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

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