Monday, May 06, 2013

"1991 Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Mukojima, etc; 2013 Minami-Senju, Etc."

Dear Google - I just spent eight hours carefully choosing and inserting photos into this post, and then I accidentally hit some key combination (Ctrl+Z?) that vaporized everything instantaneously.  At least the photos are still accessible in the order they were posted in, so I can reassemble the post, but can you (please!) put an intermediate step in there with a message that asks "Do you really want to trash everything in this post irrevocably?".  This isn't the first time this has happened, but this is by far the most painful example of this particular bug in this blog framework.  Eight hours of work vaporized in a second by a simple slip and hitting one wrong key....

LHS - (2013/05/06)

This batch of videos starts off with several views from April 1991, from general going about town views (Hibarigaoka, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, etc.), to views of Ueno, Asakusa, and Mukojima.  Jumping forward to 2013, there are views of Akihabara, Ueno, Ogikubo, Minami-Senju, Musashisakai, Akasaka-Mitsuke, Shinjuku, etc.

1991 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 (西武池袋線) 910410

1991 Nishi-Ikebukuro Walkabout 西池袋散策散歩 - 東武デパート新工事 (910410)
The big difference between now and the views in this 1991 video are the Tobu Department Store (section) under construction.  Also, in closely watching the video, it seems to me that the 1991 people in the video are feeling futuristic as they experience the modern new structures of the day.  A generation on, the current young crowd experiencing the same places takes them for granted - and why shouldn't they?  They've known them all of their lives and yesterday's sparkling new things are getting old now.

1991 Ikebukuro to Shinjuku 池袋駅-新宿駅 (埼京線) 910410

1991 Shinjuku Walkabout 新宿散策散歩 (910410)

1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area (910410)
This old area - just outside the South-East Exit of Shinjuku Station - looks so out of place even 22 years ago...  There's no trace of it left now, so this video really feels like something from long-long ago.  In the video, as I look on, an expensive car drives up, a man in a suit gets out, who then goes to one of the ramshackle buildings.  Considering I was reading a contemporary book at the time that stated they were trying to clear the area, I now imagine that business-suited man from the expensive car was connected with that somehow?  "Listen, if you agree to move, we'll pay you..." etc.?
ZZ1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area
1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area
1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area
1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area
1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area
1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area
1991 Shinjuku South Exit Area
1991 Shinjuku South Exit Area
1991 Shinjuku South Exit Area
1991 Shinjuku to Hibarigaoka 新宿駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 (910410)

1991 Ueno Station Underground Old Layout 上野駅昔の地下 (910406 910413)

I put together views from two days for this one; from April 6th and 13th, 1991.  Since the footage consists of many short clips, it's a little hard to piece together how the basement of Ueno Station used to be, but there's still a lot to see if you carefully scrutinize the material.  If I had realized it would so radically change, I would have recorded it much more carefully!  Still, it's a glimpse in moving pictures with sound of a bygone era.

1991 Tobu Store Under Construction 東武百貨店の工事中池袋店 (910410)
1991 Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space 東京芸術劇場 (910410)
This building is basically the same, but now it's just something that everyone is used to, while it seemed ultra-modern in 1991, so the atmosphere generated by the people using the structure has changed.  Here's a look at when it was kind of exciting just to enter the space.
1991 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 (西武池袋線) 910413
1991 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅
1991 Ikebukuro to Ueno 池袋駅-上野駅 (山手線) 910413
1991 Ikebukuro to Ueno 池袋駅-上野駅
1991 Ueno Station Basement Restaurants 上野駅の地下レストラン (910413)
If you watched "1991 Ueno Station Underground Old Layout 上野駅昔の地下 (910406 910413)" above, then there's no need to see this one, which is basically the April 6th, 1991 part of that material (I edited this one first and then realized there was more material I could add, and so created the other video).
1991 Ueno to Asakusa 上野駅-浅草駅 (銀座駅) 910413
1991 Asakusa Underground Shopping 浅草駅の地下商店街 (910413)
This looks quite old even for 1991, so I'm really curious what has become of it.  Probably they remodeled the space, but the last few times I went to Asakusa I went straight up to the surface of the earth and forgot that this area existed (and still exists?).
1991 Asakusa Underground Shopping 浅草駅の地下商店街
1991 Asakusa Underground Shopping 浅草駅の地下商店街
1991 Asakusa Underground Shopping 浅草駅の地下商店街
1991 Asakusa Underground Shopping 浅草駅の地下商店街
Asakusa Walkabout / 浅草散歩
Asakusa Walkabout / 浅草散歩
Asakusa Walkabout / 浅草散歩
Asakusa Walkabout / 浅草散歩
1991 Mukojima Walkabout 1991年の向島散策散歩 (910413)
A long video - 45 minutes of walking around in Mukojima (two or three hours at the time, with the recorded scenes adding up to 45 minutes).  Something I don't think I realized at the time, is how close this area is to Kyojima.  When (re)watching the material while editing it, one type of old pre-WW-II building caught my attention and I thought "Wait... that looks like the buildings I thought were unique to Kyojima!", so I took a good look at a map and was surprised to see that Kyojima and Mukojima are basically right by each other.
1991 Mukojima Walkabout 1991年の向島散策散歩
1991 Mukojima Walkabout 1991年の向島散策散歩
1991 Mukojima Walkabout 1991年の向島散策散歩
Akihabara Back Street (Quick View) 秋葉原電気街一見 (130423hd)

Akihabara - Avoiding Street Dolls 秋葉原 (130423hd)

I hadn't wanted to turn down that alley - but there were a team of irritating young women on the street trying to entice men into one of those theme coffee shops, so I couldn't walk down the street I wanted to without recording them.  Frankly speaking, I find it highly irritating that the streets of Akihabara have been taken over by armies of young women out noisily trying to get young men to spend their money at one of the many (many-many-many) theme coffee shops.  That the shops are there doesn't bother me much (although I think it's not particularly constructive or healthy for either the people working those kinds of jobs or the people spending money on that kind of thing), but what gives them the right to take over the streets like that?  They're ruining Akihabara.  Come to think of it, I guess I can just boycott the area and shop elsewhere.  There are fewer and fewer quality computer places in "Akiba" anyway.

Akihabara Main Street Stroll 秋葉原大通り散策散歩 (130423hd)

Akihabara Station Bound 秋葉原駅向き - 夕方散策散歩 (130423hd)

Trains Passing in the Night (SST) 夜の電車が通ります (130423hd)

Shinjuku to Yotsuya (Chuo Line) 新宿駅-四ッ谷駅 - 中央線 (130423hdc)

Kanda Station Under Construction - Platform to Exit 工事中の神田駅 (130423hdc)

With the extension of some long distance trains (some combination of the Takasaki, Utsunomiya, and Joban lines) from Ueno to Tokyo, they will presumably be adding a new platform to Kanda Station.  Considering the current state of the under-(re)construction station, it's probably a safe bet to assume that the station will be fairly radically different once construction is finished (although construction in Tokyo never, ever ends, so I probably shouldn't say "finished").

Ueno Station - Main Concourse (Platform to Ticket Gates) 上野駅中央色々 (130423hdc)

Akihabara to Tokyo (Yamanote Line) 秋葉原駅神田駅 - 山手線 (130423)
Tokyo Station (Tokaido to Yaesu Side) 東京駅 - 東海道線-八重洲口 (130423)
Tokyo Station / 東京駅 - 東海道線-八重洲口
Tokyo Station / 東京駅 - 東海道線-八重洲口
Performance Art (GOBP-306 April 2013) 奥野ビル306号室パフォーマンスアート (130423)
A very short clip, but it shows the jovial atmosphere of this performance art installation.
Ginza 1-Chome / 銀座1丁目
Tokyo to Kanda (Late Night Chuo Line) - 東京駅-神田駅 - 夜遅くの中央線 (130423g)
Tokyo to Kanda / 東京駅-神田駅
Walking Towards Late Night Chuo Line Train (Shinjuku) 新宿駅 (130423)

Mysterious Old Structure (130423)

I don't know what this is/was, but it's near a freight rail yard and I wonder if it was some kind of grain storage facility?

Ogikubo Station Walkabout 荻窪駅ホームから上の改札口まで (130423)

Ogikubo Station Area - North Side 荻窪駅から上荻まで (130423)

Ogikubo Walkabout (North to South) 荻窪散策散歩 - 上荻一丁目-荻窪五丁目 (130423)

Ogikubo Walkabout (South Side to Station) 荻窪五丁目から荻窪駅までの散策散歩 (130423)

Ogikubo Platform and Ogikubo to Asagaya (Chuo Line) 荻窪駅-阿佐ヶ谷駅 - 中央線 (130423)

Ogikubo to Shinjuku (Afternoon Chuo Line) 荻窪駅-新宿駅 - 午後の中央線 (130423)

Ochanomizu to Kanda (Chuo Line) 御茶ノ水駅-神田駅 - 中央線の左側 (130423)
Kajicho Stroll - Near Kanda Station 鍛冶町散策散歩 - 神田駅の近く (130423)

A walk along a street in Kanda.  Nothing really amazing, but it captures the atmosphere in afternoon Kanda somewhat.
Entering Kanda Station (Under Construction) 工事中神田駅を入る (130423)

Kanda-Ueno via Yamanote と Keihin-Tohoku 神田駅-上野駅 - 山手京浜東北 (130423g)

Ueno Upper Concourse to Joban Line 上野駅上の通路から常磐線まで (130423)

Vertical Gated Communities and A Discount Store (130423)

There isn't much horizontal space for creating US-style gated communities in Tokyo, but the same effect is created with residence towers that always have (every one I've seen in any case) restricted access, creating a vertical gated community.  Some have convenience stores, etc. within them, so people can go shopping, etc. without leaving the tower.  I thought the huge 100-yen store at the base of some of these expensive towers was an interesting juxtaposition.

Nippori to Minami-Senju (Joban Line) 日暮里駅-南千住駅 - 常磐線 (130423)

Minami-Senju Station (Platform to Exit) 南千住駅 - ホームから出口まで (130423)

Minami-Senju - Station to Bicycle Parking Lot 南千住散策散歩 (130423)
Bicycle Parking in Minami-Senju 南千住有料自転車駐車場 (130423)
This video shows the machines that handle paying for a parking space in a bicycle parking lot near Minami-Senju Station.

Crossing Main Road by Rail Yards (130423)

Minami-Senju - Areas on Both Sides of Station 南千住の駅隣 (130423)
Minami-Senju Walkabout - Narrow Streets Etc 南千住散策散歩 - 細い路地など (130423)

Minami-Senju to Ueno (Joban Line) 南千住駅-上野駅 - 常磐線の右側 (130423)

Many angles explored in this one - from walking around on the platform while waiting for my train, watching an outbound train arrive and depart on a neighboring platform, to inside and window views on the inbound Joban Line train I boarded at about the same time the outbound train was departing.
Ueno Station - Walk to End of Joban Line Platform Next to Main Concourse Building (130423)
Ueno Station - End of Platform View (Joban Line) 上野駅常磐線のホーム様子 (130423)
This one might be interesting for rail fans, as it shows the tracks that will be upgraded to take current end-of-the-line trains in Ueno up to Tokyo Station, and is right next to the old high roof (with new translucent material covering it - creating one huge skylight) that is over the central entrance concourse area.  Past the concourse area roof, you can see the side of the 1932 Ueno Station building.
Ueno Station Joban Platform View / 上野駅常磐線のホーム様子
Ueno Station Joban Platform View / 上野駅常磐線のホーム様子
Ueno to Akihabara (Yamanote Line) 上野駅から秋葉原駅まで - 山手線 (130423)

Akihabara Stroll 秋葉原散策散歩 Walking into Akihabara from Station (130423)

Akihabara Station - Ticket Gates to Platform 秋葉原駅 - 電気街改札口とホーム (130423)

Minami-Senju - Walk by Rail Yards 南千住散策散歩 (130423g)

Tadpols in a Temple Pond 平成25年4月

Walking Around at a Temple One Spring Day 平成25年4月

Spring Day at Temple ある春の日のお寺  平成25年4月

Tokyo Rural Scenery Rolling By (Chuo Line) 中央線からの風景 (130424hdc)

Marunouchi to JR Transfer 丸ノ内線-JR線乗り換え (130425hd)

Shinjuku Station  - West Exit Stroll 新宿駅西口散策散歩 (130425hd)
Trees in a Light Breeze 平成25年4月 (130426hdc)

Lobby of Pre-High-Rise Era Building (130425)

Just an office building lobby, but the type of stone used for the walls and the sound of the elevator arrival bells/chimes/whatever-that-sound-is-called are nostalgic to see in 2013, as that's the style that was used in the former Iino Building and other buildings that have since been torn down to make way for newer buildings.

Incidentally, the confusing thing about building names in Tokyo, is that when they tear down a building and build a new one in its place, they tend to use exactly the same name as the old building!  There doesn't appear to be (not to my knowledge anyway) a system to differentiate the different buildings built on the same area of ground.  I think I'll start just putting a version number after the name.  So the lobby of the old(ish) office building in the video is similar to the (former) Iino Building-I and the (former) Marunouchi Building-I, but not to Iino Building-II and Marunouchi Building-II.

Underground Passageway Between West and East Sides of Shinjuku Station (130425)

Edge of Kabukicho - Night Stroll 新宿歌舞伎町夜散策散歩 (130425)

Higashi-Murayama Station Platform at Night 東村山駅ホーム - 夜の様子 (130425)

Higashi-Koganei to Musashisakai (Chuo Line) 東小金井駅-武蔵境駅 - 中央線 (130426hdc)

Musashisakai Station Plaza (Spring Day) 武蔵境駅前広場 - ある春の日 (130426hdc)

It was a truly beautiful spring day when I took this - not too hot, not too cold, and with a pleasant breeze blowing - rustling the leaves of the large trees in front of the station.

Musashisakai Station Area - North to South 武蔵境駅 - 北と南 (130426hdc)

Musashisakai Station - North Side to Platform 武蔵境駅 - 北側からホームまで (130426hdc)

Musashisakai Station - Afternoon Platform Scene 武蔵境駅の午後の様子 (130426hdc)

The trains were off schedule when I took this - due to some problem down the line at Kichijoji Station apparently, so I walked around the platform a bit while waiting for my train.  Incidentally, the two times I looked down over the edge in the middle, it looked black to a person's eyes adjusted for the brightness of the platform, which is why I aimed the camera down (since it adjusts to darkness more quickly than the eyes do) to see what was down there.  Really seeing it for the first time at home on my monitor later, I wished I hadn't done that, as it doesn't look either nice or interesting, but at the time, it was a kind of semi-black void, and so I was curious....

At about the 01:03 mark, the automated recordings saying that the platforms are no smoking areas went off on both platforms - slightly out of sync.  Before they automated the station announcements, there was an actual living person who made the announcements, and they only made them when they had something to say.  Even though what they said you tended to already have memorized, each time it was slightly different, since it was live and coming from an actual living person.  The thing about the d**n recordings, is that not only have they (for some strange reason) not bothered to make ones with someone that has a nice voice, but since announcements like the no smoking one are exactly the same at all the stations on the same system, by the time you've heard precisely the same announcement several thousand times, it becomes an audio version of the Chinese water torture.  The more you hear it, the more irritating it becomes.

I really wonder if the people responsible for the recordings at most of the railways have any idea how horrible their recordings are.  From harsh voices that are unpleasant to listen to in the first place (probably they thought the voices were "professional" by being cold and robotic?), to amateurish readings and obviously cheap methods (one recorded sentence with inserts of different locations sloppily inserted), and truly horrible English announcements.  Some day, some day... probably the country will stop torturing its train riders and produce better announcements - I hope that day comes soon.

At the 01:59 mark, you can just make out a train stopped between stations down the line.  There was also an express train stopped on the same track between stations in the opposite direction.

武蔵境駅 - 特別快速中央線電車が通る Express Train Passing Musashisakai (130426hdc)

Musashisakai Station - Boarding Chuo Line Train 武蔵境駅で中央線を乗る (130426hdc)

Musashisakai to Higashi-Koganei (Chuo Line) 武蔵境駅-東小金井駅 - 中央線 (130426hdc)

Departing Musashikoganei Station (Chuo Line) 武蔵小金井駅から出発 (130426hdc)

Akasaka Lights - Akasaka Tokyu Hotel 赤坂光 - 赤坂東急ホテル (130425g)
Akasaka Lights / 赤坂光
Akasaka Lights / 赤坂光
Walking into Akasaka 3-Chome at Night 夜の赤坂三丁目散策散歩 (130425)
Walking into Akasaka 3-Chome at Night
Walking into Akasaka 3-Chome at Night
Walking into Akasaka 3-Chome at Night
Walking into Akasaka 3-Chome at Night
Akasaka at Night - Walking Around 夜赤坂三丁目の散策散歩 (130425)
Akasaka at Night
Akasaka at Night
Akasaka at Night
Entering Akasaka-Mitsuke Station 赤坂見附駅を入る (130425)
Entering Akasaka-Mitsuke Station
Akasaka-Mitsuke to Shinjuku - Marunouchi Line 赤坂見附駅-新宿駅 - 丸ノ内線 (130425)
Akasaka-Mitsuke to Shinjuku
新宿駅 - 丸ノ内線からJR線口までの乗り換え Shinjuku - Marunouchi to JR Transfer (130425)
新宿駅 - 丸ノ内線からJR線口まで
新宿駅 - 丸ノ内線からJR線口まで
新宿駅 - 丸ノ内線からJR線口まで
新宿散歩 - 夜の思い出横丁など Shinjuku Walkabout - Omoide-Yokocho Etc (130425)
Copyright 1991 and 2013 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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