When I first moved to Japan in 2009, Golden Gai was a pretty quiet place. You wouldn’t see so many people in the alley even after sundown on a Friday. If you would have spied in any of the bars you would have seen one or two patrons drinking and talking with the bartender, but it was also common to see some empty establishments. It was also very hard for someone who didn’t speak Japanese to get serve or to feel welcome in some of the pubs.

Now it’s very different, Golden Gai is in every tourist guide book and youtube videos about travelling to Tokyo. You often see a sign on doors that can read “ English OK!” and the streets are crawling with tourist. It’s great for business, but not so much if you are trying to capture photos. …

Obviously, Kyoto attracts a lot of tourists every year. With the rich history, many temples, shrines and its friendly citizens, it can be sometimes hard to avoid visiting only the tourist spots of the old capital.

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Pontocho river bank.

A popular spot to hang out for locals and university student is on the border of the Kamogawa (literally “duck river”). But don’t get intimidated, even though the crowd around here is a bit younger, everyone is very welcoming. It’s perfectly safe at any time of the day, like pretty much everywhere in Japan, so don’t worry about going there with children. You can also benefit from the fact that you can drink outdoor in Japan. …

Megacities fascinate me. I just love exploring all the small streets and rooftops, they always surprise me with unique scenery or an amazing view.

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