Monday, November 26, 2012

"Kawagoe Back Street (2012/09)"

"Kawagoe Back Street (2012/09)"
Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Hamamatsucho, Kichijoji, Ukima-Koen, Musashino Line, Midnight Takao, Etc."

This batch of videos opens with street views of Hamamatsucho, Ginza, and Kichijoji.  There are also views of Tachikawa Station; the Saikyo and Musashino lines; Ukimafunado Station (浮間舟渡駅), Ukima-Koen Park (浮間公園); nighttime Kichijoji (including the station under construction); Musashi-Urawa Station (武蔵浦和駅); a couple of Ginza art exhibitions; Takao Station (高尾駅) closing up for the night; evening in Shibakoen (芝公園); Ginza (銀座), the Chuo Line, etc.

Evening Twilight Walk to Hamamatsucho 浜松町夕方散歩 (121122g)

I'm not sure how well this concept comes through the screen if you haven't lived the situation, but there's a very positive aspect to living in a train-culture city (although vast areas of Tokyo are buried beneath car-culture bloody asphalt now, and the Godzilla construction industry wants to ruin yet more of the city by burying it under still more lifeless asphalt - never mind the future - nothing is more important than short-term profits) that you miss out on if you go straight to a car in a company parking lot after work. In Tokyo, you walk through the twilight (on the way to the nearest station) with coworkers and often end up going to an izakaya (riding the trains doesn't require driving, so your behavior is [nearly] totally free in that regard) on the way.

I remember some pleasant evening drives from my car-culture days - listening to music with the windows open - watching the road and secondarily perceiving the reflections off the hood, changing light patterns, and wind whipping through the car, etc.  There were some wonderful times on the road, but only on open (or mostly open) roads with little traffic, nice scenery, and clean air.  On the flip side of car-culture life are financial worries about needing to replace worn parts, frustration with traffic, parking woes, insurance, gasoline bills, party attending limitations, etc.  Basically, with a sparse population, cars are nice, but in cities with high-density populations, personal cars should be illegal.  They're a hazard to the future of humanity and ruin the quality of life.

Ginza Chuo-Dori Night Stroll 銀座中央通夜散歩 (121122g)

Kichijoji Izakaya Section Stroll 吉祥寺赤提灯飲み街散歩 (121120g)

There are not so many izakaya places in this section of Kichijoji, but it has a lot of atmosphere nevertheless.  The plastic curtains are kind of depressing though.  Young people seem to have become really weak to the cold.  Being slim is nice, but being so slim that you're anemic means losing the ability to self-heat and these anemic new-generation-people seem to think they'll get frostbite if the temperature is less than about 28C-degrees.

Kichijoji Station Under Construction 工事中の吉祥寺駅 (121120g)

Many (most?) of the train stations in Tokyo are integrated with buildings, typically retail-based, but also office buildings, etc., so when they tear down a building for reconstruction (the Godzilla construction industry must be continually fed), it creates some logistical issues at train stations, requiring temporary tunnels to get people through the construction zone.

A quick note about construction in Tokyo.  I suppose, on the whole, it's a good thing - giving the city its constantly new feel and keeping things from going stale, but it would probably be in the city's overall best interests to preserve some structures rather than sticking to the "everything slightly old must be destroyed!" theme that is currently employed.

Kichijoji (North Side Stroll) 吉祥寺散歩北側 (121120)

Kichijoji Shop Section Stroll 吉祥寺商店街散歩 (121120)

1990 Kanaya to Kurihama (Tokyo Bay Ferry) 金谷から久里浜まで (東京湾フェリー) 901117

This clip from 1990 comes from my trip out to the tip of the Boso Peninsula that I posted several clips from recently.  My 1990 analog video camera had an f1.8 lens, which is good, but wasn't particularly strong in low-light situations, so the image sensor probably needed a bit more light than the ones more modern cameras have.  (The lens barrel says: "10x Variable Zoom 1:1.8 f-8-80mm" - are there any other kind of zoom lenses than "variable"?  I've never heard of a "fixed zoom lens"...)  In any case, since this was taken at night out on Tokyo Bay, and the camera wasn't very good at recording in the dark, there isn't much to see other than the on-board scenes.

Bus Ride (121113)

Tachikawa Station (Evening) 夕方の立川駅 (121119)

Saikyo Line Train Departing Musashi-Urawa (121120)

Saikyo Line Train Arriving at Musashi-Urawa (121120)

Ukima-Koen Park 浮間公園 November 2012 (121120)

This is a fairly nice park out on the northern edge of Tokyo.  I bought food at a local grocery store and had a relaxed lunch here.  While sitting on a park bench having lunch, I was visited by pigeons, crows, and a mysterious cat.  It's one of those things that don't make much sense in words when you try to explain them to others later, but there was a kind of "we're-all-connected" feeling while I was sitting there - first with the cat, then the crows, and to a very small degree - with the pigeons (I'm not a great fan of pigeons).

Shimmering Water (Ukima-Koen Park) 浮間公園 (121120)

Kichijoji Side Street Lights (121120)

Passing Countryside (Double-Speed, No-Sound) 121121

Musashino Art University Outdoor Art Exhibition (KCK) 121118

This is part of an outdoor exhibition that Musashino Art University holds every year in a park not far from the university.

Kokubunji to Nishi-Kokubunji, Freight Train, Etc. (Sound Issue in First Half) 121120

This shows the ride from Kokubunji to Nishi-Kokubunji and then the transfer from the Chuo Line to the Musashino Line.  (I appear to have inadvertently been blocking the sound with the way I was holding the camera for the first part of this video, but the sound returns to normal for the last half.)

Nishi-Kokubunji Station Small Oasis Shopping, Etc. (121120)

I stumbled upon this small oasis (in the middle of the station) for the first time when taking this video.  The sharp contrast with the platform makes it seem all the nicer.  I'm not an expert on in-station shopping malls, but this one struck me as one of the nicest such spaces I've yet seen - and with its own fountain no less!

Musashino Line Front Cab View (Nishi-Kokubunji to Musashi-Urawa) 武蔵野線 (121120)

This is a fairly long clip alternately looking out the front cab and a right side window of a Musashino Line train.

Ukimafunado Station (Waiting for Train) 浮間舟渡 (121120)

Train Arriving and Departing at Ukimafunado Station (121120)

Musashi-Urawa Station 武蔵浦和駅 (Musashino and Saikyo Lines) 121120

Shinkansen Passing Musashi-Urawa (Waiting for Train) 武蔵浦和駅 (121120)

This section of the Saikyo Line runs in parallel with a Shinkansen line, so it can be a good place to watch Shinkansen trains passing.

Musashi-Urawa to Ukimafunado 武蔵浦和から浮間舟渡まで (埼京線) 121120

Side and rear cab views on a Saikyo Line train running from Musashi-Urawa to Ukimafunado.

Ukimafunado to Akabane 浮間舟渡から赤羽まで (121120)

Side and rear cab views on a Saikyo Line train running from Ukimafunado to Akabane.

Keihin-Tohoku Platform Views at Akabane Station 赤羽駅 (121120)

Takao Station 2:00 a.m. (Last Train and Station Lockup for Night) 121123

The last batch of outbound trains on the Chuo Line dead-end at Takao Station, and invariably there are several people who fell asleep on the train (one disadvantage of sitting down when you think you are lucky to get a seat!), and then wake up at the end of line - Takao - at a time at night when there are no trains running in the opposite direction, so people who can afford to throw cash at a taxi, go home that way, while people who can't afford that [cough] burn off a few hours and take the first train out in the morning (which is at 4:28 a.m. at this station).

Shinjuku to Ebisu (Yamanote Line) 121122

Ginza Art Exhibition - Gallery Murata (121122)

Group Exhibition - Ginza 1-Chome (121122)

Gallery Floor (121122)

Entering Hibiya Subway at Ebisu Station (121122)

Evening Park Look-around (Shibakoen) 芝公園 (121122)

I was just passing by when I realized I wanted to stop and contemplate where to go next, so I bought something to eat at a nearby convenience store and sat for a while in a park that was surprisingly nice, given it's near proximity to a major asphalt fire-breathing machinery pathway.  (Sometime in the future, when humanity is finally free of the curse of the internal-combustion engine, people will look back and wonder "How/why in the world did people put up with those horrible machines in the past?".)

Shibakoen Evening Tune 夕方の芝公園 (121122)

Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho 浜松町から有楽町まで (夕方) 121122

Ginza Side Street Stroll 銀座横道 (121122)

Waiting for Light Near Tokyo Station (121122)

They've been working on the foundations of new buildings on the Yaesu side of Tokyo Station for many years now, so towers will probably begin arising there in the not very distant future.

Late Night Tokyo to Yurakucho, Etc. 夜の東京から有楽町まで (121122)

Late Night Yurakucho to Tokyo 夜遅く有楽町から東京まで (121122)

Waiting for Late Night Chuo Line Train (121122)

Tokyo Chuo Line Platform Late at Night (121122)

Late Night Chuo Line Train Arrives at Takao (121123)

Early Morning Takao Station (121123)

Early Morning Chuo Line Train (Waiting to Get Underway) 121123

Empty Early Morning Train Cars (Chuo Line) 121123

First Chuo Line Train of the Day Gets Underway (121123)

Looking Out on Platform While Departing Station (121120)

Omori to Yurakucho 大森から有楽町まで (121120)

Art Exhibition - Gallery Rondo 121120

Entering Tokyo Station (Yaesu Side) 121120 東京駅八重洲口

Getting In Line for a Chuo Line Train at Tokyo Station (121120)

Departing Yotsuya Station (Chuo Line) 121120

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Tokyo Station (Late in Morning) 2012/10"

"Tokyo Station (Late in Morning) 2012/10"
Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"1990 Trip to Boso Peninsula; 2012 Kokubunji, Shinbashi Book Festival, Etc."

The first batch of video clips are from November 17th, 1990 - twenty-two years ago.  All of the clips are from a single trip I took out to the tip of the Boso Peninsula.  The batch starts with an early morning view of central Tokyo and continues through several train rides out to the end of the peninsula, and then ends after taking more trains to Kanaya, where I board a ferry to ride across Tokyo Bay to Kurihama in Kanagawa.

In 2012 I stumble upon the annual used book fair held in SL Plaza in front of Shinbashi Station.  In years past I've bought some great reference books at good prices at this festival, but I have so little space in my apartment now that I'm reluctant to buy books these days, unless I think I really need to read them or have them as reference material.  Of course, the Internet is what enables avoiding buying books, since there is so much material available to read on-line.

Incidentally - recently Shinbashi is often being spelled "Shimbashi", but I strongly feel that's a mistake, since "ん" in Japanese most closely corresponds with "n" in English.  The theory is that the pronunciation changes to "m" when "ん" precedes certain sounds, but it sure doesn't sound that way to me, so I'm sticking with what I feel is the correct way to write (and pronounce) the name: "Shinbashi" - [新橋 しんばし shi-n-ba-shi].

1990 Sobu Line - Ochanomizu to Kinshicho 御茶ノ水から錦糸町まで (901117)

1990 Kinshicho to Tsudanuma 錦糸町から津田沼まで (901117)

1990 Tsudanuma Morning Rush 津田沼朝のラッシュ (901117)

This was taken around 7:30 a.m. - and so the people running to catch the train are likely aiming for getting to Tokyo offices before 9:00 a.m.  This video reminds me of the phrase the railways used a lot at the time urging people not to run for the trains: 駆け込み乗車を止めましょう (Kakekomi-josha-o-yamemasho) which is composed of 1) run to board a train, 2) stop/cease/not, and 3) let's.  This could be translated in various ways, but I think a fairly close English equivalent-meaning sentence would basically be: "Don't run for the trains!", although that's a bit more direct than "Let's not run for the trains" which is closer (as a "direct" translation) to the Japanese original, although unnatural in English.

Always remember - when you read the popular lie "a direct translation" - that there is very nearly no such thing as a direct translation, just varying degrees between slavishly following word order and word-by-word (attempted) equivalences on the one hand, and aiming for the same end result/impression/image with free use of whatever words on the other.  Both have their advantages and problems.  (Once in a while there is something that can be directly translated, but that's usually just nouns.)

1990 Tsudanuma to Chiba 津田沼から千葉まで (901117)

1990 Chiba Station (Morning) 朝の千葉駅 (901117)

This is both further away from Tokyo and later in the morning - beyond the point where people would be able to get to Tokyo offices by 9:00 a.m., so it's a bit more relaxed than the 7:30 a.m. scene at Tsudanuma was.

1990 Chiba to Awakamogawa 千葉から安房鴨川まで (901117)

This reminds me of the pleasures of travel by rail in Japan before - on trains with windows that properly opened, rails in short sections that made the traditional clack-clack - clack-clack-clack sounds, passenger-controlled ceiling air vents, and booth seats.  When you went out into the countryside on a train that wasn't crowded, it was a really pleasant ride.

1990 Awakamogawa in Chiba 千葉の安房鴨川 (房総半島) 901117

I exited the station at this stop and walked around the town a bit, taking videos.  Watching it now, it looks like a different era - which it was, but it looks like it was from some distant time in the past - long-long-ago, etc.  Change comes to large cities first, and so I guess this really is from the past in more ways than simply being from twenty-two years ago....

1990 Awakamogawa to Hamakanaya 安房鴨川から浜金谷まで (房総半島) 901117

1990 Kanaya Walkabout 金谷散歩 (901117)

1990 Nokogiriyama Cable-car (Up) 鋸山ロープウェイ (上) 901117

1990 Nokogiriyama Walkabout 鋸山散歩 (901117)

1990 Kanaya at Night 夜の金谷 (901117)

1990 Boarding Tokyo Bay Ferry 夜で東京湾フェリーを乗る (901117)

Kokubunji Night Streets (A) 121112

Kokubunji Night Streets (B) 121112

Kokubunji Night Streets (C) 121112

Kokubunji Night Streets (D) 121112

Yamanote Line Train Leaving Shinbashi (Book Festival) 121115

Shinbashi Used Book Festival (A) 新橋古本まつり (新橋SL広場) 121115

Shinbashi Used Book Festival (B) 新橋古本まつり (新橋SL広場) 121115

Shinbashi Used Book Festival (C) 新橋古本まつり (新橋SL広場) 121115

Shinbashi to Yurakucho (Twilight) 夕方新橋から有楽町まで (121115)

Between Ginza and Yurakucho (Twilight) 121115

Gallery Ginza-One November Exhibition (121115)

Evening Ginza Side Street Stroll (121115)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Time Slip Street (September 2012)"

"Time Slip Street (September 2012)"
Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Yurakucho Trains, Hamamatsucho, Nakano, Nishi-Ogikubo, Kawagoe (HD), Etc."

This batch of clips gets started with a look at a train typhoon in Yurakucho - with the trains running in close frequency mode, but before the evening rush really got going, so they're not very crowded.  There are also views of Hamamatsucho, Kokubunji, Nakano, Nishi-Ogikubo, Ginza, Shinjuku, etc.

Yurakucho (Pre-Rush Train Typhoon) ラッシュ前の電車台風 (121108)

Yurakucho Station Platform Walk 有楽町駅散歩 (121108)

Hamamatsucho Station (121108)

Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho (Twilight Skyline) 浜松町から有楽町まで (121108)

Yurakucho (Under Bridge Sights and Sounds) 121108

Old all-steel bridges like the one in this video make a kind of symphony of industrial noises that bring to mind decades of industry and the history of technology and infrastructure.

Entering Kawagoe-shi Station 川越市駅 (121107) Tobu-Tojo Line

Tobu Tojo Line (Side Window View in Saitama) 121107

Quick Saitama Countryside View (121107)

Birds Singing in Saitama Woods (121107)

This is more about the soundtrack than the visual images - but it shows a radical contrast with the typical Tokyo city scenes I record.

Kokubunji (Short Night Stroll) 国分寺夜の散歩 (121107)

Walking on Concourse in Tokyo Station (Short Stroll) 東京駅 (121106)

Nakano Izakaya Back Streets (121106)

Nakano Station 中野駅 Ticket Gates to Platform (121106)

Exiting Shinjuku Station South Exit (121106)

Misty Night (Shinjuku South Exit Bus Terminal Construction) 121106

Shinjuku Late Night Platform Walk (Chuo Line) 夜の新宿駅 (121106)

Nishi-Ogikubo Station 西荻窪駅 Night View (121106)

Nishi-Ogikubo Izakaya Alley 西荻窪居酒屋道 (121106)

One of the increasingly rare time-slip izakaya zones in Tokyo.

Kanda to Yurakucho 神田から有楽町まで (121106)

Nighttime Ginza Chuo-Dori (In and Out of Focus) 121108

Nighttime Ginza 4-Chome (In and Out of Focus) 121108

Entering Yurakucho Station (In and Out of Focus) 121108

Asphalt Without the Cars (Festival) 121020

With the fire-breathing engined machines blocked for a festival, you get a sense of a vast amount of land buried under asphalt as you look off towards the horizon and the asphalt goes on and on and on....

Kawagoe Matsuri (Street Full of People) 121020

Kawagoe Matsuri by Hon-Kawagoe Station (121020)

Kawagoe Matsuri Food Stalls (Early in the Day) 121020

Kawagoe Matsuri (Afternoon Crowds) 121020

Kawagoe Matsuri (Old Section of Town) 121020

Tokyo Tower Children's Play Area (121108)

Yurakucho-SB - Autumn 2012 - (121108)

Yurakucho-SB - November 8th, 2012 - (121108)

Ginza Stroll (Fire Drill Maybe) 銀座 (121108)

I'm not sure what was going on, but I presume it was some kind of drill.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, November 04, 2012

"Near Tokyo Station" (2012/09)

"Near Tokyo Station" (2012/09)
Copyright 2012 by Lyle H Saxon

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Nishi-Oi, Osaki, Shinbashi, Ukimafunado, Kita-Akabane, Hamamatsucho, Etc."

Among typical train views from various lines in Tokyo, I visited a few stations on the Saikyo Line out in Kita-ku (Ukimafunado, Kita-Akabane, etc.), as well as (in the opposite direction) Nishi-Oi on the Yokosuka Line.  From Nishi-Oi, I was originally intending to take a Yokosuka Line train up to Shinagawa Station, but mistakenly got on a Shonan-Shinjuku Line train and so got off in Osaki instead.  In central Tokyo are walking street views of Hamamatsucho and Shinbashi, etc.

Arriving at Tokyo Station (Afternoon Chuo Line) 121030

Chuo to Yokosuka (Express Interior) Tokyo Station (121030)

Tunnel Trip (Tokyo to Shinagawa) Yokosuka Line (121030)

Ride to Nishi-Oi (Yokosuka Line) Outbound (121030)

Nishi-Oi Station (Afternoon) 121030 西大井

Nishi-Oi Walkabout (Afternoon) 121030 西大井散歩

Nishi-Oi Empty Platform Walk (Boarding Inbound Shonan-Shinjuku Line) 121030

Nishi-Oi to Osaki (Inbound Shonan-Shinjuku Line) 121030

Osaki Station (Platform to Exit Gates) 121030

Osaki Station to Gate City Osaki Building (Outside Plaza Poplar Trees) 121030

Osaki Gate-City-Osaki Indoor Plaza at Lunchtime (121030)

Osaki Gate City Building (Indoor Plaza Walkabout) 121030

Osaki Gate City Building (Garden Stroll, Bird Sounds, Etc) 121030

Exiting Osaki Gate City Building (121030)

Elevated Plaza by Osaki Station at Lunch (121030)

Osaki Station Northeast Entrance (Elevated Plaza to Platform) 121030

Osaki to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line, Afternoon) 121030

Yurakucho Plaza (Shochu Exhibition and Sampling (121030)

Walking into Ginza (121030)

Kyobashi Art Exhibition (121030)

GOBP-306 Installation (A) 121030

GOBP-306 Installation (B) 121030

Walking to Tokyo Station via Underground Mall (121030)

Silver Bell Waiting Area in Tokyo Station (121030)

Shinjuku Evening Chuo Line Platform (121030)

Entering Nishi-Shinjuku (Evening) 121030

Nishi-Shinjuku Sanpo 淀橋散歩 (121030)

Chuo Line Platform Walk, Shinjuku (Late Night) 121030

Inside Outbound Chuo Line Train (Late Night) 121030

Cab-to-Cab Inside Connecting Hallway, Tobu Line Train (Old Type) 121031

Kokubunji to Shinjuku (Chuo Line) 121101

Oji to Otsuka via Streetcar (121101)

Boarding Midnight Chuo Line Train in Tachikawa (121102)

Entering Otsuka Station (121101)

Yamanote Line Platform Walk (Shinjuku Afternoon) 121101

Shinjuku to Ebisu (Yamanote Line, Left Side) 121101

Yamanote to Hibiya Transfer at Ebisu (121101)

Open Air Tourist Bus Drives By (121101)

Zojoji Temple (Quick 360) 増上寺 (121101)

Twilight Parking Lot and Hamamatsucho Street Scenes (121101g)

Twilight Trains at Hamamatsucho Station (121101g) 浜松町夕方電車

Entering Hamamatsucho Station (Evening) 121101g 夕方浜松町駅

Walking Towards Hamamatsucho (Twilight) 121101 浜松町

Hamamatsucho to Shinbashi (Twilight) 121101 浜松町から新橋まで

Exiting Shinbashi Station (Shinbashi Plaza Event) 121101 新橋駅

New-Shinbashi-Building (A) ニュー新橋ビル内 (121101)

New-Shinbashi-Building (B) ニュー新橋ビル内 (121101)

Shinbashi Streets (Evening) 121101g 新橋夕方道

Shinbashi - Under the Tracks, Etc (121101) 新橋ガード下など

Shinbashi Rail Bridge Near Station (121101)

Edge of Ginza Near Tracks (Restaurants Just Before 6:00 p.m. (121101)

Edge of Ginza Early Evening Restaurant Stroll (121101)

Ginza Chuo-Dori Evening Stroll (121101) 銀座夕方中央通散歩

Edge of Kyobashi (Headed for Tokyo Station) 121101

Kita-Akabane Platform Walk and Ride to Akabane (121101)

Akabane Station Keihin-Tohoku to Saikyo (121101) 赤羽駅京浜東北線と埼京線

Night Train to Ukimafunado 浮間舟渡 埼京線 (121101)

Ukimafunado Station at Night 夜の浮間舟渡駅 埼京線 (121101)

Evening Supermarket Stroll (121101)

Ukimafunado Station Area (B) 浮間舟渡駅あたり (121101)

Ukimafunado Station Area (A) 浮間舟渡駅あたり (121101)

Ukimafunado to Kita-Akabane 浮間舟渡から北赤羽まで (121101)

Kita-Akabane Station 北赤羽駅 (121101)

Kita-Akabane Station Area (A) 121101

Kita-Akabane Station Area (B) 121101

Entering Kita-Akabane Station at Night (121101)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon