After arriving in Tokyo in the 1970s for what had to be a short trip, Greg Girard instantly made up his mind to stay there. The photographer got a part-time gig working as an English teacher, giving him plenty of time to explore the city with his camera. Renting a darkroom and making black and white prints, and sending his slide film to a commercial processing lab, his pictures from this period remained largely unseen until The Magenta Foundation put them together into a book called Tokyo-Yokosuka 1976-1983.

More info: greggirardpictures.com | Instagram

#1

Two School Girls, 1979

Two School Girls, 1979

Greg Girard Report

G4dg3tG4l 2 weeks ago

uh oh... am I the only one who thought that this pic can be straight out of a horror movie scene? :(

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Having just arrived in Tokyo for the first time in 1976, Greg looked out at the city from the Yamanote Line, wondering why nobody had ever told him about this place. "There was nothing at that time, in terms of available information, that could prepare you for your first visit to the world's biggest, most intense and most unknown city on Earth," he told Bored Panda. "I left my luggage in a coin locker and walked around the streets and alleys of Shinjuku all night and by morning decided I was going to try and figure out how to stay there."

#2

Ikebukuro Subway Station, 1976

Ikebukuro Subway Station, 1976

Greg Girard Report

G. 2 weeks ago

Looks so futuristic

"Tokyo felt further away than it does now, but that's true of everywhere, of course," the photographer said. "In a way, Tokyo today seems to be the new Paris by comparison: foreign enough and yet familiar enough for North American visitors to not really have to struggle too much. There weren't too many foreign faces in the streets or on the traits at that time, no English menus in restaurants. One of the first things you had to do in those days was to learn katakana and hiragana in order to read a menu (pointing at plastic food replicas in a cafe window displays gets old fast)."

#3

Shinjuku, Cinema For Men, 1983

Shinjuku, Cinema For Men, 1983

Greg Girard Report

Oathbraker 2 weeks ago

For a country that produces quite a lot of pornography I find it curious they go through the trouble of censoring it. Especially if movie posters looked like this in the '80s.

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"But, apart from the many foreign faces in the Tokyo streets today, in other ways the place doesn't feel terribly different. I'm not sure if that's because I want it to be so, or if the essential tone is actually relatively unchanged. The mix of small and intimate with the massive and anonymous. The refuge and adventure of nightlife. The possibility of human connection, friendship, intimacy like something almost breathable in the air. Human electricity. And it's opposite, as much quiet and isolation as you want as well. Those essential things still feel like they're there."

#4

Keiko, Yoyogi Park, 1979

Keiko, Yoyogi Park, 1979

Greg Girard Report

Luis Milian 2 weeks ago

the background tho. lol

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Greg lived in Tokyo for about three years in the late 70s and visited frequently from Hong Kong and Shanghai in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. He lives in Canada now but still visits the city 2-3 times a year. "I'd visit more if I could."

#5

Shinjuku 5:09am, 1979

Shinjuku 5:09am, 1979

Greg Girard Report

rai mei 2 weeks ago

was it raining? or is the road just shiny

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#6

Shinjuku, 1979

Shinjuku, 1979

Greg Girard Report

Susan Bawden 2 weeks ago

We lived in a suburb of Tokyo from 1977-1981, these photos bring back a lot of memories.

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#7

Lobby, Keio Plaza Hotel, 1980

Lobby, Keio Plaza Hotel, 1980

Greg Girard Report

Sveta Smirnova 2 weeks ago

I took bus from there to airport a few years back. Nice place.

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#8

Bus Stop, 1977

Bus Stop, 1977

Greg Girard Report

Meeow 1 week ago

You don't really see much in the major cities anymore, only in the local area

#9

Shinjuku, 05:00 Am, 1979

Shinjuku, 05:00 Am, 1979

Greg Girard Report

kurisutofu 1 week ago

You know that road. You know exactly where it ends.

#10

Kabukicho Neon, 1977

Kabukicho Neon, 1977

greg girard Report

Sveta Smirnova 2 weeks ago

Another nice place at night

#11

Juli, Tokyo Bay. 1979

Juli, Tokyo Bay. 1979

Greg Girard Report

Ivana Bogdan 2 weeks ago

She looks like she haven't sleep for 2 days.

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#12

Jakuza Greeting, Mr. Donuts, 1979

Jakuza Greeting, Mr. Donuts, 1979

Greg Girard Report

Exquisite Spam 2 weeks ago

How would one respond to that?

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#13

Woman Kneeling In Street. 1980

Woman Kneeling In Street. 1980

Greg Girard Report

Joni Stephens 2 weeks ago

Where is she? Why is she kneeling? She looks sad.

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#14

Well Dressed Young Man, 1976

Well Dressed Young Man, 1976

Greg Girard Report

Give me a beagle any day... 2 weeks ago

That tie though! "Boss! Boss! The plane! The plane!!"

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#15

Haneda Airport, Tokyo, 1979

Haneda Airport, Tokyo, 1979

Greg Girard Report

Roald Andresen 2 weeks ago

The misspelling of Kyoto.

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#16

American Sailor In Bar, 1976

American Sailor In Bar, 1976

Greg Girard Report

birdhouse 2 weeks ago

Loving the bowling game behind him.

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#17

Department Store Elevator Operator, 1977

Department Store Elevator Operator, 1977

greg girard Report

The Girl on Fire 2 weeks ago

I find this one really creepy for some reason.

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#18

Man In Suit, 1979

Man In Suit, 1979

Greg Girard Report

Danny Pross 2 weeks ago

Any relation to Ronnie Corbett? :-)

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#19

Shibuya Crossing, 1976

Shibuya Crossing, 1976

Greg Girard Report

Aunt Messy 2 weeks ago

It hasn't changed that much.

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#20

Pasolini In Tokyo, 1976

Pasolini In Tokyo, 1976

Greg Girard Report

Evelyn Moon 2 weeks ago

Well that's creepy.

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#21

Shin-Okubo, 1979

Shin-Okubo, 1979

Greg Girard Report

Meeow 1 week ago

That looks like a haunted location.

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#22

Shinjuku, Kabuki-Cho (USA Club), 1976

Shinjuku, Kabuki-Cho (USA Club), 1976

Greg Girard Report

Alex K 2 weeks ago

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sucky sucky five dalla

#23

Judy Ong, Parco TV Commercial, 1980

Judy Ong, Parco TV Commercial, 1980

Greg Girard Report

Robin Goldson-Forgo 2 weeks ago

This looks like a still from the original Bladerunner. Crazy

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#24

Man In Kabuki-Cho. 1976

Man In Kabuki-Cho. 1976

Greg Girard Report

Michelle Line 2 weeks ago

Dressed for the '80's.

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#25

Near Haneda Airport, Tokyo, 1979

Near Haneda Airport, Tokyo, 1979

Greg Girard Report

birdhouse 2 weeks ago

YKK, isn't that the zipper company??

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#26

Man In Cinema Lobby, 1982

Man In Cinema Lobby, 1982

Greg Girard Report

Evelyn Moon 2 weeks ago

"Cinema" "lobby". Ew, this is like.. a wank toilet.

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#27

'lorena', 11pm Show, 1979

'lorena', 11pm Show, 1979

Greg Girard Report

#28

Tokyo Bay, Ferry To Okinawa, 1982

Tokyo Bay, Ferry To Okinawa, 1982

Greg Girard Report

Daniel Murúa Martínez 1 week ago

Hang in there, Okinawa.

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#29

Canal Near Haneda Airport, 1979

Canal Near Haneda Airport, 1979

Greg Girard Report

McQueen 2 weeks ago

Back in the days when your Aiwa-stereo was the pride of the living room.