6 May, Monday

JAPAN, Tokyo – With a mind boggling array of shops, bars, clubs and eateries catering to a spectrum of tastes, Shinjuku is Japan’s most colourful ward.

The dizzying district is at its most raucous after dark, when salarymen, students, shoppers, cosplayers and gawk-eyed tourists throng the area in search of sustenance, libations and other liberties.

Shinjuku’s status as the busiest railway station in the world surely adds to the hustle, but in the quiet hours – as the workday slowly transforms the morning’s energetic commuters into the sore-footed and homesick – a gentler, more genuine character emerges, not unlike a geisha after her shift, now grinning at you with hair down and the pink of unmade lips.

As the sun dips on another day, the soft hues will soon be replaced by harder-edged neons as shopkeepers ready themselves for the evening’s customers; just another day in the never-ending cycle of commerce and conviviality that is Shinjuku.

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