August is coming to an end.... In the hot afternoon, the cicadas still sing, but come the cooler evening, the crickets begin singing away - reminding listeners that Autumn is on the way. I welcome cooler temperatures, but still feel a little sad that summer is almost over. And speaking of August, and summer, this batch of video clips may be a final blast of summer images - taken in the heat of summer, with no thought of the approaching Autumn. Train views of the Chuo Line, Hibiya Line, Chiyoda Line, etc., and visits to Kichijoji, Nezu, Ginza, etc.
The thing that struck me about this old wall, is how the roofing tiles are so broken up. How does that happen if they're just sitting there? The heat and cold of the years create cracks and the tiles begin breaking into pieces? Or has someone been up walking on the wall?
When I took this picture, it was rather dark and I didn't even see the cicada on the left. I initially took the picture because I wasn't sure the insect had already come out of the shell, and I thought I'd have a larger look at it later. So when I first saw the cicada on the left, it was a bit of a surprise.
The summer on its hottest days has me looking forward to cooler weather, but when I think back to a typical January or February day, I remember how much I look forward to the signs of life in the summer - the green of the trees of course, and the sounds of different types of insects (some are quite musical and pleasant to listen to). So now that the August weather has cooled down for a few days, I look at the green, and listen to the various insects, and I'm happy that it's summer. Attempting to capture the sounds a little, I took a video clip in a park, but the recorded sound is not nearly as nice as the original - still, it gives you at least some idea of the type of sounds I'm talking about. Another clip shows some green leaves blowing in a slight breeze on a very hot day.
Train views include the Chuo Line, Ginza Line, Yamanote Line, Tozai Line, and Chiyoda Line. One thing that caught my attention this past week was one of the tunnel walls beside the platform at a Chiyoda Line station - the brick facade was mostly off, and there were temporary-looking signs attached to the bare concrete that had been behind the brick facade. I think that may be evidence of damage from the March 11th earthquake, but I'm not sure. There are some tiles that appear to have fallen off at one of the Tozai Line stations as well. I'm not certain that those examples of facade damage were caused by the earthquake, but I think they may well have been.
What else... I walked through Harajuku, which I associate with summer since I spent some time there when I first came to Tokyo back in the 20th century, and feel some strange need to experience it again every summer. It was raining, but that's okay - umbrellas look good in pictures, and rain is also part of my memory of the Early Days.
Speaking of the Early Days, I also made a nostalgia run over to Shinbashi, which has changed a lot over the past couple of decades, but still has enough things remaining from that time that it's satisfying to visit. When there's nothing left at all from a previous time at some place, it's disorienting and depressing to visit, but as long as there's something you remember, there's a satisfaction in going back to old places that were familiar in a day-to-day way.
Another batch of video clips, beginning with (what else?) train scenes, and then a couple of views of an old helicopter in a museum; a look at Taguchi Kenji's installation in Ginza; Yurakucho scenes; more train and train station views; walking over Hijiri-bashi (near Ochanomizu Station); walking through Yushima-Seido; more train views (from the Chiyoda Line); several clips of walking through Ueno Park; more train views (the Ginza Line); walking through Ginza one hot summer day; more train views (Ginza and Tozai Lines); walking through Ginza and Yurakucho; walking through one of the izakaya areas of Yurakucho; and walking into Ginza from Yurakucho in the twilight of a summer evening.
This batch of video clips begins with a platform view in Hachioji as I get off of a Chuo Line train in the morning. Then there's a view of getting on a Chuo Line train in Kokubunji; riding a Yamanote Line train from Kanda to Yurakucho; a look at side streets in Ginza; a listen to a voice echo in an unusually shaped room; a walk through the construction area at Tokyo Station, and then through the station over to the Chuo Line; a twilight window view from a Chuo Line train; getting off a Chuo Line train in Shinjuku; looking around on the outbound Chuo Line platform at Shinjuku Station; walking through the south exit of Shinjuku Station and walking down the hill towards Nishi-Shinjuku; a few window views out of an outbound Tobu-Tojo Line train; a look at a side street near Sakado Station and a look at Sakado Station; a listen to July insect songs; a view from an inbound Tobu-Tobu Line train window; a walk down the Ikebukuro Tobu-Tojo Line platform; a look around the plaza on the west side of Ikebukuro Station; a couple of strolls through areas on the west side of Ikebukuro Station; a window view on a Yurakucho Line train rolling from Yurakucho Station to Ginza 1-Chome Station; walking from inside Ginza 1-chome Station to street level via Exit-10; a couple of inside views of the Okuno Building in Ginza; the bus and construction areas of Tokyo Station; a few July street event views of Kokubunji; a few inbound Chuo Line window views between Kokubunji and Kanda; the ride from Kanda to Yurakucho on a Yamanote Line train; a look at an installation at the basement Kobo Gallery; a surprised listen to a singing cricket(?) in some bushes in Yurakucho; a couple of twilight Yurakucho plaza views; a view of walking down a sidewalk in Yurakucho; riding a late-night train from Yurakucho to Tokyo; walking through Shinjuku's Omoide-Yokocho yakitori street; walking along on the west side of Shinjuku Station; walking from the west side to the east side of Shinjuku; walking through part of Kabukicho; riding an outbound Seibu-Shinjuku Line train (around Hanakoganei Station); a platform look at Kanda Station and then window view while rolling to Yurakucho Station; a quick look at a tea ceremony in Room-306, a look at tea being mixed in Room-306; a look at Yurakucho Plaza; making the transfer from the Seibu-Shinjuku Line to the Tozai-Line at Takadanobaba Station; riding a Yamanote Line train from Mejiro to Ikebukuro; looking around at a morning platform scene at Ueno Station; looking around the old high-ceiling area of Ueno Station; walking away from Ueno Station towards Ameyokocho; walking down Ameyokocho in Ueno; a short look around on a summer morning in Ameyokocho; walking through side streets in Nezu (in Taito-ku); watching rain in Taito-ku (from under an overhang); looking around at the pond and dramatic overhead clouds in Ueno Park; walking through a wet section of Ueno Park; a look at an outside balcony of a temple in Ueno Park; a look at a new Ginza gallery; walking past a construction site in Ueno - where the old restaurant building used to be; window views while going from Ueno to Kanda via the Yamanote Line; boarding a Tozai Line subway at Nihonbashi Station; walking down the outbound Tozai Line platform at Takadanobaba Station; a look around from the platform at Yurakucho Station on a hot August afternoon; and finally, a summer evening stroll down side streets in Ginza.