When I lived in Kyoto, Japan that one year, I used to trek down the back streets of Shijo-Dori by myself. There were random hidden stores around the corner, back alleys connected to exits from department stores, lines of bicycle racks, and small traditional Japanese houses. It was an interesting scene, as it highly contrasts with the brightly lit big streets, which locals and tourists busily roam through during the day.
How I imagine the images of Japanese backstreets, are a lot like how Masahi Wakui’s photographs portray them to be. As a local photographer, Wakui adds a sense of cinematic quality to these casual scenes of the daily night life. Appearing like they are screen shots from different anime and films, his highly captivating images are filled with details, including lanterns, lights and pedestrians, giving the almost dreamlike images a somewhat grounded and realistic dimension. With colors that are hard to explain even with words, the works by Wakui has a distinct look that is signature to himself, where it is capable of offering a different, yet magical insight into the Japan cityscape.