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People in Tokyo follow the rules. All that in-line standing, traffic signal obeying, and urge-to-litter resisting is a big part of what makes our fair city one of the cleanest and safest in the world. But for many years, it also had the effect of making Tokyo a pretty boring city for street art.
A combination of cultural mores and tough anti-graffiti laws (we’ll say this upfront: tag Tokyo at your own risk!) meant that compared to metropolises like New York or Berlin, the amount of street art you’d encounter during your regular walk through the city was, for many years, on the low end of the scale.
However, Tokyo seems to be waking up to the idea that street art can help enrich a city. From hipster hotspots like Ura-Harajuku and Koenji to unexpected locations in the eastern part of the city, we’ve identified some pieces that’ll give you a feel for Tokyo’s (largely law-abiding) take on street art.
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