Friday, April 27, 2012

"Just Before the Green of Spring" - (120411)

"Just Before the Green of Spring" - (120411)
Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Chuo Line Telephoto Cab Views, Ginza Art Exhibitions, Etc."

Something a little different than usual in this one - several telephoto views through the front cab of an inbound Chuo Line train. It's a different view with different details than the wider angle I usually use. And then there are views of Ginza and Yurakucho, including a few views of a Ginza art exhibition. (Regarding the videos with "LV-HD" - that stands for "Long-View, High-Definition".)

Yurakucho-SB in HD - (120416)

Sato Yuichiro 佐藤裕一郎展 Gallery-58 - (120424)

Chuo Line - Ochanomizu to Kanda - (120424)

Inbound Chuo Line (A) LV-HD - (120424)

Inbound Chuo Line (B) LV-HD - (120424)

Inbound Chuo Line (C) LV-HD - (120424)

Inbound Chuo Line - Central Area (A) LV-HD - (120424)

Tokyo Station Chuo Platform View - (120424)

Yurakucho Plaza and Walk Towards Harumi-Dori 120424

Sato Yuichiro 佐藤裕一郎展 Gallery-58 Artist Standing by Artwork 120424

Chuo Line Cab View While Exiting Shinjuku 120424

Chuo Line from Kanda to Ochanomizu 120424

Chuo Line from Tokyo to Kanda 120424

Construction Site in Ginza 1-Chome by Chuo Dori 120424

About this construction site (above video) - this is a little depressing actually. Ginza was traditionally composed of a large number of small shops, but what they keep doing is knocking down about ten of them at a time and then putting up one large sealed-box recirculating-air structure in their place that looks (sort of) okay from the outside, but is stuffy inside, and uncomfortable even to just walk past, since they generally have overpriced "brand" junk for sale - with stern-faced guards in expensive suits guarding the doors and looking sternly out on the street. What this does is transform a friendly street that is comfortable and fun to walk down into an uncomfortable zone where you feel like you practically need a special security pass to walk - on a public street - past these hideous new boxes. Progress? No. This is regression.

Loading Drink Machine 120424

Tokyo to Yurakucho via Yamanote Line 120424

Waiting Out of the Rain for Walk Light in Shinjuku 120424

Walking Through Tokyo Station and Boarding Yamanote Line - (120424)

Ginza Harumi-Dori Stroll 晴海通り散歩 - (120424)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Yurakucho" - (120410)

Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Harumi-Dori" - (120410)


"An Old CD... / Takao Station, Ginza Exhibitions, Chuo Line, Etc."

The passage of time is much in mind this evening - an old CD not listened to for a decade appeared in my hand while going through a dusty pile of old things.  Listening to it now... it's really amazing how many feelings come back with an old CD often listened to in an intense chapter of one's life, and then not listened to at all for around 15 years.  There are other factors as well.  In the 1990's, recordings were high quality, but not as artificial as some more recent stuff?  Not sure about that one, but the sound quality seems more real to me in a way.

Well - by the time I've written the above while listening to it - I've gotten over the nostalgia rush and have come back to 2012.  Okay - time to introduce another batch of video clips:

In-between the usual Tokyo train scenes are a few Kyobashi/Ginza art exhibitions/installations.  There's also a walk across a section of Ginza in the evening and a few views out around Takao Station.  The video titles explain the content fairly well (I hope) - with the exception of "Tokyo Station Temporary Bus Area" of which more than half is walking through busy Tokyo Station in the early evening (after walking past the temporary bus area).

Arriving at Takao Station - (120418)

Old Room Installation - (120417)

Tokyo to Shinjuku - Nighttime Window View - (120417)

Takahashi Toshifumi 高橋俊文展 Ai Gallery 藍ギャラリー - (120417)

Under Tracks Izakaya - (120416)

Ogawa to Kodaira - Construction Zone - (120416)

Ginza Gallery Party - (120416)

Evening Yurakucho YSB - (120416)

Chuo Line Arriving at Shinjuku - (120417)

Arriving at Takao Station - Inbound Keio Line - (120418)

Yo Shimadu シマジヨウ展 Gallery B Tokyo ギャラリービートウキョウ - A - (120416)

Yo Shimadu シマジヨウ展 Gallery B Tokyo ギャラリービートウキョウ - B - (120416)

Tokyo Station Temporary Bus Area, Etc. - (120417)

Kanazawa Midori 金沢碧展 Installation at Gallery Kobo 巷房 - A - (120416)

Kanazawa Midori 金沢碧展 Installation at Gallery Kobo 巷房 - B - (120416)

Chuo Line Arriving at Tokyo Station - (120417)

Takao to Takaosanguchi - (120418)

Ginza Evening Stroll - (120416)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"The Five Sparrows"

I don't feed pigeons in parks (or anywhere else) for a number of reasons; a) It's a bad idea, since the more you feed them, the more they multiply, b) they're dirty, c) they're rudely persistent and irritating, d) I don't like them, e) etc. etc.  But I like sparrows, and so when a tiny sparrow landed by my feet (in a park in central Tokyo) the other day and chirped away endearingly, I contemplated the sandwich I was eating and thought maybe it wouldn't hurt to give the bird a piece of the bread.  While thinking about that, the bold chirper sparrow was joined by four quiet companions and I tossed a piece of the bread over, which the bold one took and flew over to some bushes with, and quickly disappeared under them on foot.

This interested me, because I've never fed a sparrow before (or seen one fed), so my point of reference was pigeons and I expected there to be some competition for the bread among the five, with them breaking it into pieces.  A second surprise was that the remaining four birds made no effort to follow the first.  So I tossed another piece of bread down (air-pressure projected it actually, but whatever) and a second bird grabbed that and flew off to a different area of the park from the first bird.  Intrigued, I made another piece of bread available (air-pressure projection means you don't have to get your fingers oily from handing the sandwich outside the wrapper), which was taken by the third bird, who flew off to still another area of the park.  A fourth piece of bread produced the same result with the fourth bird, and at this point, the last bird turned around and looked into the park (where its companions had gone) with what seemed like a "Hey!  Everyone got a piece but me!"... look?  (Maybe "look" works, although it was a combination of "full body movement" and "radio waves".).  So I thought "Hold on!  I've got one for you too!" and air-launched a final piece of bread near that bird, which didn't notice it right away, since it seemed to have gotten the idea that it had missed out on the action.  But then it noticed, and - bread in beak -  it also flew off, to a fifth section of the park, leaving me in peace.

What I really liked about the experience is that they didn't fight over the bread; they went in turns to their own private part of the park to have lunch, and they didn't come back to harass me the way greedy pigeons do.  All of that said - is it normal for sparrows to come asking for a free lunch?

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Evening Sakura" - (120407)

"Evening Sakura" - (120407)
Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"1998 Digital Camera Price and DCC Audio in 1993"

Cleaning out some boxes from the back of a closet in a quest for more space in my apartment, I noticed a couple of old magazine ads that caught my attention - one highlighting how much digital cameras have advanced since 1998, and the other an ad for a type of sound recorder I never even knew existed.  First - the camera:

Nikon Coolpix-910 - which recorded pictures at 1,280x960 (1.3MP) and was listed as costing Y99,800 when it went on sale in October of 1998.  The specs of it don't surprise me.  If anything, the size of the image sensor sounds fairly decent for 1998 (I bought a 1MP camera in 2000), but the price really stands out.  You can get such higher specs now for so much less cash! (English) (Japanese)

DCC Audio - Looking in the November 1993 edition of the magazine, "Audio - The Equipment Authority", there's an ad for a pair of DCC (Digital Compact Cassette) machines from Panasonic.  The Panasonic RQ-DP7 portable unit and the Panasonic CQ-DC1 car deck.  I don't even remember DCC audio - was that popular at all?  Apparently you can also still use the machines to play back standard cassettes. (English) (Japanese)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Waiting For a Train" - (120312)

"Waiting For a Train"
Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Keio Line" - (120312)

"Keio Line"
Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Tokyo Hanami-2012, Ginza Art Installations, and Train Window Views"

More videos:  The sakura tree blossoms came out later this year than usual - coinciding more with school entrance ceremonies than graduation ceremonies, which is more typical.  In this batch of clips I visited the Yotsuya rampart and also recorded views of sakura trees in a few other places (Nihonbashi, Yurakucho, etc.)  Then there are three art-related clips - two installations and one group exhibition - with the exhibition being at Platform Studio, which is (sadly) closing at the end of this month.  For the record architecturally, there are two clips showing the ceiling of Room-515 in the Okuno Building - in which you can see where the walls of the communal restroom of the 1934 half of the building used to be.  The 1934 building restrooms were obliterated in order to enlarge the back room there (on all floors except the 1st floor - leaving the restrooms in the 1932 half of the building).  Among the train videos are four clips that show the left side window view from an inbound Chuo Line train running from Kokubunji to Yotsuya.

Nihonbashi Hanami-2012 - (120410)

Yotsuya Rampart Hanami-2012 - (B) - (120409)

Yotsuya Rampart Hanami-2012 - (A) - (120409)

Kurota Hirofumi Installation at GOBP-306 (A) - April 2012 (120409)

Kurota Hirofumi Installation at GOBP-306 (B) - April 2012 (120409)

Kurota Hirofumi Installation at GOBP-306 (C) - April 2012 (120409)

Kurota Hirofumi Installation at GOBP-306 (D) - April 2012 (120410)

Kurota Hirofumi (黒多弘文) installation at Ginza Okuno Building Project-306 (銀座奥野ビル306号室プロジェクト) - April 2012 - D - (120410)

Last Group Exhibition at Gallery Platform Studio  - (120409)

A look at the last exhibition at Gallery Platform Studio (ギャラリープラットフォームスタジオ) - (120409)

Otsubo Miho Installation - Gallery Kazuki - (A) - (120409)

Otsubo Miho Installation - Gallery Kazuki - (B) - (120409)

Otsubo Miho (大坪美穂展) Installation (インストレーション) at Gallery Kazuki (画廊香) - (B) - (120409)

Mitaka to Nakano - Inbound Chuo Line - (120409)

Room-515 Ceiling - Okuno Building - (A) - (120409)

Room-515 Ceiling - Okuno Building - (B) - (120409)

Ginza Office Workers - Homeward Bound - (120409)

Kokubunji to Mitaka - Inbound Chuo Line - (120409)

Nakano to Shinjuku - Inbound Chuo Line - (120409)

Kanda to Yurakucho - Yamanote Line - (120409)

Yotsuya Rampart Arrival - Sakura Quest - (120409)

Shinjuku to Yotsuya - Inbound Chuo Line - (120409)

Yotsuya Rampart Hanami-2012 - (C) - (120409)

Evening Ginza 4-Chome - (120410)

Evening Yurakucho to Tokyo - (120410)

Looking Up at Sakura Trees - (120409)

Walking Through Evening Ginza - (120410)

Nihonbashi to Kyobashi - Ginza Line - (120410)

Late Night Yurakucho to Tokyo - (120409)

Kyobashi - New Building Construction - (120410)

Yotsuya Rampart - Back to Street Level - (120409)

Yurakucho Sakura - (120410)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Saturday, April 07, 2012

"Sky" - (120312)

Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Live Jazz in Yurakucho; Ginza, Chidorigafuchi Hanami (千鳥ヶ淵花見), Etc."

It's a sign of spring in Tokyo when you start seeing more street bands out performing, so it was great to see a three-piece jazz band enlivening Yurakucho (four clips at the top of this batch, plus a couple of HD clips further down the list).  Then there are a couple of art exhibition clips, and views of a strangely empty Seibu Line train (most likely due to a very powerful storm that had just blown through Tokyo, so people were probably avoiding going out if they could), on which I had the first two cars all to myself (until a few stops down the line, when more people boarded the train).  Add in a few typical train system views, and finally there's a very strong indication of spring (and something fun) - cherry blossom viewing (花見) season!  I visited the area around Kudanshita Station (on the Tozai Line) yesterday evening and had a good time partaking in the yearly ritual of welcoming the coming of spring with parties beneath the cherry blossom trees.  Yearly, except outdoor events were canceled last year due to Fukushima radiation, etc, so this was the first time in two years.

Yurakucho Jazz Band - (C) - Close-up - (120402)

Yurakucho Jazz Band - (B) - (120402)

Yurakucho Jazz Band - (A) - (120402)

Ginza Chuo-Dori Double Shadow - (120402)

横田寛之 Ethnic Minority - Live in Yurakucho - (2C) - (120402)

Yurakucho Jazz Band - Setting Up - (120402)

Yurakucho Jazz Band - (2B) - (120402)

Yurakucho Jazz Band - (2A) - (120402)

Ginza Line Train Floor - (120402)

Tachihara Mariko 立原真理子展 Gallery Kobo 巷房 Screen Door Exhibition - (B) - (120402)

Tachihara Mariko 立原真理子展 Gallery Kobo 巷房 Screen Door Exhibition - (A) - (120402)

Empty Front Carriage - Seibu Line - (120403)

Yamauchi Terue (山内光枝展) Gallery-58 Installation - (120402)

Late-Night Yurakucho to Tokyo - (120402)

Where is Everybody? - Seibu Line - (120403)

Windy Night Station - Seibu Line - (120403)

Yurakucho Below-Tracks Stroll - (120402)

Windy Station - Seibu Train Arrives - (120403)

Cherry Blossoms by Small Temple in Tokyo- (120405)

Chidorigafuchi Hanami 千鳥ヶ淵花見 - (D) - (120405)

Small Temple Cherry Blossoms - (120405)

Side Streets Near Waseda Station - (120405)

Old Water Pump - (120405)

Shadows - (120405)

Kichijoji to Mitaka - Late Night Chuo Line - (120405)

Nakano Late Night Outbound Platform - (120405)

Exiting Kudanshita Station - (120405)

Cherry Blossoms in the Dark - (120405)

Kudanshita to Iidabashi - Tozai Line - (120405)

Entering Yasukuni Hanami Area - (120405)

Crossing Street in Kudanshita - (120405)

Tozai Line Kudanshita Tile Mural - (120405)

Entering Waseda Station - Street->Station->Train - (120405)

Walking Through Yasukuni Grounds During Hanami Season - (120405)

九段北花見 Kudan-Kita Hanami - (A) - (120405)

九段北花見 Kudan-Kita Hanami - (B) - (120405)

九段北花見 Kudan-Kita Hanami - (C) - (120405)

九段北花見 Kudan-Kita Hanami - (D) - (120405)

Hanami Along 302 - Yasukuni-Dori 靖国通り - (120405)

Beautiful Flowers at Hanami in Kudan-Kita - (120405)

Chidorigafuchi Hanami 千鳥ヶ淵花見 - (C) - (120405)

Chidorigafuchi Hanami 千鳥ヶ淵花見 - (B) - (120405)

Chidorigafuchi Hanami 千鳥ヶ淵花見 - (A) - (120405)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon