The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Posts tagged “shopping

Making Time

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As it has gone midnight I can safely say that, later today, I will be photographing the launch of the Apple watch in Tokyo.

Japan is one of only 9 countries where this long-anticipated and very expensive watch will be sold. Due to Japan’s position far, far to the east, The Japanese will also be among the first people in the World to be able to buy what many are calling the first true smart-watch.

And I am sure they will turn up in droves to do so if the lines outside the Apple Stores for each new iphone model are anything to go by.

Apparently such lines will be rarer for this release as appointments must be made to try out the watch and many are saying, actual, in-store purchases will not be available until the summer as they will be clearing the pre-orders first. Still I will go along to shoot what I can.

The watch is not just being sold as a tech-device though and is set to compete with other, more traditionally  branded timepieces. To this end Apple are opening an Apple Watch store in the up-market Isetan department store in Shinjuku.

The picture above was of the store about a month ago when it was just a big blank wall with the enigmatic “coming soon” message. Tomorrow it should be a much more interesting and busier place.

Now time for sleep.



UPDATE: The Apple watch release in japan was a rather subdued affair in the end with not much happening at the Apple stores at all and limited crowds at the softbank store in Omotesando where people could actually buy the watches.

Images of the first day of the Apple watch in Tokyo at my archive here:


Ebisu Garden Place, Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan. Friday September 27th 2013

The nights are drawing in. Soon I will spend a good proportion of my day shooting in the dark.

At least it is cooler though and I don’t need to carry so many T-shirts around as I am sweating less.

I might soon need to start carrying a  coat again however and that is equally a hassle.

The skies are mostly clear and blue though and the dusk does lend a certain colour, that I like, to the cityscapes.

Above is an image of the  back way into Ebisu Garden Place that I came across last Friday. So dark, so uninviting, but look at bubble-blue late evening sky!

Lot’s to do today.




Just a stock snapshot, but proving surprisingly popular here and here.

The Tesco religion spreads. Mind you have talked about this Tesco-creep before, not all globalisation is bad.




Image above is people waiting in long lines to shop at the new Uniqlo store in Ginza that opened on Friday March 16th. I didn’t photograph the opening as I was busy in the morning, and well…I just don’t care that much about fashion brands. But news is news so took a few pics later in the day of the retail experience Japan style. Basically queuing.



Odd olds

It`s funny, what with all the images I have of the great, good, beautiful, famous, infamous  and down right weird of Japan, how I seem to be mostly selling pictures of old ladies at this moment. Now this isn`t some private, members only gallery for fetid, fetish porn hidden away on my website, it just that I shot a story on an area of Tokyo called Sugamo a while back and I`m still selling the stock from that.

Sugamo caters for all the needs and mores of the senior population of this rapidly greying land, indeed everything your energetic retiree could want is available there: from old style cafes and food just like your mother used to make to walking frames, walking sticks, comfortable slipper like shoes and colourful coin purses where your pennies can be saved to buy garish fashions in large, but short, sizes. There are also crock religious healers and temples for miracles of scalpel-less surgery, panaceatic cures handed-0ut for free along with a smorgasboard of other placebos available including the famous red underware which is meant to bring the wearer health and long life.

Now as these image sales are through a stock agency I have no idea who has actually bought them, or why, but around this world quite a few of my Japanese old ladies and their red pants can be seen gracing the pages of newspapers, magazines and even trade brochures and I have to ask why anyone would want to see that!

Not that I`m complaining you understand, no thank you very much for the tickle of Dollars into my bank account; and as I`m the one who took the pictures in the first place I guess that makes me extra strange. But I have to wonder on the sudden interest that is creating this rich seam I`m currently mining.

Not that I`m complaining as I said.

More stock images of the Sugamo area of Tokyo at my archive here.


How the other half lives

Did you know that eighty percent of Louis Vuitton’s sales are to Japanese people? That is quite a scary number really and the phrase “putting all your eggs in one basket” immediately springs to find. The Japanese are a fickle people and fashions and fads come and go very quickly here. Luckily for Louis Vuitton however the Japanese woman’s love of their handbags has yet to diminish and to lever in yet another idiom I would say LV is “making hay while the sun shines”. Bigtime! 

The reason I am talking about Louis Vuitton is that up until my wife’s birthday this week I had been lucky and proud to say she was not an LV girl. Most Japanese women are. Well guess what she wanted for her birthday? So on Tuesday night I found myself in the Louis Vuitton shop in Yokohama. It was my first time in such a store and like the time I went to Raffles in Singapore for a drink I felt unworthy, under-dressed and basically too obviously poor to enter. But not until I had looked around the store did I realise I was actually too poor to enter. Now my wife may talk of the quality of the leather but I was shocked to discover that for the prices they were asking on rather small and boring handbags I could probably buy a whole cow (or two). I didn’t dare look at the price of the luggage suffice to say I have probably spent less, in total, on my ten years of travelling the world than I would need for a set of LV suitcases for a week in Hawaii Japanese style. 

I love my wife and everything but that is outrageous. I cannot understand how someone can charge that much money for something so basic. Okay so camera equipment is not cheap and if I wanted (and I do want very very much) the new Canon EOS1D Mark III it would be hard to justify the price but I can at least see where some of that money has been spent in the construction of the camera. Louis Vuitton is quality I’m sure of that but come on, 1,500 quid for a handbag!. Still LV will not lose any sleep over my paltry sanction; the shop was heaving. 

On a different note my new style website is coming along slowly. The galleries are changing dramatically getting more reportage style and hopefully cleaner and more informative. I really want to get this side of my business up to speed and will probably need to go digital soon to keep up with the established snappers in Tokyo all of whom can get their pics out a lot faster than I can. Should hopefully have the transitional style sorted out within the next few weeks and be ready to tout for business again soon after. Of course I am still available now! Talk to you soonDamon