Category Archives: Showa Snap

SHOWA SNAP: Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, 1974

The Shibuya Crossing, also known as the Shibuya Scramble, is the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world. It’s the intersection Sean’s Evo, Han’s Veilside RX-7, and the Drift King’s Z (digitally) slid through in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, and … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: An Isuzu escapes a flood of taxis in 1966 Tokyo

With the popularization of the motorcar by the mid 1960s, Tokyo’s pre-war narrow streets could become quite crowded. Even today, there are many side streets where no sidewalks exist and cars simply whiz by as pedestrians side-step street signs and … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Everyone come see the brand new 1966 Toyota Corolla

The debut of the Toyota Corolla was a big deal in 1966. Though, it’s quite likely that even Toyota didn’t know how big of a deal the new model would be. The idea was a small but sporty compact that … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: A Toyota police car pulls over a Datsun, 1965

Like many cities around the world, traffic has died down dramatically due to stay-at-home advisories stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway has seen a 60 percent drop in traffic, meaning it probably has not been this traffic-free since … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Kawaramachi-Sanjo, Kyoto, 1972

Kawaramachi-Sanjo, a shopping and nightlife district just northeast of the historic Gion section of Kyoto, was a lively spot after the sun went down. Sharp cars would cruise down Kawaramachi street, past a Fujiya Grill. On this particular 1972 evening, … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Peko-chan looms large over Ginza, circa 1964

Four hundred years ago, Sukiyabashi was a bridge crossing the outermost moat of Edo Castle, which separating nobles and samurai from ordinary townsfolk. Post-war, it became one of the two main intersections in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza shopping district. In 1964, … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Tokyo Tower under construction, circa 1958

This Tokyo street scene shows a variety of vehicles, from sedans like the Toyopet Crown to large trucks like the Toyota Toyoace to three-wheelers like the Daihatsu CO10T. What really makes the shot, though, is the ghostly bones of Tokyo … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Akita Prefecture, circa 1965

Akita Prefecture, where Japan’s bear-hunting dogs get their namesake, once boasted the northernmost tram on Honshu, Japan’s main island. In this cool shot, all the greats of the early Sixties are seen. A Toyopet Crown waits for pedestrians in the … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Tokyo Imperial Plaza, 1967

With Tokyo Tower looming in the background, the streets in front of the Imperial Palace were absolutely teeming in 1967. Four lanes of traffic in each direction couldn’t keep the stream of Crowns, Cedrics, Glorias, Bluebirds, Publicas, and Minicas flowing. … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Chiyoda, Tokyo, 1972

Tokyo’s subway system is a confounding wonder, but as late as 1972 the metropolis still had streetcars that drove alongside traffic. Here in the Chiyoda district, 510 Bluebirds, Cedrics, Sunnys, Corona Mark IIs, and kujira Crowns teem among the rails. … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Nagoya, 1972

The Nagoya TV Tower was completed in June of 1954 is one of the key landmarks of the central Japanese city. In this photo from 1972, a lineup of taxis before it have the typical Toyota Crowns and Nissan Cedrics, … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Ginza, Tokyo, 1971

The clock tower of the Wako department store has seen countless cars pass beneath its face. Standing over one of the busiest intersections of Tokyo, the 4-chome crossing in Ginza, since 1932, it even predates times when cars were common … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Amago Bridge, Iwaki Prefecture, 1977

For our first Showa Snap of the Reiwa Era, let’s go back to Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture in August of 1977. The Amago bridge traces its origins back to the times of the samurai. It was part of the Hama … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Takamatsu 1972

This slide, said to be taken in 1972 in Takamatsu, is ostensibly of an interesting-looking restaurant that appears to have a small castle-like structure perched atop it. However, what’s even more interesting is the S50 Toyota Crown sedan, Hino truck … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Los Angeles in the early 1980s

Welcome to the first Showa Snap from the US. Taken in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, it contains a glorious sampling of Nihon steel. Right in the foreground there’s three sporty coupes from three major manufacturers, all lined up … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Fukuyama Station, 1975

Fukuyama Station in Hiroshima Prefecture is located right by the 399-year-old Fukuyama Castle. Bullet trains whiz in and out of the station on a daily basis, and over 20,000 people pass though it every day. Back in 1975, parking at … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Nakagin Capsule Tower, 1972

Designed by Kisho Kurosawa, the Nakagin Capsule Tower is one of Tokyo’s most famous buildings, and a symbol of Japan’s post-war emergence as an innovator of industrial design. The building consisted of two concrete towers and 140 modular capsules, each … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: A daruma Celica under Mt Fuji

So far Showa Snaps have only taken a look at cityscapes. Today’s ventures far out into the stretches between Japan’s major metropolitan areas. This stretch of pristine expressway is most likely between Tokyo and Nagoya, which passes beneath the shadow … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: The Shuto, circa 1969

The Shuto is the beltway system that circles downtown Tokyo, home to many a traffic jam during the day, and fleets of street racers at night. Construction began in 1962, and in this postcard from 1969 or 1970, you can … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Yurakucho Crossing, 1971

For this edition of Showa Snap, we take a look at the same area as the one Dave posted, kicking off the series. That area is Yurakucho Crossing, just south of Tokyo Station. where an elevated Shinkanesen¬†embarks from the capital … Continue reading

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