Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Yurakucho Basement" - (110520-2152)

"Yurakucho Basement"

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Evening Mt. Takao, Art Exhibitions, Chuo Line, Yurakucho, Hibiya Beer Garden, Etc."

Another batch of video clips - including typical train scenes (Chuo Line, Etc.), street scenes in Shinjuku, Yurakucho, and Ginza, a few clips covering art exhibitions, and an evening hike on a Mt. Takao trail, as well as a view of the (temporary) German beer garden in Hibiya Park.  The weather during this batch of clips has been perfect - just outside of the spring heavy-pollen season, not too cold, not too hot, and before the rainy season.  Just after the day the Hibiya Park beer garden clip was recorded, it began raining and it's been raining nearly every day since, so the rainy season may have started.

Trains at Takaosanguchi Station - (110516-1943)

Looking at a couple of trains at Takaosanguchi Station, and riding one to Takao Station.

Takao to Takaosanguchi - (110516-1720)

Riding the Keio Line from Takao to Takaosanguchi.

Evening Mt. Takao Trail (A 1/3) - (110516-1826)

Walking along a mountain trail on Mt. Takao in the evening. (A 1/3)

Evening Mt. Takao Trail (B 2/3) - (110516-1833)

Walking along a mountain trail on Mt. Takao in the evening. (B 2/3)

Evening Mt. Takao Trail (C 3/3) - (110516-1838)

Walking along a mountain trail on Mt. Takao in the evening. (C 3/3)

Looking Around in a Mt. Takao Valley - (110516-1817)

Looking around halfway up a trail in a Mt. Takao Valley (which is actually still within Tokyo).

Nu-Lu Exhibition at Y's Arts 508 and 101 - (110517-1549)

Nu-Lu Exhibition at Y's Arts - From 101 to 508 via Elevator - (110517-1753)

Nu-Lu Exhibition at Y's Arts - From 101 to 508 via Stairs - (110517-1850)

A look at the Nu-Lu exhibition / installation by Kicuchi Megumi and Tsutsumi Yoshihiko at Y's Arts 508 and 101, as well as a talk with one of the artists (Tsutsumi Yoshihiko) about the art (in Japanese and in English).  (Three versions, including a couple going from the first floor of the building up to the fifth - one via the old style elevator and one via the cool old staircase.)

Y's Arts website is:

Sidewalk by West Side of Shinjuku Station - (110517-2203)

Walking along a sidewalk on the west side of Shinjuku Station.

Shinjuku Street-Band - (110517-2200)

Shinjuku street-band on the west side of Shinjuku Station.

Shinjuku Omoide-Yokocho - (110517-2205)

Walking through Shinjuku Omoide-Yokocho.

Entering Tokyo Station via Yaesu-guchi Side - (110517-1916)

Walking into Tokyo Station via the (seemingly) always-under-construction Yaesu-guchi side.

Evening Chuo Line - Tokyo to Kanda - (110517-1921)

Taking an evening Chuo Line train from Tokyo Station to Kanda Station.

Chuo Line - Arriving at Shinjuku Station - (110517-1934)

Riding into Shinjuku Station on the Chuo Line and then getting off and heading for an escalator.

Exiting Shinjuku Station South Exit - Walking Downhill - (110517-1936)

Exiting Shinjuku Station via the south exit and then walking down the hill towards Nishi-Shinjuku (formerly "Yodobashi" - 現在の西新宿は、昔は、淀橋でした - それで、ヨドバシカメラとか).

Walking into Nishi-Shinjuku and Over to Yodobashi Camera - (110517-1939)

Walking into Nishi-Shinjuku and then over to Yodobashi Camera.  Apparently NIshi-Shinjuku used to be called Yodobashi (淀橋).

Kanda to Yurakucho - Left Side View - (110520-1554)

Riding a Yamanote Line train from Kanda to Yurakucho - looking out the left side and the front cab.

Yurakucho Shoe Shine People - (110520-1601)

Walking under the Shinkansen tracks in Yurakucho - and then past a group of shoe shine people.  This may be another sign of a bad economy.  I saw some very old people working as shoe shiners when I came in Japan in the early eighties, and then when the economy got better, you saw less and less of them, and since the economy has gotten really bad, you're beginning to see more and more of them....

Yurakucho - Headed Towards Ginza - (110520-1603)

Walking away from Yurakucho Station, headed towards Ginza.

Kurashima Masahiko (倉嶋正彦) Exhibition/Installation (A) - (110520-1829)

Kurashima Masahiko (倉嶋正彦) Exhibition/Installation (B) - (110520-1831)

Having a look at Kurashima Masahiko's (倉嶋正彦) exhibition/installation at Gallery銀座一丁目.

Approaching Yurakucho Station - Yurakucho Plaza - (110520-1909)

Walking towards Yurakucho Station and Yurakucho Plaza.

Friday Night in Yurakucho - (110520-1913)

A lively Friday night in Yurakucho.

Hibiya Park Beer Garden-2011 - (110520-2033)

A look at Hibiya Park Beer Garden - 2011 during the busiest time.
日比谷公園 噴水広場

Oktoberfest 2011:

Chiyoda-ku Tourism:

Closing Time - Hibiya Park Beer Garden-2011 - (110520-2135)

Closing time on Friday night at the annual Hibiya Park Beer Garden-2011.

Yurakucho Street Jazz - (110520-2144)

Checking out a jazz street band in Yurakucho on Friday night.

Yurakucho-SB on Friday Night - (110520-2219)

Looking around at Yurakucho-SB on a Friday Night.

Late Night Chuo Line - Approaching Ochanomizu Station - (110520-2341)

Looking out a left side window of a late night Chuo Line train as it approaches Ochanomizu Station.

Last Inbound Chuo Line Train from Tachikawa - (110521-0040)

Platform scene at Tachikawa Station while waiting for the last inbound train of the evening.

Inbound Chuo Line - Approaching Kunitachi Station (Cab View) - (110521-0050)

Looking out the front cab of an inbound Chuo Line train as it approaches Kunitachi Station.

Night Bus in the Rain - (110523-2046)

Riding a bus at night in the rain.

Ginza Chuo-Dori Afternoon Stroll - (110524-1558)

Walking down Ginza Chuo-Dori one afternoon.

Chuo Line - Tokyo to Kanda at Night - (110524-1936)

Riding the Chuo Line at night from Tokyo Station to Kanda Station.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Watching Outdoor Advertising"

In the 1980's and 1990's (until the mid-nineties anyway), I got used to nearly all of the trains, buses, and train station platforms being full of advertising (in the corners, on the doors, hanging in the aisles, etc.), and then as the economy steadily got worse after the collapse of the "bubble economy", I began noticing that much of the available advertising space out in the countryside was left blank, awaiting customers.  I got used to the phenomenon of seeing fewer and fewer ads out on fringe branch lines and at branch line train stations away from the center of Tokyo, but through it all, the advertising space on the main lines within Tokyo was always full.  Considering a company's viewpoint, it was easy to imagine that they wouldn't want to spend scarcer advertising money on ads that not many people see.

Back in the central area, the ad space being full on the Yamanote Line and the Chuo Line was comforting in a way - no matter how empty billboards and train advertising space was on the edges of the city, the center carried on looking as busy as ever.  And so it's come as a shock recently to discover some empty advertising panels on the Chuo and Yamanote lines (not many, but they have always been completely full before...).  Particularly on the Yamanote Line - you stand there on one of (if not the) most popular train lines in the world, and confronted with an empty advertising space, you can only conclude that the economy really is bad.  It's as though you couldn't sell advertising for the Super Bowl or something.  A space guaranteed vast numbers of viewers, and it goes empty for want of a renter?

The advertising spaces on the Yamanote Line and the Chuo Line are still generally full, but over a quarter century, I had never seen any empty space on them at all, so it seems significant.  It's sort of like an advertisement saying "Welcome to Great Depression-II"....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Hibiya Park Beer Garden-2011" - (110520-2115)

"Hibiya Park Beer Garden-2011"
Copyright 2011 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Hibiya Park Beer Garden-2011 - (110520-2033)

Oktoberfest 2011:

Chiyoda-ku Tourism:

日比谷公園 噴水広場

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"New Nihonbashi Construction Site" - (110517-1435)

"New Nihonbashi Construction Site"
Copyright 2011 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"A Banksters Building" - (110517-1434)

"A Banksters Building"

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Kei-Class Van" - (110517-1439)

"Kei-Class Van"
Copyright 2011 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Late Night Station" - (110521-0038)

"Late Night Station"
Copyright 2011 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Looking Back: 1992-Tokyo, 1992-Sydney, 2011-Ginza, Yurakucho, Gotanda, Etc."

This batch of video clips includes 2011 views of post 311 Tokyo with less lights burning in lower energy-on-tap Japan, and some 1992 views of Tokyo, Saitama, and - for a change - a couple of clips of April 1992 Sydney Australia.  I've only visited Australia, and never lived there, but I felt comfortable there, and Sydney reminded me somewhat of the San Francisco Bay area of California, as I suppose it might, with the culture having a similar English connection, similar climate, and similar geography (cosmopolitan city by a large bay).

Looking back on my 1992 visit to Australia, it seems like a very long time ago, and I guess 20 years is a long time - one generation basically.  Something I hadn't thought about much before, but shows up in the video a little, are the parallels between 1992 Tokyo and 1992 Sydney.  I had viewed them as radically different cultures at the time, and that they are, but there is a same-time common ground element as well, with things like paper train tickets and pre-Internet media (newspapers, radio and television) lending a common feel to society?  It's hard to pin down exactly, but there's a similar feeling to the 1992 Tokyo and 1992 Sydney videos that I just took for granted at the time, but now see as a common element of that era.

Overall, it's left me feeling rather nostalgic and wishing - once again - that I had a time machine to jump around in - sampling atmospheres and seeing old things again and new-old things for the first time (famous historical events, etc.).  Lacking my own time machine, the videos from two decades ago fulfill that function somewhat, as it feels as though I'm able to revisit what I saw before.  So many details come back when watching scenes I recorded twenty years ago (and haven't watched again until this month).  Once again I'm amazed at how many details go missing in the memory; how much of our lives do we really remember?  I had thought that we remembered most things and forgot some details, but I'm beginning to think that we forget nearly everything and only remember a select few occasions - although with something like old video or film showing the motion and sound of the past, often the memory comes back, so it must be stored away in some sort of archive in the mind....

Gotanda to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) - (110423-1523)

Riding the Yamanote Line from Gotanda to Yurakucho.

Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro - April 3rd, 1992

On the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line on April 3rd, 1992 - from Hibarigaoka Station to Ikebukuro Station.

(1992) Old Marunouchi Line Train Arrives at Otemachi Station

Watching an old type Marunouchi Line train arrive at Otemachi Station in 1992.

Drive to Station in Saitama - April 1992

The view from the front passenger seat on a drive to a JR station in Saitama in April 1992.

Yamanote Line at Shibuya - March 1992

Watching a Yamanote Line train arrive at Shibuya Station in March 1992 while listening to the station announcement.

(1992) Otemachi Immigration Office

View of the (former) immigration office in Otemachi in 1992.

(1992) Ticket Machine Mayhem at Ikebukuro Station

March 31st, 1992 - Walking past a huge crowd of people lined up to buy train tickets.  The new pre-paid cards almost completely eliminate this step.

Shinjuku to Ikebukuro - March 1992

Scenes from Shinjuku and Ikebukuro Stations, and from the train in-between.

(1992) Shinjuku-Gyoen-Mae to Shinjuku - April 3rd, 1992

Going from Shinjuku-Gyoen-Mae Station on the Marunouchi Line to Shinjuku on April 3rd, 1992.

Shinjuku-Gyoen Sakura on April 3rd, 1992

Looking at the many sakura trees and the many people who came to see them in Shinjuku-Gyoen Park on April 3rd, 1992.

Last Outbound Chuo Line Train - Hachioji to Takao - (110424-0131)

Taking the last (1:30 a.m.) outbound Chuo Line train from Hachioji to Takao (the last stop).

Ginza Side Streets - (110423-1546)

Walking along Ginza Side streets.

Yurakucho Plaza - Vertical - (110423-1542)

Taking a quick vertical look around in Yurakucho Plaza.

Mt. Takao (Near the Base) - April 2011 - (110425-1756)

Looking around and then beginning to hike up Mt. Takao - starting near the base of the mountain.  April 2011

Takao Matsuri Music Practice - (110425-2109)

Listening to a group in a building in Takao practicing matsuri music.

Exiting Gotanda Station - (110423-1229)

Exiting Gotanda Station on a rainy day.

Approaching Nightfall in the Mountains - (110425-1828)

Walking along a trail as nightfall approaches in the mountains.

Mt. Takao Frog Noise at Night - (110425-2046)

Stopping to listen to frog noise in early spring at Mt. Takao.

Evening Keio Line Train to Takaosan-guchi Station - (110425-1741)

Taking an evening Keio Line train to Takaosan-guchi Station.

Walking Towards Gotanda Station in the Rain - (110423-1520)

Walking towards Gotanda Station in the rain on Saturday afternoon.

Exiting Yurakucho Station - (110423-1540)

Exiting Yurakucho Station and heading into the plaza.

Yurakucho Plaza - Walk Towards Ginza - (110423-1543)

Looking around in Yurakucho Plaza, and then heading towards Ginza.

2nd Floor - Leading to Ginza One Gallery - (110423-2100)

On the 2nd floor - looking around and then walking into the Ginza One gallery.

Midnight Chuo Line Train Leaving Hachioji Station - (110424-0116)

Watching an outbound midnight Chuo Line train departing Hachioji Station.

Waiting for Train to Depart - Takaosan-guchi Station - (110425-2115)

Looking around a mostly empty platform while waiting for a Keio Line train to depart Takaosan-guchi Station.

Almost Empty Keio Line Train to Takao - (110425-2118)

Riding an almost empty Keio Line train to Takao Station.

Crowds Exiting Takaosan-guchi Station - (110430-1054)

A large number of people exiting Takaosan-guchi Station on a nice-weather holiday day.

Live Music at Takaosan-guchi Station - (110430-1123)

Live flute music at Takaosan-guchi Station on a beautiful spring day.

Mt. Takao Temple on a Crowded Afternoon - (110430-1340)

Mt. Takao Temple on a crowded afternoon at the start of Golden Week.

Singer at Mt. Takao - (110430-1437)

Looking around at the spring green of Mt. Takao while a singer sings to a relaxed crowd.

Inbound Chuo Line Train Arriving at Takao Station - (110502-2035)

Watching an inbound Chuo Line train arriving at Takao Station.

Group Exhibition - Aruga, Takeda, and Iketani (B) - (110506-1751)

Looking around at a group exhibition by Aruga, Takeda, and Iketani at Gallery Kobo. (B).

Group Exhibition - Aruga, Takeda, and Iketani (A) - (110506-1743)

Looking around at a group exhibition by Aruga, Takeda, and Iketani at Gallery Kobo. (A).

Tokyo Station - Waiting for Chuo Line - (110506-2318)

Tokyo Station Chuo Line platform - waiting for a train.

Ticket Line at Showa Kinen Koen Park - (110504-1221)

Lining up for tickets at Showa Kinen Koen Park.

Entering Showa Kinen Koen Park - (110504-1225)

Entering Showa Kinen Koen Park during Golden Week.

Golden Week Showa Kinen Koen Park - (110504-1650)

Crowded area near a pond in Showa Kinen Koen Park during Golden Week, 2011.

Showa Kinen Koen - Boat Rental Area - (110504-1653)

A look at the boat rental area of Showa Kinen Koen during Golden Week, 2011.

Showa Kinen Koen Park - Closing Time - (110504-1757)

Showa Kinen Koen Park during Golden Week at closing time.

Yurakucho-SB (B) - (110506-2244)

Looking around at late-night Yurakucho-SB (B).

Yurakucho-SB (A) - (110506-2240)

Looking around at late-night Yurakucho-SB (A).

Entering Takadanobaba Station (Tozai Line ) - (110506-1336)

Entering the Tozai Line section of Takadanobaba Station.

Waiting For and Boarding Tozai Line at Takadanobaba Station - (110506-1339)

Looking around while waiting for (and then boarding) a Tozai Line train at Takadanobaba Station.

Nihonbashi Station - Waiting for Ginza Line - (110506-1358)

At Nihonbashi Station, waiting for a Ginza Line train to arrive.

Boarding Ginza Line at Nihonbashi Station - (110506-1400)

Boarding a Ginza Line train at Nihonbashi Station.

Walking Along Chuo-dori in Ginza - (110506-1406)

Walking down the street - Chuo-dori in Ginza.

Ginza Side Street Stroll - (110506-1932)

Walking along a Ginza side street in the evening.

Walking up to Yurakucho Station - (110506-1935)

Walking towards Yurakucho Station from Ginza.

Yurakucho to Tokyo via Yamanote Line - (110506-2315)

Riding from Yurakucho to Tokyo via the Yamanote Line.

Takaosan-guchi - Looking Around - (110509-1817)

Looking around near Takaosan-guchi, near Mt. Takao.

Keio Line Train Crossing Steel Bridge - (110509-1842)

Watching a Keio Line train crossing a steel bridge in Takao.

Evening Takao Station - (110509-1914)

Watching an outbound Chuo Line train arrive at Takao Station in the evening.

Boarding Tozai Line at Takadanobaba Station - (110510-1404)

Boarding a Tozai Line train at Takadanobaba Station.

Entering Tokyo Station - Yaesu-guchi (八重洲口) - (110510-1925)

Walking into Tokyo Station via the Yaesu-guchi (八重洲口) side.

Shinjuku Omoide-Yokocho, Etc. - (110510-2149)

Walking through Omoide-Yokocho in Shinjuku and then under a rail bridge.

Sydney - April 1992 (A)

A few views of Sydney, Australia in April 1992 (A), including train views, etc.

Sydney - April 1992 (B)

Several views of Sydney, Australia in April 1992 (B), including train views, etc.  (Playing time 30-minutes.)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon