Trains are an integral part of daily life in Japan, supporting commutes, errands and all other forms of daily life. And while their existence can be taken for granted, their many forms and colors add to the uniqueness of each neighborhood they traverse. Capturing the scenery of the city and the warmth of trains lines that envelop them throughout the seasons is street-walking illustrator Shinjiro Ogawa.
a side street near Shōin-jinja-mae Station on the Tokyu Setagaya Line in Tokyo
Because trains and their infrastructure are such vital bloodlines for Japanese cities, they are also constantly changing and being upgraded. The nostalgic moments in time that Ogawa depicts are both an homage to the trains but also a testament to how they and their surrounding neighborhoods once looked.
Originally from Nagoya, Ogawa attended university in Tokyo where he obtained his law degree. After working for a Japanese auto maker he pivoted to illustration. The artist is having an exhibition at Ginza Tsutaya in Tokyo from September 1 – 30, 2023 where you can see his work in person. He also has a shop where you can purchase prints.
Keisei Tateishi Station in Tokyo. Work began in 2022 to elevate the train tracks so this cityscape no longer looks like this.
Obayashi Station in the city of Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. It appeared in the 2011 film “Hankyu Railways – A 15-minute Miracle”
A wintry view of Kugayama Station along the Inokashira Line in Tokyo