Monday, July 21, 2008

"Tokyo Morning Trains (February 1991)"

My most recent post to YouTube is a video composed of many clips taken one morning between about 5:30 a.m. and 7:50 a.m., starting with the Yamanote Line in Shibuya, and then going up to Ikebukuro, where I changed to the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line and rode out to Tokorozawa (by mistake - I fell asleep on the train), and then back to Hibarigaoka, then to Shakujikoen, and finally back to Hibarigaoka.

This video picks up exactly where "night before The Train" leaves off (I'll put links to both below), and includes short clips from "Shakujikoen Sardine Run" and "Actually Full Train in 1991 (Why Flex-Time is a Good Idea)". New are several scenes of other express trains loading in Shakujikoen, as well as not so crowded trains going away from central Tokyo, and station scenes at Ikebukuro, Tokorozawa, Shakujikoen, and Hibarigaoka.

"Morning Tokyo Trains in 1991" (2 of 2)

"night before The Train" (1 of 2)

The video is a jumble of images, but keep in mind that all the images are chronological and all the images were taken on the same morning. So the images of one crowded train after another loading & leaving in Shakujikoen are not a compilation from different days, but rather just one train after another leaving on the same morning. The progression from most people sitting down at 6:30 a.m. (from Tokorozawa anyway, not from Hibarigaoka!) to some people not being able to force themselves onto the train between around 7:15 - 7:45 a.m. (from Hibarigaoka & Shakujikoen) can give you some idea of how the crush-rush morning commute works.

The unfortunate thing about the "Actually Full Train in 1991 (Why Flex-Time is a Good Idea)" video (that has been copied and reposted under various titles dozens of times over, and seen by something like three million people AFAIK), is that people with no idea how the Tokyo train system is, seem to have actually come to the conclusion that all the trains in Japan - all the time - are like that. Obviously (I would have thought anyway!), this is not the case, but maybe seeing other trains from the same morning can set some people's mistaken mental image of Tokyo's trains straight(er)....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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