Still off beaten tracks, and running around off-schedule - me that is, not the trains! No pun intended there, but as soon as I wrote that, it seemed like a bad set of words to introduce some train videos with - "off the tracks" and "off schedule"! In any case, here's the latest batch of videos, showing trains that are both *on* the tracks and *on* schedule:
"Manual Train Operation - Seibu-Kokubunji Line" (December 31st, 2009)
Newer trains tend to have a single lever that is pulled back and pushed forward to control acceleration and braking (back for acceleration, forward for braking I think) - but the old type trains have separate controls for acceleration and braking - the operation of which is clearly shown in this video clip - taken on the Seibu-Kokubunji Line on December 31st, 2009. 手動電車の操作 西武国分寺線
"Shinjuku South Entrance/Exit - January 5th, 2009, PM"
View of the outside of the South entrance/exit of Shinjuku Station, and then passing through the ticket barrier, and down the stairs to the Chuo Line platform. Dispassionately watching this at home, it seems different than when not looking at (or thinking in) the tunnel vision that cameras have. In the day-to-day navigation of Tokyo, it's more of a constant scan of your surroundings from way-point to way-point. Collision avoidance becomes second nature.
"Shibuya to Ebisu via Yamanote Line (in HD) on January 31st, 2009" (091231-1308)
Riding the Yamanote Line from Shibuya to Ebisu - looking out the front cab in the early afternoon on December 31st, 2009.
This is my first upload of a high-definition video to YouTube, so I'd be interested in hearing feedback regarding how it looks and plays back on your system. Feedback so far indicates that it plays okay at the larger size. The weight of the HD files makes for long uploads though, so I probably won't be uploading very many in this format. 渋谷駅から恵比寿駅まで、電車の前の風景 (Recorded on Thursday, December 31st, 2009, at 1:08 p.m.)
"Car Culture Japan - Bicycle Ride in January 2010"
Lest people think that everyone always gets everywhere by train in Japan, I thought I'd toss this car-culture view on-line. Particularly outside central Tokyo, many people rely on their cars as much as US drivers. Much of Japan is a car culture now. Areas designed for walking are much more enjoyable to walk around in, but this area isn't bad on a bicycle - aside from having to breath noxious gases from fire-breathing machinery that is. (I know - I know. Listen, when I'm behind the wheel of a car, I love cars! But recently I'm almost never behind the wheel of a car or even in a car as a passenger, and when you're walking or cycling, cars & trucks seem like quite nasty contraptions - dangerous, noisy, noxious, etc.)
"Kokubunji to Tachikawa via Chuo Line" (100108-1133)
Taking the Chuo Line from Kokubunji to Tachikawa, watching the scenery (on the right side of the train) flow by. Nothing very exciting - just views of houses, large apartment buildings, and (a little exciting for people who use the Chuo Line) new track construction.
They've been working on improving the Chuo Line between Mitaka and Tachikawa for several years now, and all the new construction is beginning to produce improved train service. Elevating tracks that were on the ground eliminates railway crossings for roads; and new stations where express trains can pass local trains speeds up the line as a whole, etc. 中央線で、国分寺駅から立川駅まで、電車の右側の風景 (Recorded on Friday, January 8th, 2010, at 11:33 a.m.)
"Vertical Reflections on the Ikegami Line (HD)" (091231-1318)
(In high-definition) Looking out the front cab of an Ikegami Line train (running from Osaki-Hirokoji to Togoshi-Ginza) at a combination of outside images/light mixed with internal images/reflections. The station name announcements are the cool/retro recorded-decades-ago type. 池上線 大崎広小路駅 戸越銀座駅 (Recorded on Thursday, December 31st, 2009, at 1:18 p.m.)
"Senzokuike to Ishikawadai (Vertical HD)" (091231-1325)
High-definition vertical view through front cab of an Ikegami Line train of the run from Senzokuike to Ishikawadai. Taken vertically, you probably have to watch it horizontally, but I look forward to the day when video can be displayed easily vertically, and *then* you can see this in the way it should be seen. Best of all will be moving images that can snap from horizontal to vertical and back, as you watch (designers - hello?). 池上線 洗足池駅 石川台駅 (Recorded on Thursday, December 31st, 2009, at 1:25 p.m.)
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon