Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Nakano, Harajuku, Kodaira, Shinbashi & Koenji"

More video clips. All new stuff from November 2009, except the first one, which is of snow in Nakano and Hibarigaoka in December 1991.

"Rain to Snow - Nakano & Hibarigaoka - Chuo & Seibu Lines - 1991"

Starting on the Chuo Line platform in Shinjuku, taking a Chuo Line train to Nakano, walking around on some of Nakano's main & back streets, and then views of snowy Nakano streets. Walking through the snow to Nakano Station, taking a Chuo Line train to Shinjuku, and then jumping forward to a snowy Seibu-Ikebukuro Line train in Ikebukuro that I take to Hibarigaoka. The video finishes with views of the narrow streets of Hibarigaoka.

Of some historical worth, note the sounds on the Chuo Line train between Nakano and Shinjuku. The old Chuo Line trains produced quite different sounds from the newer type. Last week I saw on older type still being used, but they are very rare now and will soon be completely off the Chuo Line rails (whether they're being scrapped or sent to some other line I don't know).

"Harajuku Back Street Fashion Shops - November 2009"

A walk on a back street in Harajuku. Taken on a weekday evening, there are not many people on the street or in the shops, but on weekends this would look much busier. This area is roughly between Shibuya and Harujuku stations. Recorded on November 18th, 2009.

"Harajuku Takeshita-dori - November 2009"

A walk along the full length of Takeshita-dori. This street has a couple of sections walled off where they've torn down a section of buildings, so eventually, they'll raze everything and build something new (this is the way of Tokyo, city of "Nothing old allowed!"), but for now, much the same crowd of (ever changing & not changing) middle-school and high-school girls (and some boys) like to stroll and shop here. Leading directly to one of the entrance/exits of Harajuku Station, it's a good location for this type of shop. (Recorded on November 18th, 2009.)

"Where is Everybody? - Harajuku, November 18th, 2009"

Mostly empty Harajuku back streets. Depending on the human density of the city you live in, this might look busy, but for Tokyo, it looks downright desolate. Relaxing to walk along the street when it's like this, but looking in the mostly empty shops, you can't help but think that the economy really isn't doing very well (which it isn't), and worry about the future. Maybe it's best to not think anything, and just enjoy the space? Naw... you have to think. (Recorded on November 18th, 2009)

"Autumn Day in Chuo Park in Kodaira" November 23rd, 2009

Riding out along the Tamagawa Canal starting around Kichijoji, I came upon a nice park in Kodaira - Chuo Koen (Central Park), with playgrounds, a soccer field, food stalls, trees with their leaves turning, and an outdoor concert. Quite nice overall for a cool autumn day. About as good of an autumn day as any I've seen. (This video was taken just before 3:00 p.m., even though it looks more like it's nearly 5:00. Tokyo is in the wrong time zone, so at this time of year, it gets dark shockingly early.)

"Bossa Nova Concert in Kodaira Chuo Park" November 23rd, 2009

The outdoor concert mentioned above (in Kodaira's Chuo Park) was bossa nova music. This video shows the appreciative crowd under the colorful leaves of the park's trees - which were just beginning to change in Tokyo's autumn.

"Tamagawa-josui Canal Cycling (1/2) - November 23rd, 2009"

Built in 1653 to supply Edo (current Tokyo) with water, it is still used (I think) to supply Mitaka with some of its water needs, but to the people living along its path, it's more important as a long green beltway (trees on both sides help stabilize the banks of the canal) used for strolls, jogging, and cycling. Some stretches are more convenient than others, and you have to switch sides from time to time and navigate past paths full of fire-breathing machinery.

"Tamagawa-josui Canal Cycling (2/2) - November 23rd, 2009"

Another part of my Monday, November 23rd, 2009 bicycle ride along the canal.

"Concert in the Park - November 23rd, 2009"

Another view of the bossa nova concert in Kodaira's Chuo Park.

"Shinbashi Station - Platform Jungle Walk-A" (November 2009)

Taking a Tokaido Line train up to Shinbashi from Shinagawa, I started at the Tokyo end of the platform and walked all the way to the Shinagawa end. I'm not sure I had ever walked the full length of a 15-car train/platform before, so I was curious how long it would take. It seems to take between four and five minutes, depending on your walking speed and how many obstacles you have to maneuver around as you make your way down the platform.

Also in the video (to the right and left of the Tokaido Line platform), passing Keihin-Tohoku Line trains, passing Yamanote Line trains, and passing Shinkansen super express trains.

"Koenji Jungle Walk - November 2009"

Walking around on the streets of Koenji on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009. Areas like this are nice to walk around in - particularly in the evening, when people are out shopping. This is one of the things I like about living in Tokyo - you can start from a station somewhere in the city, and just by walking in a random direction, tumble on ares like in this video.

This is only possible however in areas where most people don't have cars, and use their feet and trains to travel. The car culture destroys this kind of thing, because then the streets are made for fire-breathing machinery instead of air-breathing people....

"Koenji Side Streets - November 2009"

More walking down side streets in Koenji on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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