Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Waiting for a Train" - (110719)

"Waiting for a Train"
Copyright 2011 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Typhoon #15 Aftermath" - (110921)

"Typhoon #15 Aftermath"
As typhoon #15 approached Tokyo, I had heard that it was expected to pass by without directly hitting the city, so I was surprised at the ferocity of the winds that came Wednesday evening, September 21st, 2011.  Going out and walking over to a park, there were several broken trees there - a couple shown above.  Later, looking at a television report, it looked like the typhoon went directly over/through Tokyo.  Also on television were reports of fallen trees all over the city....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Rusting Bridges..."

In the two and a half decades I've been using the Tokyo train system, one thing I've always taken for granted was maintenance.  The railways were always carefully maintained.  I hasten to say that the system is still functioning very well, and is still probably the very best intracity and intercity rail system in the world, but steel bridges and other structural parts that need to be repainted on a regular basis in order to keep rust away, are rusting for want of paint!

Every time I see rust on a bridge (and many other places, but especially on bridges), I keep thinking "Why aren't they doing basic, long-term maintenance?".  If they're planning on just running the system into the ground and letting it fall apart, then nothing matters, but that just can't be!  Can it?  But if they plan on long-term viability for the train system, then how can they let the steel structures rust/rot away?  For short-term profit?  It's far more expensive to build a new bridge than it is to maintain an existing one through repainting it, etc.

It can't be (can it?) that they are sabotaging the future of Japan's rail system for the sake of STP (Short Term Profits)!  The situation seems symptomatic of so much that is going wrong in the world now - basically sabotaging the future for short-term savings/profits.

Priorities... the railways have spent a lot of money installing elevators and escalators at all the stations (no mean feat, that, given the vast scope of the Tokyo train system), and now that the economy is is doing badly, a lot of advertising spaces are going unrented.  I can't know what is going on management-wise in the offices of the railways, but could it be that due to lower revenues than expected, they are putting off expensive maintenance in the hope that the economy will improve before the bridges become so rusted that the rail lines have to be shut down for safety reasons?

If this is the case, it seems like a fool's gamble to me.  Any rust on a steel structure means it is that much weaker than before part of the steel rotted.  Hard times or no, painting vital steel bridges should be a non-negotiable absolute must-be-done priority!  If there isn't money, the suits should get out of their worthless meetings, put on overalls and grab some paint brushes!  I think.  I'm only saying this because I have great respect for Japan's rail system and want to see it stay in great shape!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Vroom! Vroom!! Vroom!!!" - (110908)

"Vroom! Vroom!! Vroom!!!"
"Vroom! Vroom!! Vroom!!!"
"Vroom! Vroom!! Vroom!!!"
"Vroom! Vroom!! Vroom!!!"

I don't know the exact technical details of this car, but it appears to be an electric car used for getting around in a local area - quite useful on very narrow streets I imagine.

Copyright 2011 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Night Train Reflections" - (110905)

"Night Train Reflections"
Copyright 2011 by LHS

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Musashino Line, Tamagawa-Josui, Koganei Park, Chiyoda and Hibiya Lines, Etc."

This batch of videos starts off with a ride on a surface part of the Musashino Line, followed by another video taken inside a Musashino line train as it runs through an underground section of the line.  Then there are a couple of views taken near a monorail line; a few taken near the Tamagawa Josui canal; a few of a ceramics festival in Koganei Park; train views (of various lines - the Musashino, Chiyoda, Hibiya, Chuo, Yamanote, etc.); and wrapping up with a view of trains passing in the night on the very edge of Shibuya-ku - near Shinjuku Station.

Musashino Line - Above Ground - (110914-1403)

Riding on an above-ground section of the Musashino Line.

Musashino Line (Underground) - (110914-1415)

Riding on an underground section of the Musashino Line.

Bicycle Ride Along Road and Monorail (A) - (110911-1314)

Riding a bicycle along a main road and (nearly) under an overhead monorail line.  (A)

Tamagawa Josui (From Bridge) - (110911-1341)

Taking a look over part of the Tamagawa Josui canal from a Bridge over the canal.

Path Along Tamagawa-Josui Canal - (110911-1343)

Looking at a path along the Tamagawa-Josui Canal.

Bicycle Ride Along Road and Monorail (B) - (110911-1402)

Riding a bicycle along a main road and (nearly) under an overhead monorail line.  (B)

Insects in Trees by Small Farm - (110911-1411)

Listening to insects in the trees by a small farm.

Daitoki-Ichi (大陶器市) at Koganei Park (小金井公園) (A) - (110911-1516)

Looking at ceramics at the Daitoki-Ichi (大陶器市) festival inside Koganei Park (小金井公園) (A).

Daitoki-Ichi (大陶器市) at Koganei Park (小金井公園) (B) - (110911-1519)

Looking at ceramics at the Daitoki-Ichi (大陶器市) festival inside Koganei Park (小金井公園) (B).

Fire Engine Ladder Ride in Koganei Park - (110911-1521)

Watching people going up in a fire engine ladder ride in Koganei Park.

Daitoki-Ichi (大陶器市) at Koganei Park (小金井公園) (C) - (110911-1528)

Looking at ceramics at the Daitoki-Ichi (大陶器市) festival inside Koganei Park (小金井公園) (B).

Kanda to Yurakucho - Yamanote Line - (110913-1657)

Riding a Yamanote Line train from Kanda to Yurakucho.

Musashino Line to Chuo Line Transfer - (110914-1421)

Transferring from the Musashino Line to the Chuo Line at Nishi-Kokubunji Station.

Trains Approaching Shinjuku Station at Night - (110913-2235)

Watching trains approaching Shinjuku Station at night.

Boarding Musashino Line at Kita-Asaka Station - (110914-1403)

Boarding a Musashino Line train at Kita-Asaka Station.

Walking Towards Kita-Asaka Station (北朝霞駅) - (110914-1401)

Walking towards Kita-Asaka Station (北朝霞駅) one hot September day.

Chiyoda Line Window View - (110915-1256)

Looking out a window of a Chiyoda Line train.

Chiyoda Line and Transfer to Hibiya Line at Hibiya - (110915-1301)

Riding a Chiyoda Line train to Hibiya and transferring to a Hibiya Line train.

Waiting for Hibiya Line at Hibiya Station - (110915-1308)

Waiting for a Hibiya Line train at Hibiya Station.

Boarding Hibiya Line Train at Hibiya Station - (110915-1310)

Waiting for and boarding a Hibiya Line train at Hibiya Station.

Hibiya Line Train Arriving at Station - (110915-1327)

Watching a Hibiya Line train arriving at a station.

Hibiya Line Train Leaving Ginza Station - (110915-1337)

Watching a Hibiya Line train leaving Ginza Station.

Edge of Shibuya Night - (110913-2234)

Looking around late at night on the edge of Shibuya (which is very near to Shinjuku Station).

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"End of the Line" - (110829)

"End of the Line"
Copyright 2011 by LHS

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Train Views, Nishi-Shinjuku Stroll, Ginza, Ueno, Etc."

Another batch of videos from out on the train system, as well as views of Ginza, Shinjuku, Ueno, etc.  Typical stuff.  It's not particularly exciting to watch any of it now, but in the future it will have more value as a record of how things used to be.  Time and time again I've taken something for granted in Tokyo and then been shocked to return and find no trace of it.  The appetite of the Godzilla construction industry is truly insatiable, so almost everything is destroyed within a few decades or so.  That being the case, I think it's important to record street scenes in general, because you never know when any part of them will be eaten by Godzilla.

Don't get me wrong - I like new construction as well, but do feel that the balance between preserving some aspects of the city and building/rebuilding new parts is very heavily biased in favor of endless new construction, even when it isn't really necessary or even desirable.

[.... shaking....]

Another earthquake.  Hmm... maybe I should acknowledge here that I understand that there's a much greater need for structures to be strong in Tokyo than in many other cities in the world....  But perfectly good, strong structures are also destroyed, so I still say there is too much emphasis on endless construction.

September 10th... finally the weather is beginning to cool off a little from the heat of August.  Autumn is a nice time of year, but I can't say I care for winter.

Nighttime Kokubunji Station Edge - (110905-2032)

Looking around on the edge of Kokubunji Station in the evening.

Rear Cab of Seibu Train at Night - (110905-2036)

Looking into/out-of the rear cab of a Seibu Line Train at night.

Insects, Crows, Aircraft, and Trees - (110906-1102)

Listening to insects, crows, and aircraft in a grove of trees in Tokyo.

Shinjuku West Exit to Mitsui Building - (110906-1912)

Walking from the west exit area of Shinjuku Station, to the Mitsui Building.

Departing Shinjuku via Outbound Chuo Line - (110906-2328)

Riding out of Shinjuku on an outbound Chuo Line train.

Seibu to Tozai Line Transfer - (110906-1152)

Transferring from the Seibu-Shinjuku Line to the Tozai (subway) Line.

Boarding Tozai Line at Takadanobaba Station - (110906-1158)

Boarding a Tozai Line (subway) train at Takadanobaba Station.

Boarding Ginza Line at Nihonbashi - (110906-1218)

Boarding a Ginza (subway) Line train at Nihonbashi Station.

Traditional Food Box Demonstration - (110906-1813)

Watching a demonstration of how a traditional-design hand-built, wooden food box is assembled.

Short Stroll on Chuo Dori in Ginza - (110906-1236)

Walking along Chuo-Dori in Ginza.

Inside Evening Tokyo Station - (110906-1855)

Walking through evening Tokyo Station.

Inbound Chuo Line Arriving at Takao Station - (110907-1913)

Watching an inbound Chuo Line train arriving at Takao Station.

Street Musicians in Kokubunji - (110907-2003)

A quick look at some street musicians in Kokubunji.

Tozai to Chiyoda Transfer at Otemachi - (110908-0923)

Walking from the Tozai Line to the Chiyoda Line at Otemachi.

360-Degree View from Temple in Ueno Park - (110908-1421)

Taking a 360-degree look from a temple in Ueno Park.

Corner of Ueno Park - (110908-1425)

Looking around in a corner of Ueno Park.

Construction Site Near Ueno Park - (110908-1430)

Walking by a construction site near Ueno Park.

Nezu Back Street Stroll - (110908-0939)

Walking around on back streets in Nezu.

Entering Ueno Station - (110908-1432)

Walking into Ueno Station - heading for the ticket gates.

Hollow Section of Wall (Former Trash Chute) - (110908-1537)

Checking out the sound of a hollow section of a wall in an old building.

Yurakucho to Tokyo - 10:40 P.M. - (110908-2240)

Riding a late night Yamanote Line train from Yurakucho to Tokyo.

Store Escalator - (110908-1458)

Riding a store escalator towards the exit.

Ueno to Akihabara - Yamanote Line - (110908-1434)

Riding a Yamanote Line train from Ueno to Akihabara.

Akihabara to Yurakucho - Trains at Yurakucho - (110908-1439)

Riding a Yamanote Line train from Akihabara to Yurakucho, and watching a few trains go by in Yurakucho.

Yurakucho Station Platform View - (110908-1446)

Looking around from the platform of Yurakucho Station before exiting the station.

Late Night Yurakucho Plaza - (110908-2231)

Walking across Yurakucho Plaza late at night.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Saturday, September 03, 2011

"Ochanomizu Station" - (110826)

"Ochanomizu Station"
Copyright 2011 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Kichijoji Station" - (110825)

"Kichijoji Station"
Copyright 2011 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Mt. Takao Cable Car, Keio Line, Insect Noises, Ginza, Etc."

This batch begins with a visit to Mt. Takao, followed by some Keio Line train views, an insect symphony in a grove of trees in Tokyo, train views near Tokyo Station, walking along the edge of Ginza, a look at an art installation, and looking down on Kanda from an outbound Chuo Line train.

Mt. Takao Cable Car - Up the Mountain - (110829-1715)

Riding a cable car up Mt. Takao.

Green Leaves at Night - (110829-1958)

Looking at green tree leaves illuminated at night in a wooded area of Tokyo.

Mt. Takao Cable Car - Down the Mountain - (110829-2001)

Riding the Mt. Takao cable car down the mountain - with a car full of people returning from the Mt. Takao beer garden.

Keio Line Train Reflections - (110829-2023)

Looking at reflections off the side of a Keio Line train.

Hazama to Takao - Keio Line - (110829-2028)

Riding a Keio Line train from Hazama Station to Takao Station.

Takao Station - Keio to JR Transfer - (110829-2033)

Changing from the Keio Line to the (JR) Chuo Line at Takao Station.

Insect Noises in Tokyo Trees - (110830-1250)

Listening to insect noises in some trees in Tokyo.

Kanda to Yurakucho - and Trains in Yurakucho - (110830-1403)

Riding from Kanda to Yurakucho - and watching a few trains (Shinkansen, etc.) passing by Yurakucho Station.

Edge of Ginza Stroll - (110830-1426)

Walking along the edge of Ginza one hot August day.

Itou Kazunori (伊藤和紀) Installation at Gallery Ginza 1-Chome - (110830-1647)

A quick look at an installation by Itou Kazunori (伊藤和紀) at Gallery Ginza 1-Chome.

Looking Down on Kanda from Chuo Line - (110830-2018)

Looking down on the streets of Kanda from a Chuo Line train.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon