Exploring old Tokyo with the new Urban Series

Tokyo is a super-city of over 13 million people, but beyond the images of commuters crammed onto trains and crowds teeming below neon lights, it is made up many local neighborhoods. This makes it ideal for street shooting. f-stop took to the streets with some of our Staff Pro team from Japan and Hong Kong to explore with the new Urban Series.

First up, we headed to the famous Tsukuji fish market for sushi breakfast with the Staff Pro team. Tsukuji is famous for its early morning auctions of giant tuna destined for the sushi restaurants of Japan, but we explored the surrounding side streets. In these streets there is a constant battle between the market workers trying to get on with their hard work, and the waves of visitors soaking up the rough charm of it. Despite being a famous location in Tokyo, it was a first time for all of us and each turn revealed scenes perfect for street shooting. The Urban Series packs proved ideal for staying light on your feet in this fast-paced environment - and avoiding the market traders’ trucks!

Link to urban series bag contest

In Tokyo, f-stop debuted the new event concept of the ‘Photo Crawl’ – the street shooting of a photo-walk combined with the relaxed social interaction of a pub-crawl, allowing the photographers who take part to get to know the f-stop Staff Pro team and get hands-on with new gear. 

The location for the Photo Crawl was the Yanaka Ginza. This old ‘shita-machi’ (literally ‘downtown’) neighborhood of Tokyo offers a glimpse into Tokyo’s past, with winding backstreets filled with local shops. It still attracts more Japanese visitors, who come to wander in its nostalgic charm than foreign tourists. If you make the trip to Tokyo we recommend a lazy day exploring this area with your camera.

We were joined on this Photo Crawl local b-boy breakdancers Jun and Ryota "Ryo-T-1" who brought their modern urban style to our shooting of this historic neighborhood, and our model Moe, adding a touch of Tokyo style for the cameras.

 

One of the great things about Tokyo is that you never know what will happen next...  

We had found a summer festival in the sidestreets of Yanaka Ginza, and were greeted by stalls selling delicious snacks, beer and sake. Children played in the streets and couples strolled by in traditional Japanese summer 'yukata' kimono. Suddenly, while shooting the breakdancers at the crest of a slope, two men dressed in Kabuki theatre costume appeared out of nowhere, creating an unforgettable Tokyo Photo Crawl moment for the cameras:

 

Around another corner, we found a park where a Djembe drummer was playing. This sparked a spontaneous session with the Tokyo breakdancers - another unique moment: 

 

This wasn't the only beat we heard.  The sound of Japanese 'taiko' drums summoned us back into the local festival. Summer festivals are typical of these older neighborhoods that have kept a strong sense of local pride and history. The festival is a big event that brings all the residents together. Central to this is the carrying of a ‘mikoshi’ shrine, bound to wooden poles. This requires teamwork to carry together, symbolizing the community pulling together. This made a great subject as it passed by the final drink stop on our Photo Crawl:

 

The Tokyo Photo Crawl was a great success, with smiles on everyone's faces and glasses raised to say cheers to a day well spent. "Kanpai!" and thank you, Tokyo! Keep an eye out for more news on f-stop Photo Crawls happening near you. 

 

EXPLORE GEAR USED IN THIS STORY

We used the new Urban Series to keep our camera gear protected and quick to deploy for spontaneous street shooting in Tokyo.

Check out the full range here


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