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Alvaro Arregui / iPhoneography / 2011

Between 4:30 and 5, when late night parties just finish, first trains in the dawn are approaching their first group of commuters, those who set their bodies free so frantically that they escape a glimpse from daily life. Some of them simply could not resist the rhythm of the night and lay down right on the streets.

When the clock points to 6am, the sun starts shinning throughout this surprisingly empty city. Like a computer, the city seems to reboot itself to update. Nobody notices. Nobody but the crows watching over the streets. Even securities are sleeping in their own patrol cars. This hour, this peace for a limited of time, is when Tokyo, a city of buildings sculpted by the light and shadows, shows its incredibly beauty.

Around 7, seniors begin to clean up the remaining party leftovers and litters on the streets, tidying up their own piece of the city to make it look simply perfect for those who start all over again and head to their offices either by train, walk or bike.

朝方4時半から5時頃まで続いた長い夜が終わった時、始発電車が日常生活からつかの間逃避し、全身で自由を味わう朝一の通勤者を迎えます。道路にはまた、夜のリズムに飲み込まれ、横になっている人達もいます。

そして時計の針が6時を指す頃、太陽がこの驚くほど空っぽなこの都市に光を指します。そしてこの街がコンピューターの様に再起動し、アップデートされますが誰も気付くことはありません。道路を見ている人以外は誰も気付くことがないのです。警備員ですら彼らの車の中で眠っているのですから。 この、限られた平和な時間の中、ビルでかたち造られた東京という都市がそのとてつもない美しさを見せるのです。

7時頃お年寄りの方々が夜の間に散らかった道路の清掃をはじめます。それはまるで彼らの街を、新しい一日を始め会社へ向かう通勤者達のために完璧にするようでもあります。

About the Project

Tokyo 6am is a personal iPhoneography project by Alvaro Arregui. The motivation is to show that Tokyo is not 24hr as busy as we think. It can be peaceful for a short period of time.

I was so fascinated by it the first time I went to Tokyo 東京 in December of 2010. After enjoying 5 days in the capital, I decided to come back as soon as I can & truly discover the beauty of Tokyo, the beauty “hidden” at night and at dawn.

The party was not over when the clubs closed at 5am, in fact it is when it all started. Holding an iPhone in my hand like I always do, listening to music while walking back from Shibuya 渋谷区 to the hotel in Shinjuku 新宿区, I took with me all the beauty that this city reveals solely at 6am…

Photos taken and processed with iPhone only.

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