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12 Surreal Photos of Tokyo’s Back Streets that Look Like They’re from a Movie

Mich Escultura

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Japan is filled with beautiful sights and sounds that you’ll see nowhere else. In natural wonders they’ve got Fuji mountain and the cherry blossom festivals. But in the urban sphere where a lot of cities are starting to look more and more alike, Japan offers unique sights that look like they’re straight from the concept art of some anime or science fiction movie.

Japanese photographer Masashi Wakui masterfully captures the side streets and passageways of Tokyo. Known only to locals and hidden from tourists, Wakui shares with us the night time world of neon lights, back door entrances, bright lanterns, and luminous street lamps. Each photo captures a moment that tells its own story.

Wakui’s hazy photographs add a veil of mystery and depth to each image, which can be interpreted by the viewer in any way they like. While Wakui admits to adding a bit of a filter to his images, the original composition of the image are mostly untouched.

1. Back entrances illuminated by neon street signs.

1. Back entrances illuminated by neon street signs.

2. Narrow side streets with unwitting subjects.

2. Narrow side streets with unwitting subjects.

3. Rainy back alleys illumated by signs.

3. Rainy back alleys illuminated by signs.

4. The photos look surreal and nostalgic at the same time.

4. The photos look surreal and nostalgic at the same time.

5. Even during closing time, the sights of these alleys are beautiful.

5. Even during closing time, the sights of these alleys are beautiful.

6. The warm glow of paper lanterns adds to the hazy effect of each picture.

6. The warm glow of paper lanterns adds to the hazy effect of each picture.

7. Salary men stopping by a hidden ramen shop after work.

 7. Salary men stopping by a hidden ramen shop after work.

8. It’s like stepping into a world where there are no people, only remnants.

8. It's like stepping into a world where there are no people, only remnants.

9. Night time shops advertise their wares and services in back alleys.

9. Night time shops advertise their wares and services in back alleys.

10. These sights are left unseen by most tourists who visit Japan.

10. These sights are left unseen by most tourists who visit Japan.

11. Each image seems to have a story to tell…

11. Each image seems to have a story to tell...

12. But each story depends on the interpretation of the viewer.

12. But each story depends on the interpretation of the viewer.

Masashi Wakui has many more images from this series, and you can check them out on his Flickr channel here.

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