of affective need and the unavoidable female supplementation. There we find the Cuddle Coffees, in which, instead of what happened in the maid cafes, clients pay to sleep with the girls, but not in the way society has rushed to agree with the term.

They do pay to nestle in a shell with young “resident” maidens, to receive from them the affection they need in their lives, slaves to the PCs and alienated from everything and everyone.

Os Cuddle Cafes they are, in effect, a kind of tender and aseptic version of what goes on in the Red Light Districts of Kabukicho and Shinjuku.

there women kaba kuras kurabu (contraction of the Cabaret Club, with little to do with the surviving Kyoto geishas) and men hosuto kurabu (contraction of hosts de clubs) entertain customers against payment, in most places, with sex involved.

hosutos, the countless hosts of Tokyo

The images of hospitable are disseminated throughout the city, not just in the vicinity of the clubs where they work. The upwards of two hundred establishments that exploit its charm and seductive gifts generate rivers of money.

And they spend them publicizing their androgynous lures in expensive backlit advertising spaces that they reserve in key locations, with wealthy inhabitants and passersby.

Salarymen pass by a hosuto club in Tokyo, Japan

Salarymen (company executives) pass by a hosuto club filled with images of hosts. Many of these hosts will easily earn more than they do.

Roland is considered the hostatu Top of the city. He works for Club Platina in Kabukicho where, in 2017, during his birthday, female clients spend ten million yen (77.500€) in just three hours with him.

In a normal month, this homely earns €370.000. To consolidate its status, it has already spent €80.000 on plastic adjustments to its face. And spend 1600€ a month to keep it immaculate.

But Maid MoesThe kubakuras, the hosuto kurabu and Roland are just some of the many nocturnal pastimes in the Japanese capital.

With its nearly 15 million inhabitants, Tokyo it has a bit of everything, from demure landings to the smokiest and noisiest haunts in Asia.

For a long time now, Internet, 24/7 video games and Internet houses have been included in first class. Pachinko. The amount of info and video addicts has become such that these establishments proliferate, welcoming them into the night, in the comfort of good armchairs, in front of screens and state-of-the-art headphones, when necessary, during sleep.

Confronted with the frightening prices of overnight stays in the city, at some point, visiting outsiders also began to sleep in these padded and artillery Internet Cafés.

Until shrewd local businessmen spotted the opportunity and launched claustrophobic capsule hotels.

Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan

Passersby at a complex intersection in front of the bright Shin Marunouchi building.

The Nippon Night of All Lives

But not always the residents of Tokyo can predict where they land for night. In the image of those who want to spend more than a few days in the city, we soon realize the reality of the devastating departures of others of their famous slaves, the laborers.

The socially forced self-denial of the Japanese towards work is famous. And just a little less notorious – we are not sure how much still prevails – the reality of subordinates who, by extension of this pressure, are forced to go out on Friday evenings with the superiors of their companies and accompany them in misadventures nights soaked in sake, whiskey or the like.

The truth is that, whether they have had a bottle with their bosses, in the company of colleagues or alone, when the weekend comes, we always find countless of these sararymen tucked into their black executive suits, walking to these or already sleeping where fate made them land.

Elsewhere, whether the sky is starry, rain or snow falls, socializing takes place outdoors, in much more natural and healthy groups.

During several of the long walks we take around Tokyo we noticed the opportunism of the bar-restaurants that fit into the sides of the passages under the railway viaducts.

At times, even the deactivation of the gigantic Tsukiji Market, until then there were bars serving sushi, sashimi and the like.

Restaurant under bridge, Tokyo, Japan

Smoky street restaurant protected from the elements in a passage under an urban railway line.

We crossed them over and over again, fascinated by the smoky and festive atmospheres of Japanese folk saints conferred by the colorful signs and red paper balloons.

In these rounded and convenient arches, they are grilled non stop charcoal snacks served at moderate prices, accompanied by lots of conversation, beer and, of course, more sake.

Not even the recurrent and hellish slides of the trains over the feasts discourage the guests.

Famous Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan

Crowds intersect at the Shibuya intersection made even more famous by Sophia Coppola's film “Lost in Translation”.

Shibuya, Roppongi, Ginza: each neighborhood, its Tokyo Nightlife

Trains also pass in the vicinity of Roppongi and Shibuya. There, the environment is, however, different. During the years after World War II, Roppongi became a favorite haunt of the Allied military.

Since then, for additional reasons known only to reason, the neighborhood has remained one of the favorites of the gaijin, that's what the Japanese call expatriates and visitors.

The neighborhood has long been home to most of the city's nightclubs and has a reputation for one of its liveliest nightlife. Mainly for the rap and hip-hop fashion that was imported from USA in the late 80s, apparently to stay. Especially in Roppongi, also in Shibuya and Shinjuku, the Afro protagonists of nightlife proliferate.

There are as many DJs, rappers, performers and dancers paid in gold to show off their skills as others who noticed the mine that was there and installed weapons and luggage. They now have their own Clubs.

Golden Buildings of Tokyo, Japan

View of Tokyo's endless, towering houses, gilded by urban light.

They control small armies of equally Afro and immigrant collaborators, touts (raisers) who roam the surrounding districts distributing leaflets that advertise Nights e ladiesnights on top of these events, patrol the surrounding areas to attract aimless passersby.

In our wanderings through the frantic alleys of Shibuya, we pass them and we refuse – or else we receive – the leaflets that they foist.

It's impossible to miss them. In addition to the skewed skin tone, they are almost twice the height and volume of the Japanese. They wear bright clothes, bling bling to match and boast an almost superb ease of idols of the Japanese teenager masses.

Ginza, a neighborhood apart

The Ginza district forms a world with little to do with it. During the day, it hosts the most prestigious and expensive stores in Tokyo and one of the largest concentrations of luxury brands on the face of the Earth. Shortly after the sun sets, it becomes the city's premium entertainment district.

Unlike others, however, it does not attract a restless street crowd. Its establishments appear out of sight, on the upper floors of the huge shops and malls.

There are hidden the best Japanese Sushi restaurants. And others with different cuisines but the same type of exquisite and multimillion-dollar service. There are also the best chic bars and opulent and sophisticated nightclubs.

Poster at the entrance of a bar, Tokyo, Japan

Antiquarian poster at the entrance of a bar signposted with illuminated paper balloon.

No matter how many turns the world has taken in the last decade, the Japan it remains one of its four most powerful economies.

With 15 million residents and around 130 million Japanese eager to have fun spending, Tokyo he barely has time to breathe. How much more to sleep.

More information about Tokyo on the website of JTO - Japan National Tourism Organization.

Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Okinawa, Japan

Ryukyu Dances: Centuries old. In No Hurry.

The Ryukyu kingdom prospered until the XNUMXth century as a trading post for the China and Japan. From the cultural aesthetics developed by its courtly aristocracy, several styles of slow dance were counted.
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
Takayama, Japan

From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida

In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Okinawa, Japan

The Little Empire of the Sun

Risen from the devastation caused by World War II, Okinawa has regained the heritage of its secular Ryukyu civilization. Today, this archipelago south of Kyushu is home to a Japan on the shore, anchored by a turquoise Pacific ocean and bathed in a peculiar Japanese tropicalism.
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
Ogimashi, Japan

A Village Faithful to the A

Ogimashi reveals a fascinating heritage of Japanese adaptability. Located in one of the most snowy places on Earth, this village has perfected houses with real anti-collapse structures.
Magome-Tsumago, Japan

Magome to Tsumago: The Overcrowded Path to the Medieval Japan

In 1603, the Tokugawa shogun dictated the renovation of an ancient road system. Today, the most famous stretch of the road that linked Edo to Kyoto is covered by a mob eager to escape.

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Tokyo, Japan

Pachinko: The Video - Addiction That Depresses Japan

It started as a toy, but the Japanese appetite for profit quickly turned pachinko into a national obsession. Today, there are 30 million Japanese surrendered to these alienating gaming machines.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Architecture & Design
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Ceremonies and Festivities
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

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fastened by several wires
Curitiba, Brazil

The High-Quality Life of Curitiba

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Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Parra Sea
Mendoza, Argentina

Journey through Mendoza, the Great Argentine Winemaking Province

In the XNUMXth century, Spanish missionaries realized that the area was designed for the production of the “Blood of Christ”. Today, the province of Mendoza is at the center of the largest winemaking region in Latin America.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Karanga ethnic musicians join the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Great ZimbabweZimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe, Little Bira Dance

Karanga natives of the KwaNemamwa village display traditional Bira dances to privileged visitors to the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. the most iconic place in Zimbabwe, the one who, after the decree of colonial Rhodesia's independence, inspired the name of the new and problematic nation.  
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
At the end of the afternoon
Ilha de Mozambique, Mozambique  

The Island of Ali Musa Bin Bique. Pardon... of Mozambique

With the arrival of Vasco da Gama in the extreme south-east of Africa, the Portuguese took over an island that had previously been ruled by an Arab emir, who ended up misrepresenting the name. The emir lost his territory and office. Mozambique - the molded name - remains on the resplendent island where it all began and also baptized the nation that Portuguese colonization ended up forming.
Pico Island, west of the mountain, Azores, Lajes do Pico
Pico Island, Azores

The Island East of the Pico Mountain

As a rule, whoever arrives at Pico disembarks on its western side, with the volcano (2351m) blocking the view on the opposite side. Behind Pico Mountain, there is a whole long and dazzling “east” of the island that takes time to unravel.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Camiguin, Philippines, Katungan mangrove.
Camiguin, Philippines

An Island of Fire Surrended to Water

With more than twenty cones above 100 meters, the abrupt and lush, Camiguin has the highest concentration of volcanoes of any other of the 7641 islands in the Philippines or on the planet. But, in recent times, not even the fact that one of these volcanoes is active has disturbed the peace of its rural, fishing and, to the delight of outsiders, heavily bathed life.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Natural Parks
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Fort Galle, Sri Lanka, Ceylon Legendary Taprobana
UNESCO World Heritage
Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Fort: A Portuguese and then Dutch (His) story

Camões immortalized Ceylon as an indelible landmark of the Discoveries, where Galle was one of the first fortresses that the Portuguese controlled and yielded. Five centuries passed and Ceylon gave way to Sri Lanka. Galle resists and continues to seduce explorers from the four corners of the Earth.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, Punta Cahuita aerial view
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

Traveling through Central America, we explore a Costa Rican coastline as much as the Caribbean. In Cahuita, Pura Vida is inspired by an eccentric faith in Jah and a maddening devotion to cannabis.
Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Christian churches, priest with insensate
Holy Sepulcher Basilica, Jerusalem, Israel

The Supreme Temple of the Old Christian Churches

It was built by Emperor Constantine, on the site of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection and an ancient temple of Venus. In its genesis, a Byzantine work, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is, today, shared and disputed by various Christian denominations as the great unifying building of Christianity.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
cowboys oceania, rodeo, el caballo, perth, australia
Perth, Australia

The Oceania Cowboys

Texas is on the other side of the world, but there is no shortage of cowboys in the country of koalas and kangaroos. Outback rodeos recreate the original version and 8 seconds lasts no less in the Australian Western.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Maria Jacarés, Pantanal Brazil
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.