SUMMER SPECIAL|OH! THE PLACES YOU GO...
I went to the beach in Chiba with my friend Paul from Berlin. We
went for a walk after the swim. I was walking barefoot with wet
swimpants, a t-shirt, and my camera. After not even five minutes,
we got invited by a family to join them in their little BBQ lunch and
we cracked crabs with our teeth and sucked the meat out.
Then we went through the little village and started climbing up the hill.
My feet were bleeding and after stealing oranges from a tree we sat
up on the hill enjoying the view of the ocean. It was so quiet and
peaceful and I was so excited and moved by it. I took these two pictures
and they mirror the same feeling I had when I was up there.
At the last minute I got invited to a costume party,
but I didn't have a costume so I asked a girl randomly
for her eyeliner and I became a cat.
NAME|JONAS KESSELER AKA TOKYONAS
CURRENT LOCATION|TOKYO, JAPAN
How long have you been documenting your travels?
I am really in the beginning phase, so I have been trying out different cameras for different kinds of photography for the last year and a half.
What type of camera do you use?
My father gave me my very first camera when I was about nine. One of his old ones is a Nikon FM2 but I never really used it until now—I might have shot about ten rolls of film in thirteen years. I had the idea of doing photography in my head for a long, long time but never really got my act together until I found an old camera in a vintage store in Berlin, a Revue 110 film camera in bright blue. I just bought it for a couple of Euros because it looked so pretty. I was carrying it around every day and this is when I started my photography. Getting the film developed is such a hassle and half of the pictures you take don't come out.
I have been looking for a new camera, trying to find which one fits me best. I finally bought my first point-and-shoot camera in Japan about one and a half years ago, a Contax T2. Right now, I think I have about thirty different cameras at home. I even have two medium-format cameras: a Mamiya RB67 and a Pentax 67. I came to Japan with my Contax T2, Olympus MJU2, Pentax 67, and my very first camera—the Nikon FM2.
My new baby is a Contax G2 and I have to say it feels like my search for cameras has come to an end.
What prompted you to start Tokyonas (http://www.letatcestmoi.com/story/html), your weekly journal of your travels in Tokyo?
The first thing I did when I arrived in Japan was to familiarize my neighborhood by walking in Shibuya for about three hours. Japan is a very visually appealing city to me. When I got my first pictures back, I just loved them all and I started to put them in chronological order and wrote notes to remind myself all the places I've been to.
I liked the results and I still had the letatcestmoi webspace available so I decided to utilize my website to update and show my friends and family my journeys. As the images have grown on my website, I have gotten a very strong response to them.
Word got out and a few publications are planning to publish my images in their upcoming issues. I wouldn't call it my real photographic work but there are images in the site that I really like. It is still a work in progress, so I looking forward to seeing where this project will take me.
How many times have you been to Tokyo?
This is my fourth time to Tokyo and I hope I will be back soon. It is my wish to come here at least once a year for the rest of my life but I could never live in Tokyo, it's just a bit too much for me.
How do you survive jet lag?
I don't really sleep in Japan anyway so it doesn't affect me. I've gotten used to about five hours of sleep per day. Nighttime is just too precious here!
What are some of your favorite places in Tokyo? Where would we most often find Tokyonas hanging out in Tokyo?
I have been climbing random rooftops all over the place at night. It's the most beautiful, peaceful thing to do. You can never do that in any other cities. It's possible because they have staircases that lead to many shops and houses. In my opinion, the architecture in Tokyo from above looks just like someone fucked up in a game of Tetris very badly. It consists of different shapes, colors, heights, and sizes overlapping each other.
Five items that you must have when in Tokyo?
You don't need to bring anything. Tokyo has everything. You can find pretty anything you like within walking distance.
The most common sentences you use in your daily life in Tokyo?
“Thank you” (Arigatō gozai masu) and “excuse me” (Sumimasen)!
Your favorite food in Tokyo?
I have been trying to eat different things every day. My favorite thing is Western food here because they don't know how prepare it correctly. It all tastes very bad but once you have it, it brings you closer to home.
The most reckless thing you have done there?
Japan is the land of order and politeness so you try to fit in and behave!
If you could bring something back to your home from Tokyo, what would it be?
I have my pictures and memories. I just wish it could always be the same as I saw it every time I go back and visit.
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