Tokyo is a city that richly rewards those who wander.
I did not step inside but was content to watch the customers leave from one of the holes of this store / amusement park.
To find out more, read the TimeOut Japan blog about this destination.
Tokyo is a special place. It is so wildly exotic, yet as safe and entertaining as an amusement park.
The fruits at Harajuku have been well documented. These young ladies were spellbound by their own images on a jumbo screen hanging over the main entrance to Harajuku which displayed a live feed that was pointed at them.
They stayed there for several minutes unable to leave their doppelgangers, taking pictures of themselves taking pictures of themselves.
When I was in Chiang Mai, I did not find a fixer so instead I hired a normal tour guide to drive me around the northern hill tribe area. For the most part it was a great and fruitful couple of days, visiting villages, following whim and taking chances. There were a few times where he tried to take me to touristy shit: elephant training camps, waterfalls, etc.
The one place he did take me to that was a complete tourist trap was a Padaung Karen “village”. It was obviously a piece of show because there was a gravel parking lot to accommodate buses, lots of signage in english, the people springing up when I came by in the wooden shacks, tribal wares on display.
It was only afterwards that I did some research and realized how much controversy surrounds these “longneck” hill tribes. Please refer to this article on CNN for more information.
Putting these images up in the hope that people doing research for their trips to the hill tribes area can find this and stay away from any longneck villages. There are plenty of tribal villages to visit which are authentic and you can participate and contribute, even spending the night and doing work for and with them.
It’s a fine line. Did I document a people that are disadvantaged or was I exploiting these same people or was I even documenting their exploitation?
Apologies for the year long hiatus. I have been busy with the jobby job, but I have also been on some amazing trips. Will be posting those images soon.
So here we go.