Vancouver Wedding Photographer Tomasz Wagner

Urban Japan on 35mm Film

We sped away from the island of Shikoku knowing that the last part of our trip would reveal increasingly urban areas of Japan—Kanazawa 金沢市, Kyoto 京都市, and Tokyo 東京.

When the past two weeks are marked by isolating wilderness and people who recognize you by the backpacks you hoist onto your shoulders it’s a bit jarring when the landscape increasingly becomes grey and neon, more crowded and muffled with the din of movement and of waiting in queues. We were looking forward to a bit—or a lot—of civilization however even though the throngs of tourists with their iPads reflecting light into our eyes sometimes made us long for Yakushima or the wilds of Shikoku and its cedar groves.

Kanazawa had us exploring Kenroku-en Garden 兼六園, observing the groundskeepers caring for every bit of pathway and the sunshine that made even the smallest crevices viscerally bright. Kyoto and its bamboo groves, turquoise water, temples, pavilions, potted gardens, and soft serve iced cream. We strayed away from the crowds when we could and for a moment even had a stretch of the Arashiyama 嵐山 bamboo grove to ourselves. In Tokyo, we located a number of independent camera shops, all managed by grumpy shopkeepers and lit with fluorescent lights; stared at men staring at manga; visited the Tsukiji Fish Market 築地市場 when all had settled down for fish and fisherpeople alike; immersed ourselves by walking in and around and around Akihabara, Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya, Ginza, Ebisu, Ikebukuro, Roppongi, Shimokitazawa, and other places that slip our conscious thoughts but not our muscle memory—as if we’ve made storehouses of our legs and of our hands.

After all, it only seems right to walk and feel our feet pulsing with a city so alive and yet so hushed by movement and waiting—the very same we were greeted with and the same as we departed.

We’ll return some day.

Written by Amy & Tomasz

All photographs by Tomasz Wagner on a Contax G2 using the 21mm f2.8, 45mm f2, and 90mm f2.8
Shot on Kodak 160, developed by ABC Photo and self-scanned with the Pakon F135

Music — Join Me on My Avalanche by Explosions in the Sky

Naruto Whirlpools, Shikoku Travel Blog, Tomasz Wagner, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
People in Shikoku, Tomasz Wagner, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kanazawa Castle, Tomasz Wagner, Castles in Japan, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Hanami in Kanazawa, Tomasz Wagner, Cherry Blossoms in Japan, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kanazawa, Tomasz Wagner, Spring in Japan, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Hanami in Japan, Tomasz Wagner, Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Hanami in Japan, Tomasz Wagner, Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Beautiful Gardens in Japan, Tomasz Wagner, Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Japan Street Photography, Tomasz Wagner, Kyoto, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Bamboo Forest in Japan, Tomasz Wagner, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Famous Sites in Kyoto, Tomasz Wagner, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Arashiyama, Tomasz Wagner, Kyoto, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Arashiyama, Tomasz Wagner, Kyoto, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kyoto, Tomasz Wagner, Japan Street Photography, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, Tomasz Wagner, Kyoto, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kyoto Transportation, Tomasz Wagner, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kyoto on Film, Tomasz Wagner, Buddhist Temples in Japan, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kiyomizudera Temple, Tomasz Wagner, Kyoto, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kyoto on Film, Tomasz Wagner, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Kyoto, Tomasz Wagner, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Mobile Coffee Shop, Tomasz Wagner, Kyoto, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tokyo, Tomasz Wagner, Manga, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tsukiji, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tsukiji, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tsukiji, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo After Hours, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tsukiji, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo After Hours, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Amy Tran, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Akihabara, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tokyo International Forum, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo Architecture, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tokyo International Forum, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo Architecture, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tokyo Street Photography, Tomasz Wagner, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tokyo Transportation, Tomasz Wagner, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Inside Tokyo Skytree, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo Architecture, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Tokyo Skytree, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo Architecture, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography
Blurred Tokyo, Tomasz Wagner, Tokyo Architecture, Contax G2, Japan 35mm Film Photography

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  1. Kdin: You're photos are absolutely amazing. :) — Friday, April 17th, 2015
  2. Sam: Absolutely breathtaking, the way you've captured such a bustling city in both repose and action. — Sunday, November 6th, 2016

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