Touring Tokyo, One Whimsical Illustration at a Time

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We hope this charming collection of street scenes inspires you to get out and see more of the city.

Tokyo is a place that begs to be explored. And one of the most rewarding things about a proper wander around this gigantic metropolis are the many small streets and byways, the tiny shops and the restaurants that have been doing business to their regulars for years.

Local artist Tsuchimochi Shinji (a tip of the hat to RocketNews24) has captured a hundred slices of this life with his collection of 100 shitamachi (downtown) scenes, with a careful attention to detail as well as a playful touch that animates each small corner of Tokyo and puts us in the mood to explore the city a little more.

As Tsuchimochi explains, he’s a great walker and a fan of the many old and charming neighborhoods and shops to be found around the city. As any good flaneur will tell you, part of the fun of walking around is getting lost, and the illustrator sees this as all part of the process. Since June of 2014, he has been creating a series of “100 Downtown Views,” in the style of the famous woodblock printers like Hiroshige, but featuring plenty of fanciful figures playing around in the outskirts of his pictures.

We’ve collected just a few here, but you can find the rest on his Facebook page or his Behance site. And in the hopes of inspiring you to get out and see these places for yourself, we’ve dropped a Google Maps link in the caption for as many of the pictures as we could.

Happy exploring!

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Yanaka: Gradual Sunset.” This is the picture that started Tsuchimochi’s series

 

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“Ashina shouten (Shinbashi)”

 

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Suzunari (Shimokitazawa)

 

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“Abumizaka (Hongo)”

 

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Matsuya Asakusa

 

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Asakusabashi

 

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Donzoku (Shinjuku)

 

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Yuuchan izakaya (Monzennakacho)

 

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Kappabashi (Asakusa)

 

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Harutan (Kichijoji)

 

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“Nezu Shrine” – just in time for hydrangea season

 

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Nonbei Yokocho/Drunkards’ Alley“ (Shibuya)
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Rashomon (Shimbashi)
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Super Dry Hall (Asakusa)

 

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Uogashi Yokocho (Tsukiji)
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Yamanoue Hotel (Ochanomizu)
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Zojoji (Minato)

–Alec Jordan

Images: Shinji Tsuchimochi’s Behance site

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