ticket vendor

As if you need more reasons to love Japan, 100 Tokyo, an online “curated cultural guide,” recently supported a beautiful video that highlights the perfect blend of traditional culture and modern technology of Tokyo, which makes it one of the most unique and charming big cities out there.

▼ Let’s start with the video itself.

The video does a wonderful job of juxtaposing the old with the new, and the traditional with the modern. The creators not only found different examples of each, but they found single people or places that utilize elements of both.

▼ A good ol’ iron and an advanced post-cleaning wrapping machine.


▼ A traditional Japanese house vs. a room with embedded technology and futuristic feel.


▼ Caring for traditional bonsai plants by hand vs. mass-producing plants in a lab.


Then there are those that mix traditional and modern in the same body.

▼ Traditional garb and an old-school job done with technology.

fish guy

▼ This looks like a traditional tea ceremony room, but a closer look reveals contemporary curved lines and a modern feel.

tea ceremony

▼ A small traditional shrine on the roof of a skyscraper.

rooftop shrine

The video is entitled Uguisu, or Japanese bush warbler. Throughout the song you can hear the warbler’s calls, a distinctive tweet that has made the bird not only a symbol of spring, but also a common motif in Japanese poetry, dating back as far as the eighth century. As with the images in the video, the song of the bird, which could be thought of as a traditional Japanese sound, is mixed with more modern electronic music. How fitting! In case you’re wondering, the song, “miss you,” was created by Bo en, a British song writer.

On a personal note, after spending many years living in the Japanese countryside, I came to see Tokyo as just another big city. This video and the 100 Tokyo website, however, are great reminders that it really isn’t just another big city and you don’t have to dig very deep to find the charming traditional aspects that are engrained in all of Japan, making it such a special place.

Source: Vimeo (Takuya Hosogane) via Karapaia, 100 Tokyo
Video/Images: Vimeo (Takuya Hosogane