Monday, April 22, 2013

"1991 Asakusa, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Etc; 2013 Shibamata, Joban Line, Kameari, Etc"

I've been going back and forth between 1991 Ueno Station and 2013 Ueno Station, trying to pin down how the building has been modified.  On one trip over to the station this year, a woman who stopped to help (mistaking my standing looking at the building intently as a sign of being lost), told me how there used to be some restaurants and izakaya places in the basement of the building (at the front side), which brought up vague memories of my own of having seen that, so I got to wishing that I had taken a video of that back in 1991... and it turns out I did!  I had forgotten about it, but on a trip to Asakusa, on the return part of the trip, I recorded images of Ueno Station while making the transfer from the Ginza Line to the Yamanote Line.  Not in as much detail as I'd like, but enough to understand one of the original design elements of the building that is impossible to figure out from observation alone of the station in its current form.
Anyway - more about Ueno Station further down the page.  Now, on to the videos!
1991 Asakusa Walkabout 台東区浅草散策散歩 (910406)

Walking around in Asakusa - looking into old shops and at the street scene there in general.  In the rain, most of the umbrellas are colorful - this being before the clear plastic ones came into popular use.  At one point, I go down to the B1 level and find myself in a kind of time-slip atmosphere with restaurants and izakaya places that seemed quite old even in 1991, and so I suspect might not still be there now.  Then I walk down a covered outdoor shotengai street., and then back underground - which turns out to be connected with Asakusa Station on the Ginza (subway) Line.  Right at the end is a very brief view of one of the old type (all orange) Ginza Line trains.  For that ride, see the next video:
1991 Asakusa to Ueno - Old Ginza Line Train 昔の銀座線 (910406)
The old type (all orange) Ginza Line trains were being phased out in 1991 - but there were still several running, and I ended up on one in this video.  The sounds of the train are a little different from now.  Watching and listening to this video actually brings back some faint smell memories associated with the subway.  This was before they air-conditioned the subway system, so it had some very distinct (and not always very pleasant) smells that came in the open windows form the old tunnels.
At the end of the clip is a quick view of one of the old underground restaurants in Ueno Station that I mentioned above in the introduction.  For more views of 1991 Ueno Station, see the next video:

1991 Ueno Station 平成三年の上野駅 (910406)

The next three pictures (and the one above) I don't care for and wouldn't use, except they show a part of Ueno Station that used to be a passageway that led outside, but is now blocked off, so I'm putting them here for the content they contain.
Watching this now, I really wish I had spent more time on it and recorded the scene at Ueno Station in more detail, but at the time, I was transferring from the Ginza Line to the Yamanote Line, so I just took a few quick views.  The relevant parts that show the old design go by very quickly though, so you need to replay the video and pause it here and there to figure out what's what.
At around the 0:53 mark, is a view from inside the main part of the original 1932 station building, with a long row of ticket machines on both sides.  This space is used in a different way now, with part of it being taken up with a Hard Rock Cafe, an escalator, etc., and so it seems much smaller now.
Around the 1:08 mark you can see how the large area in front of the Central Entrance looked, with the ceiling and it's florescent lights (before the spot type lights now used that were already installed in 2000, when I took the pictures I posted in the following (after the picture) blog entry (scroll down the page a little for the pictures of 2000 Ueno Station).
1991 Ueno Station

2000年のあっちこっち - Here and There in 2000 Tokyo

2013 Ueno Station

In the 2000 photos, also notice how the 1932 building ticket machines are already shut down and construction is about to begin on the transformation that led to the current layout of the station.
At the 1:24 mark, there's a view of a station employee pulling out a jammed ticket from one of the (at the time) very new automatic ticket gates.  They didn't properly explain the technology of the machines, and while observant people noted that the back side of the new type tickets was covered with a magnetic material the same color as some cassette tapes, and understood the machines were reading magnetically recorded information, a lot of people had no idea how the machines worked, and would put older type tickets into the machines, which the machines couldn't read.  If you listen carefully, you can hear a recorded woman's voice explaining (in Japanese) that tickets that are white on the back can't be used in the automatic ticket gates.

1990 - Shinjuku to Tamachi (Yamanote Front Cab View) 山手線 (900409)

This one gets off to a shaky start (literally I'm afraid) as I walk down a platform at Shinjuku Station, but once I'm on the train, the front cab views are interesting in that many of the stations the train passes through have pretty radically changed, so it's interesting for comparing 1990 Yamanote Line Stations with the same stations in 2013.  Also, all the announcements are in Japanese, and made by a real, live human being!  Just imagine!  The horrible passenger-harassing amateurishly read English recorded messages they use now really... damage (I'm tempted to say "ruin") otherwise pleasant train trips.

1991 Ikebukuro to Hibarigaoka 池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 西武池袋線 (910406)

1991 Ueno to Ikebukuro (Yamanote Line) 上野駅-池袋駅 山手線 (910406)

1991 Evening Ikebukuro Rush 夕方池袋駅ラッシュー (910406)

This video, showing huge numbers of people changing trains at Ikebukuro Station, is good background regarding why they have built new subway lines and extended surface train lines so many people who used to have to transfer at Ikebukuro Station, can now just ride through on one train.

Ueno to Nippori (Joban Line) 上野駅-日暮里駅 - 常磐線 (130416)
Nippori to Matsudo (Joban Line) 日暮里駅-松戸駅 - 常磐線 (130416)

Matsudo Station Afternoon Platform View 松戸駅午後ホーム (130416)

Night Window View and Kita-Senju Transfer 夜常磐線窓風景と北千住乗り換え (130416)

Kita-Senju to Ueno (Joban Line) 北千住駅-上野駅 - 夜常磐線 (130416)

Boarding Twilight Joban Line Train at Kanamachi 金町駅から常磐線を乗る (130416)

Utage Train at Nakano 宴電車 - 中野 - Ozashiki-485 (130411)
Afternoon Nakano Station Platform 午後中野駅ホーム中央線を乗る (130411)

元万世橋駅新工事 (A) New Construction at Manseibashi Remains (130411)

元万世橋駅新工事 (B) New Construction at Manseibashi Remains (130411)

秋葉原散策散歩 Akihabara Stroll (Near Station) 130411

Yurakucho-SB (130411)

Yurakucho to Tokyo (Yamanote Line) 夜有楽町駅-東京駅 - 山手線 (130411)
夜遅くの東京中央線ホーム Tokyo Station Chuo Line Late Night Platform Stroll (130411)

Nighttime Kanda Glimpse from Chuo Line 夜遅くの神田 - 中央線から (130411)
Just a quick look through a Chuo Line window, but I liked the way it looked.

Tokyo to Ueno - Keihin-Tohoku Kaisoku 東京駅-上野駅 - 快速京浜東北線 (130416)
Ueno Station Upper Concourse Stroll 午後上野駅上の通路の様子 (130416)

Joban Line Green Car - Upstairs and Downstairs 常磐線グリーン車上下 (130416)

Shinjuku Outbound Chuo Line Platform Walk 新宿駅下り中央線ホーム様子 (130416)

Local Chuo Line Passing in the Night 新宿夜の中 - 各駅中央線電車が通る (130416)

Shinjuku South Entrance to Chuo Line 新宿駅南口から中央線まで (130416)

Matsudo to Kita-Senju (Joban Line) 松戸駅-北千住駅 - 常磐線 (130416)
Kita-Senju Station - Upper Platforms 北千住駅常磐線のホーム (130416)

北千住駅 - 昔の改札口探検 Kita-Senju - Exploring Old Ticket Barriers Etc (130416)

Kita-Senju to Ayase (Chiyoda Line) 北千住駅-綾瀬駅 - 千代田線 (130416)

Ayase Station Platform Look-Around 綾瀬駅ホームの見回り (130416)
Ayase to Kanamachi - Afternoon Joban Line 綾瀬駅-金町駅 - 午後の常磐線 (130416)

Kanamachi to Keisei-Kanamachi Station 金町駅-京成金町駅乗り換え (130416)
Keisei-Kanamachi to Shibamata 京成金町駅-柴又駅 - 京成金町線 (130416)

Shibamata Shotengai Entrance 帝釈天参道 - 柴又商店街 - 柴又帝釈天 (130416)
Shibamata is the area featured in the Tora-san movie series (proper name "Otoko-wa Tsurai-yo").  After seeing many of the movies, you really half expect to meet the characters from the movie as you walk down the old shotengai shopping street and also while walking on the grounds of the nearby temple.
Shibamata Shotengai Quick View 帝釈天参道 - 柴又商店街 - 柴又帝釈天 (130416)

Shibamata Taishakuten Temple - Quick Look 柴又帝釈天 (130416)

Shibamata Taishakuten Bell Being Rung 柴又帝釈天 (130416)

Twilight Shibamata Shotengai 夕暮れ帝釈天参道 - 柴又商店街 (130416)

Shibamata Station - Twilight View 夕暮れの柴又駅 (130416)

Kanamachi Station - from Entrance to Platform 金町駅 - 入り口から-ホームまで (130416)

Shibamata to Kanamachi (Keisei Line) 柴又駅-京成金町駅 - 京成金町線 (130416g)
Ueno to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 上野駅-有楽町駅 - 山手線 (130416g)
Tokyo to Kanda - Chuo Line Night View 東京駅-神田駅 - 中央線夜の風景 (130416g)
Akihabara Station - Ride to Yurakucho 秋葉原駅と有楽町駅まで (130411g)

Ueno to Matsudo - Kaisoku Joban Line 上野駅-松戸駅 - 快速常磐線 (130419)

Matsudo Station - Departing Station on Joban Line_松戸駅から出発 (130419)

Joban Line Left Side View on Way to Kita-Senju 常磐線北千住に (130419hdc)

Kita-Senju - Afternoon Platform View 北千住午後ホームの様子 (130419hdc)

Kita-Senju Station - Top to Bottom 北千住駅 - 上から下まで (130419hdc)

Nishi-Ogikubo - Walking to Station 西荻南三丁目から西荻窪駅まで (130419)

Nishi-Ogikubo Vending Machine Kiosk 西荻窪駅無人自動販売機キオスク (130419)

It used to be that the only place to buy anything once you were within the ticket gates of many stations, was at the ubiquitous kiosks, but as they convert train stations into half-station, half shopping mall designs, and steadily cut the number of railway employees, it stands to reason they would cut the number of people working at the kiosks and go for vending machines instead.  You hear people worrying about Japan's falling birth rate - saying "Who will be of working age in the future?", I think of all the automation and think "It's a good thing people in developed countries aren't breeding like rabbits - not only is the worsening food situation in the world such that increasing the population isn't really a very good idea, but how many jobs will there even be, as automated machines are doing ever more of the work that used to be done by humans."

Nishi-Ogikubo Station - Watching Trains 西荻窪駅 - 電車を見ている (130419hd)

Ochanomizu to Tokyo - Old Manseibashi Rails Etc 御茶ノ水駅-東京駅 - 左側 (130419)

It looks like this old train yard at the former terminus of the Chuo Line is about to be ripped up.  By the time they finish with the construction they're doing here, I think there will be very little left of the former Manseibashi Station (元万世橋駅).

Tokyo Station - North Concourse (130419hdc)

Waiting for Train on North End of Platform at Tokyo Station (130419hdc)

Ginza to JR Transfer at Ueno Station - 銀座線からJR線までの乗り換え (130419)
Keisei to Ginza to Hibiya Underground Passage - 京成線-日比谷線の地下通路 (130419)

Hibiya to Ginza Transfer at Ueno - 上野駅の日比谷線-銀座線乗り換え (130419)

Construction Recordings at Yurakucho Station 有楽町駅の工事注意録音 (130419)

Yurakucho Station - Pre-Barrier Platform View 有楽町駅ホームバリアー前 (130419hd)

Kobayashi Kiyomi 小林清美作品展 - Flowers Exhibition - Art Space Rondo (130419)
This exhibition/installation at Art Space Rondo was pretty cool.  The only problem was that the light placement was such that as you went about the room checking out the exhibition, it was a little difficult to keep from interfering with the lighting by accidentally blocking the light and momentarily wiping out some of the cool shadows.
Kobayashi Kiyomi 小林清美作品展 - Ceiling Shadows at Flowers Exhibition (130419)

Yurakucho Izakaya Tunnel 有楽町居酒屋トンネル - 春が来ました (130419)

Tokyo to Ochanomizu - Night Chuo Line - 東京駅-御茶ノ水駅 - 夜の中央線 (130419)
御茶ノ水夜散策散歩 (A) Night Stroll in Ochanomizu (130419)
Ochanomizu Night Streets (B) 夜の春御茶ノ水道 (130419)
Ochanomizu Station - Ticket Gates to Platform - 御茶ノ水駅の御茶ノ水橋口 (130419)
Tokyo to Ueno - Keihin-Tohoku Kaisoku 東京駅-上野駅 - 京浜東北線快速 (130419)
Ueno Station - Upper North Concourse to Joban Line 上野駅 - 北上通路と常磐線 (130419)

Boarding Afternoon Joban Line at Ueno Station 上野駅で午後常磐線を乗る (130419)

Joban Kaisoku to Joban Local Transfer - Kita-Senju 北千住駅乗換え (130419hdc)

Kita-Senju to Kameari - Joban Local Line 北千住駅-亀有駅 - 常磐線各駅 (130419hdc)
Kameari Station - Platform to Exit 亀有駅 - ホームから出口まで (130419hdc)

Kameari - North Side Walk (A) 亀有五丁目散策散歩 (130419)
亀有五丁目散策散歩 Kameari - North Side Walk-B (130419)

... um... both of these photos (above and below) are from the south side of the station.  For the north side, have a look at the videos.

Kameari - South Side Walk (A) 亀有三丁目散策散歩 (130419)
亀有三丁目散策散歩 Kameari - South Side Walk-B (130419)
Kita-Senju Station - Local to Kaisoku Transfer 北千住駅各駅-快速乗り換え (130419hdc)

Joban Line - Arriving at Ueno Station 常磐線で上野駅に到着 (130419)
Ueno Station - Central Exit 上野駅中央口 (130419)
Ueno Station - Main 1932 Building to Yamanote Platform - 上野駅-山手線 (130419g)

Okachimachi to Yurakucho - Keihin-Tohoku Line 御徒町駅-有楽町駅 - 京浜東北線 (130419g)

Yurakucho Train Typhoon - 有楽町駅の夕方の電車台風 (130419g)
Taken in the early evening - watching as one train after another passed by - including the Yamanote Line, the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the Tokaido Line, Shinkansen trains, etc.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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