Suppose that you and I were sat down in a coffee house in the middle of London, exchanging travelling stories. Whilst we’re listening to such and such song, suppose we carry on with our utterly mundane conversation, when I suddenly say to you:

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‘It was a rainy night when I had to find my way to a small hotel tucked in a narrow alleyway somewhere in Chiyoda. I didn’t know what Chiyoda is, nor I had any ideas what to expect from Tokyo.

“Domo Arigato” I say to the itamae as I leave the sushi bar. I take my camera out and I start walking aimlessly through Tokyo’s most colorful and vibrant streets. It’s busy, the neon lights are overwhelmingly vivid, locals and tourists alike roam the place. I take a turn just to discover a dark and quiet side street, away from the crowds. Drawn by it, I find myself exploring a dazzling little shrine, tucked away in the darkest corners of Tokyo. A Japanese lady bows to show her respect towards the spirits as she walks out through the torii gate…

Some say that life as a traveller defines you as before and after Tokyo. Having spent months exploring the Japanese capital, I now understand the statement. Tokyo is not your ordinary city. Tokyo is serious. Tokyo is strange. Tokyo changed me and it is bound to change you too. And after meandering around those dark alleyways, eating the world’s best ramen and crossing Shibuya day in and day out, you will understand me why I go back to Tokyo, to photograph its darker corners, times and times again…’

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