You know Tokyo is a world-class city because it has an entire museum dedicated to photography. The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Ebisu regularly shows work by Japanese and international photographers – with, frankly, mixed results.
Their current showings, however, bat three-for-three, if that makes any sense, on the museum’s three floors of exhibition space:
The Aesthetics of Photography
1968 – Japanese Photography
World Press Photo 13
… any one of these shows makes a trip to Ebisu worthwhile. Highlights for me included NISHIHINO Sohei’s Diorama Map Tokyo and SAITO Breath-graph #155 YUBARI. I would love to insert the images I found online of each picture, but I’m not sure of their copyright status… Suffice it to say that NISHIMURA’s collage of images of central Tokyo would be my first choice for the cover of a book about The Big Sushi.
The 1968 – Japanese Photography exhibit included earlier works, including truly haunting large-format prints of victims of the A-bomb attacks during World War Two, and some great examples of so-called Yokohama photography: Edo- and Meiji-Era black-and-white pictures hand-painted with watercolours and originally sold to foreign visitors, according to the exhibition information.
BTW, you can check out the World Press exhibition online at http://www.worldpressphoto.org/awards/2013.