Omotesando in black and white

Omotesando wasn’t my original destination that day in 2020. I had planned to photograph an art museum near Gaienmae station.  But due to heavy traffic passing in front of it, it was impossible.  So I moved to another.  Unbelievably, I couldn’t get pictures there either.  It had the same problem!  What was I to do? I needed to find somewhere quickly.

As I was very near Harajuku, I decided to try there. That was my new plan for the afternoon, a walk along Omotesando. It is one of the most famous streets in Tokyo.

Omotesando Hills building
Omotesando Hills.

Maybe you are wondering about the origin of the name. “Omote” can mean front or main. “Sando” is a road that leads to a shrine.

If you put them together, they mean a main road that leads to a shrine. In this case, that would be Meiji Jingu. You’ll find plenty of sandos in Japan! But this one is special.

About one hundred years ago, there wasn’t much in the area. But, since Meiji Shrine is important, many businesses moved there. And after the war, it became even busier when nearby Yoyogi Park was used to house American forces.

Over time, it evolved into today’s center of Japanese fashion. All the big fashion brands have shops there. Louis Vitton, Boss, Gucci, and Dior, just to name a few. If you like expensive shopping, you’ll love Harajuku and its Omotesando. Explore, and you’ll find more reasonably priced places too, but the image at least is high-class and expensive.

Omotesando road

For me, the best thing about it is the architecture of the buildings. It is great. That is why I go. Along the street are some of the best in Tokyo. If I had to choose the one I like best, it would be the Hugo Boss building. I think it reflects the brand’s style. The building oozes chic.

Do you recall me criticizing Tokyo for having bland architecture some time ago? Omotesando is different. I must admit it has some good designs. It is a rare spot in the city. But we need more.

Iceberg building
The Iceberg.

I wanted to shoot in color for this article, but it was completely overcast.  So it seemed a great time for black and white.  As always, I used the Acros film simulation.  I love the extra contrast it adds.

Anyway, I enjoyed my afternoon there. It didn’t work out as planned, but it is always good to photograph beautiful places and buildings. One day I would like to do it in color, though! That would be something different.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. And I would also like to hear any thoughts about the buildings and architecture of Omotesando. Have you noticed any changes to the area since 2020?

My Omotesando photo gear:

  • Camera body: Fujifilm X-T2
  • Lens: Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F/2.8

Other photo spots in Omotesando

Omotesando Hills interior
Inside Omotesando Hills.

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