Another Side

Sho Niiro
4 min readApr 13, 2015

山谷 : Sanya, flop house area in Tokyo (2007–2014)

Sanya is the vernacular name for a district full of cheap hostels, in an area of less than two square kilometers located in the northern part of Tokyo. As many people were drawn into Sanya from the lower strata of society, sometimes this included those with mental disorders, and this contributed to Sanya`s image as a slum district.

In more recent times automation has reduced the need for manual workers, and local residents have aged, with the result that the majority of the former labourers still living in Sanya are now dependent on social welfare.

Another side

The World Cup hosted by Japan in 2002 also changed Sanya. Many overseas tourists used the cheap hostels in Sanya, and some hostels specialized in such visitors, accepting foreigners and Japanese alike. Nowadays little remains of the working town of Sanya.

Old lady at flop house in Sanya, Tokyo. Was so kind, so nice but 3 days after of this, she throw herself into the river and never return with struggles.


He wrote a letter to me by his own words.

The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.

- Mother Teresa

Sho Niiro (b. 1982) is a photographer born and based in Yokohama, Japan. Now in Tokyo. First opportunity I met Photography was when I took Ikko Narahara’s Photo book “Human Land (1956)” casually at library, I was 19 then. After that once I began to study physics and science at Univ., but switched and concentrated Photography. My theme is to record the landscape and a city that is or will be lost by redevelopment and any other reasons.

I believe that it is the power of the photography. And this 7 years, I have taken flop house area (like a slum) in Tokyo, and published 2 books about it. I’ve taken while working in the flop house actually and this project is still going on. I published 2nd photo book “Another Side” on 2012 by using crowd funding, this was a first project in Japan.


1982 Born in Yokohama, Japan
2001 Graduated Azabu high school
2002 Enter Waseda Univ. and major in applied physics
2006 Drop out Waseda Univ.
2009 Participated a Gallery Niepce (-2010)
2012 Teach how to make a digital print as a teacher at Kawasaki city museum

and more

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