Asakusa is one of Tokyo's older neighborhoods. But following the devastation of World War II, it was rebuilt along with many Tokyo neighborhoods were rebuilt. Asakusa still features more older buildings than many neighborhoods, though, being home to a number of Buddhist temples and Shinto festivals. It's also the oldest geisha district in Tokyo.
The neighborhood is thereby a fitting subject for nostalgia—and artist Yumiko Matsui has treated it to exactly that. She has recreated the entire neighborhood, from storefronts to street grid, in colored paper.
Inhabitat notes that Matsui was born in Osaka and now works in New York. One, upon a return trip home, she marveled at the changes to the district. "Her tiny detailed works aims to preserve the atmosphere of the old Tokyo she remembers from her childhood," Ana Lisa Alperovich writes. "A small store selling food on the street, soaring buildings emblazoned with advertising, and teahouses have all been represented using humble paper."
There's nothing really humble about it—the images make Matsui's project a massive undertaking. Architects will appreciate the conflation of paper and construction, as her diorama goes well beyond building models. Matsui even built in "scalies": paper Shibuya girls to give the neighborhood scale.