Monday, January 06, 2014

"1990 Ginza, Shimokitazawa, etc.; 2013 Kichijoji, Inokashira Line, Shimokitazawa Station, etc."

After watching views of 1990 Shimokitazawa I took back when it wasn't the past (more on that wording in a minute), I decided to have a look at December 2013 Shimokitazawa.  As the Inokashira Line train from Shibuya passed over where the Odakyu Line tracks used to be (the Odakyu Line has been put into a deep tunnel there), there was something depressing about watching them deconstruct the surface railway, even though it's just gone underground.  (... so much to say about rail vs. internal combustion machinery, but leave that for now.)
So - back to watching views of something that I took "back when it wasn't the past".  I say it that way, because as I watch material that I took myself, I remember how it felt to take it and it always seems strange how what was the present is now (in/from) the past.
Just the flow of time I know, but there's a difference between watching videos that other people have taken and videos that you have taken yourself.  Just relying on memory, generally only the highlights of the past are recallable (although circumstances, people, smells, sounds, etc. can bring so many long buried memories flooding back!), so when you have a detailed video (with sound) recording of a part of your past that you mostly forgot about, the act of watching it brings memories back in such detail that there's a feeling of overlap with that time and the present - something like traveling back in time via a time machine.

At times when watching my view - as I recorded it back then while walking down a street - I get the urge to tell my 1990-91 self to turn down a street that I wish I had recorded back then but didn't... "Okay... that's good... now turn right at the next intersection...  No!  Don't go down into the subway station just yet - head over a block!".

All to no avail of course, but at times it feels almost as though the window looking back on the past should be a two-way one through which I can communicate with the me on the other end.  Photographs don't have this effect, but a moving, talking image seems so real sometimes.

Back to Shimokitazawa - I had intended to get off and walk around a bit, but as I exited the Inokashira Line with the camera rolling, I decided to walk down to the entrance to the Odakyu Line, and once deep underground, I had a flashback to the depressing feeling of the railway deconstruction on the surface and decided to just go ahead and take an Odakyu Line train to Shinjuku.

Well, on to the videos:

1990 御徒町駅から銀座まで From Okachimachi to Ginza 901222
(Above) Near Okachimachi Station
(Above) Nearing Tokyo Station
(Above) Tokyo Station, Yaesu Side / (Below) Ginza
1990 Ginza Department Store Walkabout 銀座デパート散策散歩 901222
I think the department store I walk through in this video is currently being demolished to make way for a hotel - supposedly for the Olympics.  I'm always amazed when someone tells me - with a straight face - that they're doing something like building a large hotel in Ginza "for the Olympics".  A massively expensive structure in Ginza constructed for an event that only lasts a few weeks?  Sure.  Doesn't it occur to people that it's something powerful interests already want to build, and the Olympics are stated as a goal (helping to speed things up presumably).  That may be all well and good, but people should think about what they're saying.  Instead of "They're building a new hotel in Ginza for the Olympics", they could/should say "They're rushing the construction of a large new hotel in Ginza in order to get it finished in time for the 2020 Olympics".  Accuracy.
1990 Ginza on December 22nd 1990 12月22日の銀座 901222n
1990 有楽町から渋谷まで Yurakucho to Shibuya 901222
(Above) Yurakucho / (Below) Yamanote Line
(Below) Shibuya Station Platform - Yamanote Line 山手線
(Below) Shibuya 渋谷
1990 銀座と池袋と彼方此方など Ginza and Ikebukuro Etc 901225n

1990 東京中央郵便局と彼方此方など Tokyo Central Post Office Etc 901228

Part of the old Tokyo Central Post Office Building survives as part of a new office tower, but this is what it looked like inside while it was still the original Tokyo Central Post Office.

1990 Shibuya Walkabout 渋谷散策散歩 彼方此方 901222
1990 渋谷駅から下北沢駅まで From Shibuya to Shimokitazawa 901222
1990 下北沢の彼方此方散歩 Shimokitazawa Walkabout 901222
Many elements of the Shimokitazawa area shown in this video are still there, but many details have changed, and that old shopping area has shrunk and now has the feeling of not being likely to continue very much longer.
Shimokitazawa / 下北沢
Shimokitazawa / 下北沢
Shimokitazawa / 下北沢
1990年の下北沢駅と駅辺り Shimokitazawa Station in 1990 901222
Many changes between this 1990 view and now - the Odakyu Line is now deep underground (and thus less convenient to access from the surface of the earth than the old surface station was) and so the above-ground station is under reconstruction (the elevated Inokashira Line tracks are still above ground).
1990 下北沢駅から新宿駅まで From Shimokitazawa to Shinjuku via Odakyu Line 901222
1990 Nishi-Shinjuku Illuminated Trees Etc 西新宿木ライトアップ 901222

新宿駅南口クリスマスイブ Shinjuku Station South Exit 131224

Line for Chicken on Christmas Eve 131224

I was later told that this line was not for regular fried chicken, but rather for... roast chicken I suppose... and it was something you had to pre-order.

四ッ谷駅ホーム夜遅くの様子 Late Night Yotsuya Platform 131224
Looking around on one of the JR platforms at Yotsuya Station while waiting for an outbound train to arrive.
Suburbia Side Street via Bicycle 自転車での夕方道 131226n

Twilight Footbridge and Trains 夕焼けの橋と電車 131226
While cycling out in the burbs in the last light of the day, I noticed this rusting pedestrian bridge and thought it looked interesting, so I got off my bike and walked around on the bridge a little - watching a couple of trains that passed under it while I was over the rails.

自転車での夕方道 Sunset Bicycle Ride in Suburbia 131226

Asphalt Road と Noise と Exhaust ブラックロードと車は嫌いです 131226

From the perspective of sitting in a car with the heat on (or air-conditioning in the summer) and good music playing on a decent sound system, a road like this can be downright romantic - the surface that conveys your magic machine at speed across the surface of the earth....

On the other hand, from the perspective of people living right next to this expanse of dead black asphalt or walking (or cycling) along it - it's a version of h**l.  Constant irritating noise, vibrations from the trucks, poisoned air, etc.  Basically a whole set of anti-life things that lead me to think - as a pedestrian breathing noxious air - that cars are the curse of humankind.

By way of contrast, look at this pedestrian street in Kichijoji and ask yourself which you would rather spend some time on while on foot:

Kokubunji to Kichijoji 国分寺駅から吉祥寺駅まで 右側と左側 131227

Kichijoji Transfer Chuo Line to Inokashira Line 吉祥寺駅乗換え 131227
Kichijoji is another station in the middle of a long-term reconstruction project, although the Inokashira Line part of the reconstruction appears to be completed and it looks much more modern than it used to.  (No doubt the JR part - when completed - will be yet another shopping mall with trains.)

京王井の頭線で吉祥寺駅から浜田山駅まで Kichijoji to Hamadayama 131227n
京王井の頭線で浜田山駅から永福町駅まで Hamadayama to Eifukucho 131227

京王井の頭線急行で永福町駅から渋谷駅まで Eifukucho to Shibuya 131227

Shibuya Station Inokashira to Yamanote Transfer 井の頭線山手線乗り換え 131227
Shibuya Station / 渋谷駅
工事中の渋谷駅2013年12月 Shibuya Station Under Construction 131227
With the Toyoko Line having been put deep underground, they are dismantling the old above-ground station and also one of the Tokyu Department store buildings.
夕方雨の渋谷 Evening Shibuya in the Rain 131227
Shibuya Street to Inokashira Train 渋谷道から井の頭線電車まで 131227

駒場東大前駅から下北沢駅まで Komabatodaimae to Shimokitazawa 131227n

Inokashira to Odakyu Transfer at Shimokitazawa 工事中の下北沢駅 131227
This is where I had intended to exit the Inokashira Line and walk around in Shimokitazawa, but instead just made the transfer to the deep subterranean Odakyu Line.
小田急線下北沢駅-東北沢駅 Odakyu Shimokitazawa to Higashikitazawa 131227

小田急線東北沢駅-新宿駅 Odakyu Higashikitazawa to Shinjuku 131227
Odakyu Line / 小田急線
Odakyu Line / 小田急線
Odakyu Shinjuku Lower and Upper Platforms 小田急新宿駅上下ホーム 131227

Apparently all of Odakyu's Shinjuku Station will (eventually) be put underground to make way for new development on the surface.

新宿駅小田急線から西新宿の方へ Walking Towards Nishi-Shinjuku 131227

新宿駅西口から中央線へ Boarding Chuo Line via Shinjuku West Entrance 131227

Asagaya to Nishi-Ogikubo via Chuo Line 阿佐ヶ谷駅-西荻窪駅 中央線 131227
Kichijoji Station Platform to Lower Concourse 夕焼けの吉祥寺駅 131227

Kichijoji Under Construction Bus Area 工事中吉祥寺バス乗り場 131227
Kichijoji Twilight Side Street 吉祥寺夕暮れ散策散歩 131227

Kichijoji Footpaths and Shopping Arcade 吉祥寺歩道と商店街 131227
Kichijoji Pedestrian Street Atmosphere 吉祥寺歩道 131227
To fully appreciate how wonderful this scene is (for human beings walking around on foot), compare it with this view of a black-asphalt road:

Kichijoji Backstreet Izakaya Area 吉祥寺横道居酒屋など 131227

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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