The Surprising Ways Tokyo Has Changed In The Last 10 Years

When photos of Tokyo taken, for example, in the 1950s are compared with recent ones, it's easy to see how much the city has changed. But what about in the last decade?

[Images: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

In 2007, writer Tatsuo Mitsuchitook took photos at various spots throughout the city. Then he returned to those same places this year and once again took comparison shots. The result is fascinating.

The images below are courtesy of Mitsuchi and website Daily Portal Z.

Toranomon (2007)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Toranomon (2017)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Don't believe this is the same place?

[Images: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Mitsuchi uploaded this helpful image on Daily Portal Z to point out that, yes, this is the same spot.

In front of Tokyo Station (2007)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

In front of Tokyo Station (2017)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Ginza (2007)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Ginza (2017)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Otemachi (2007)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Otemachi (2017)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Look how recent the new buildings are.

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

What caused these changes? Ten years ago, there were more old Showa-era buildings in Tokyo. They were built right after the war and were starting to show their age, so they have been replaced with gleaming new structures. Other buildings were only a few decades old, like the ones in the 2007 Otemachi photo.

Japan has a long history of building buildings only to tear them down with new ones. This is an earthquake-prone country, so that makes sense. But it's deeper than that: The main shrine buildings at Japan's most important Shinto shrine Ise Jingu are destroyed every 20 years. This has been going on for over 1300 years and is something about Japan that hasn't changed.

Nippori Station (2007)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Nippori Station (2017)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Also, during the past decade, there has been an increase in foreign tourists, especially from China, leading to hotel construction and renovation. Not all the changes have been drastic.

Akihabara (2007)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Akihabara (2017)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

But many of them have been.

Iidabashi Station (2007)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

Iidabashi Station (2017)

[Image: Tatsuo Mitsuchi | Daily Portal Z]

For more, check out Daily Portal Z. You can also follow Mitsuchi on Twitter here.


Comments

    Happens everywhere. Got a few buildings between work and the train station I take home that weren't there when I started.

    Stupid passage of time, slow down!

    This was really interesting. My wife and I are celebrating 10 years of being together, which happens to coincide with when we lived in Japan (and when we were last there). We are really keen to get back soon.

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