Another discovery along the Yamanoto track, which is a rare thing to see in clean and perfect Tokyo:

Yes, people actually live in here.

Being homeless in Tokyo (and Japan) is a huge issue. The homeless people here lost their jobs in most cases, or are not even well-paid enough to rent a small room, since the prices for an apartment in Tokyo are just unreasonably expensive. What they to do then, is living in simple cardboard boxes. You’ll find them in most of the public parks, under bridges and, as in the pictures, along rail tracks.

It strikes me every time I see a homeless person in the streets. They seem to feel ashamed of themselves, and they never even ask you for money. The government kind of tolerates them and their semi-permanent settlements, but sometimes the police would come and just ask them to move some place else. Homeless people don’t have a lobby in Japan, there aren’t even official statistics of how many homeless people live here. The Japanese society appears to be blind against them. And of course they suffer from major physical and mental diseases.

On top of that there’s another trend of homeless people staying overnight at 24 hour open cafés and ‘restaurants’ such as McDonalds. And even internet cafés are, with around 800 Yen per night, a cheaper option to stay for a night than renting apartments.

If you’re interested, you can read more here.