Tokyo, Japan is known to be one of the cleanest cities in the world. So it surprises many people when they come across the hidden homeless community in Shinjuku Station. But like all things Japanese, the homeless of Shinjuku have a unique way of living.
Its a unique community that has self organized and doesn’t trouble those around them. Take a look at these photographs from photographer Michael Wolf.
The homeless in Tokyo live in box homes that are organized like a small town.
The box designs range from extremely simple to extremely complex.
Some of the homeless divide their box homes into rooms.
They are extremely well organized and adhere to a rule system that keeps order within the community.
Many of the homeless in Shinjuku have been living in the community for more than ten years.
The homeless lay in plain sight for everyone to see. They are completely ignored, as if there aren’t there.
The homes are extremely complex and each person takes a different track in designing theirs.
The homes can be packed up to clear space during the day time when Shinjuku is packed with pedestrians shopping and going to work. The packed homes aren’t disturbed by local officials.
Tourist find the sight shocking, as most assume Japan has very few homeless.
Source: Michael Wolf Photography
What the homeless are doing in the train station is quite incredible; they were able to build a community with little or no possessions. To learn more about the box men of Shinjuku Station, visit Michael Wolf’s site.