The Studio Alta building in Shinjuku, Tokyo is an icon of Japan to the rest of the world (here it is on the map). I don’t think the Japanese see it that way but it has a strange magnetic power over western journalists. If you send a news team to Japan to do a story about anything they’ll be drawn to Studio Alta and film their anchorman standing in front of it. It certainly isn’t hard to find. One of the northern exits of the massive Shinjuku train station leads to an outdoor plaza across the street from the massive outdoor video screen.
I first saw this screen in 1991 when I was 17. They were promoting Okamura Takako‘s new single Invincible Career Girl so the music video was playing on the side of the building. I was truly impressed. The day these photos were taken they were running weather reports and dopey commercials although I’ve heard they still play music videos.
Right behind Studio Alta is a series of car-free alleyways with lots of good shopping. Last time I was there I ducked into a hobby shop and bought large, roll-up flags from the UC Gundam universe. Shinjuku is a great place to go exploring and Studio Alta is a great place to start.