After what’s known as “the lost decades” of economic stagnation in Japan, metropolitan Tokyo exudes fresh vitality: A recent TripAdvisor survey ranked it the best tourism city in the world, home to more Michelin three-starred restaurants than any other city. (And a museum devoted to Cup Noodles in nearby Yokohama.) Visiting Tokyo, where preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics are underway, requires a certain shift of perspective, according to Matthew Pillsbury, whose photographs from Japan appear on these pages and will be shown at New York’s Bonni Benrubi Gallery in September. Pillsbury describes Tokyo as full of slightly weird but engaging sights — like all the Mickey Mouse paraphernalia on teenage boys or the jagged arrangement of mirrors above an escalator in a downtown store. “You’re walking into this shopping mall, and your world is suddenly fragmented,” Pillsbury says. “There’s something really beautiful about it.” Julie Bosman


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