Monday, July 28, 2014

1991 Ikebukuro, Hibarigaoka, Takadanobaba, Etc.; 2014 Tokyo Station, Tachikawa, Shinjuku, Etc.

Views of 1991 and 2014 Tokyo - with most of the 1991 views in this batch being train views, but one 30-minute video details a long walkabout I did in Takadanobaba - on the west side of Takadanobaba Station.  Also from 1991 is a view of my S-VHS tape deck running with the cover off - which looks weird now, but seemed like high-tech at the time.
Coming back to 2014, most of the videos are train based views taken as I went about town.  In the middle of the 2014 views are three views of Shinjuku from 2013 that had been sleeping in a camera I don't often use.  These were recorded at 15fps, so at 30fps playback, they are double speed (with no sound track).
I'll add more comments after some of the titles and links below.
1991 池袋駅-五反田駅-西馬込駅など Ikebukuro to Nishi-Magome Etc 910711

Nothing particularly exciting in this one content-wise, but by July 1991, I had been taking video for about 17 months, and I personally think I did a decent job of in-camera editing with this.

1991 西馬込駅-五反田駅-池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 Nishi-Magome-Gotanda-Hibarigaoka 910711

1991 Hibarigaoka RR-Crossing ひばりが丘の踏切 910711

This is still a common sight in some areas of Tokyo, but increasingly they're either elevating the rails or putting them underground, so there are fewer crossings like this than there used to be.

1991 ひばりが丘散歩 Hibarigaoka Walkabout 910712
A suburb of Tokyo, with some rustic elements.  There has been a fair amount of development of the station and the area around the station since this was taken.
1991 Old Type Red Arrow Zooms Past 昔のレッドアローが通ります 910712

This is the real deal - it's confusing lately as they have a newer version Red Arrow train painted in the old paint scheme, but the type of Red Arrow train captured in this video isn't running any longer (not on the Seibu rails in any case, I don't know if they sold the train cars to another company or not).

1991 夕暮れのひばりヶ丘駅隣の踏切と電車 Evening RR-Crossing in Hibarigaoka 910712

1991 Waiting for the Rain to Stop 雨を上げるまでを待っている 910712

1991 Bowling Alley and Ice Skating Rink Etc ボウリング など 910713

There was quite a lot contained in this one place - from (ice) hockey on the ground floor, to bowling, to pool tables, and through a window I saw women practicing ballet in a neighboring building (that was internally connected I think).
1991 ひばりヶ丘駅-高田馬場駅 Hibarigaoka to Takadanobaba 910713

1991 高田馬場駅JRホームの見回り Platform Lookaround at Takadanobaba 910713

1991 Takadanobaba Walkabout 高田馬場散策散歩 910713

In this 30-minute video, I explore some surprisingly rustic areas of Takadanobaba on the west side of the station.

[Update (140730)]: I received the following comment about this video:

"It's amazing that someone actually took time to record these mundane scenes, which may not mean anything to lay people, but for someone like me who used to live and work in Tokyo between 1993 and 1994, these everyday scenes really resonate profoundly like long lost memories.  I wonder why you took time out to do this back in 1991.  This is over 20 years ago, but they come alive as historical documentaries."

Which prompted me to write down something about *why* I took all those videos in 1990-93:

Tokyo has always fascinated me, and once I bought a video camera, I felt compelled to do what I could to record what life was like here.  Possibly the largest motivating factor was that I like to know how things really are (and were, and why), and I felt there was a need to record Tokyo - to get away from the tourist routine and really document the city.  I wanted to record the whole city actually... I fell shy of that goal, but did manage to get scenes from a wide range of locations.  Incidentally, I have a few videos posted from 1993, but not many.  By then my (analog) equipment was beginning to break down and I was a little burned out from being into it so intensely in 1990, 1991, and 1992.  Re: "This is over 20 years ago, but they come alive as historical documentaries" - The thing that feels strange to me now is how I was always focused on recording "Tokyo Today" and so it's a hard concept for me to fully grasp how that "Tokyo Today" became "Historical Tokyo"!  Where *did* the time go, and when did the next generation step onto the stage?  (Or something like that!).

1991 S-VHS Tape Machine - Running with Cover Off 910712

My S-VHS video deck... unfortunately, the tapes I recorded with this machine have not withstood the past 23+ years very well and are aging badly.  They are playable, but are turning purple in places - a problem I didn't foresee when I took this video of the deck running.
   On a technical note regarding this particular model - it had variable speed rewind, so it would rewind the tape at a furious pace until near the end, when it would sense the tape was nearly fully rewound and slow down.  Unfortunately, the sensor didn't always work, and it would reach the end running at full-out hyper-speed, making a horrendous "whap!" sound, which ended up stripping some gears in the mechanism and causing the tape to jam when ejecting.
   If you haven't worked with VHS tape before, you are probably wondering why the tape didn't break when it hit the end.  They had a very strong leading section to the tape to prevent that from happening.
The following four videos with "x2" in the title were recorded at half speed (15fps) without sound, so the standard 30fps playback speed makes them double-time silent clips.  Also note that these were taken in January and May of 2013 - and slept in the camera until I recently vacuumed out that memory card and posted them.

Shinjuku Station Southeast Exit (2x) 新宿駅東南口 130129

新宿東南口広場 (2x) Shinjuku Southeast Exit Plaza (2x) 130129

Shinjuku Station (2x) Upper Concourse to Platform 新宿駅 130129

Shinjuku Station Upper Concourse (2x) 新宿駅 上の通路 130515

Construction Zone by Shinjuku Station ホームの見回り 新宿工事現場隣 140710
新宿駅-大崎駅 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 Shinjuku to Osaki - SSLTCTK-L 140710
Shinjuku to Osaki / 新宿駅-大崎駅
Shinjuku to Osaki / 新宿駅-大崎駅
Shinjuku to Osaki / 新宿駅-大崎駅
東京駅-品川駅 山手線外回り Tokyo to Shinagawa - Yamanote Line SV 140711

高尾山口駅-高尾駅 京王線 Takaosanguchi to Takao Keio Line 140714

上野駅-有楽町駅 山手線 Ueno to Yurakucho - Yamanote Line - Daytime View 140715

新宿駅-大崎駅 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通快速 Shinjuku to Osaki SSLTCK-R 140717

三鷹駅-中野駅 中央線 Mitaka to Nakano - Chuo Line - Left Side Daytime View 140718

東鷲宮駅-土呂駅 宇都宮線 Higashi-Washinomiya to Toro - Utsunomiya Line 140718

430AM Tokyo Station Chuo Line Platform and Escalators 東京駅中央線ホームなど 140719

This was a new experience - I got stuck in town by missing the last train home, so I took the first one out in the morning.  I've done that before, but never from Tokyo Station, so since I had some time before the first train departed, I walked around and took some video.

Twilight Street Scene in Nishi-Shinjuku 夕暮れの西新宿横道 140708

Fleet of Taxis at Night 夜の待ってるタクシー 140708

Osaki - Headed Home Before Storm 大崎 嵐の前に帰る 140710

飯田橋駅-水道橋駅-御茶ノ水駅 中央線 Iidabashi to Ochanomizu - Chuo Line 140711

Tokyo Pub Interior View 140718

British style pubs are fairly popular in Tokyo.  The combination of food and drink (as opposed to primarily drink) is actually very similar in concept with Japanese izakaya places.

Empty New-ish Building 140715

This was sort of a strange experience - I walked down a side street in... Kyobashi I think it was, and stopped at one point and looked around.  The only green nearby was from two trees in front of a modern - or at least what I thought was modern - building.  But then I noticed that the mail boxes were all taped up and the building appeared to be completely vacant.  I'm not sure what it means.  It may be that they want to build something bigger there - the usual reason for tearing down buildings in Tokyo.

Takao Cable Car - Riding to Upper Station 高尾ケーブルカーの上り 140714

Looking Around on Mt Takao 高尾山の見回り ビアマウントの近く 140714

Mt Takao Cable Car - Beginning Night Descent 高尾山ケーブルカー下がり 140714

Mt Takao Cable Car - Bottom Tunnel and Lower Station 高尾山夜ケーブルカー 140714

Yamanote Line Arriving at Takadanobaba 高田馬場駅 山手線 140715

Saikyo Line Train Departing Shinjuku 新宿駅から埼京線が出発 140717

新宿駅と埼京線電車 Saikyo Line Train and Construction Site - Shinjuku 140717

御茶ノ水駅-東京駅 中央線 Ochanomizu to Tokyo - Chuo Line 140711

東京駅山手線ホームの見回りなど Tokyo Station Old Platform Lookaround 140711

I think this may be the only platform left at Tokyo Station that still has (over part of the platform) a wooden roof.

高尾駅-高尾山口駅 京王線 Takao to Takaosanguchi - Keio Line 140714

高尾駅-高尾山口駅 京王線 Takao to Takaosanguchi - Keio Line 140714

立川駅の夜南口 Tachikawa Station - South Exit Night View 140714
Tachikawa Station Shopping Area 立川駅モール 140714

立川駅中央線夜ホーム Tachikawa Station - Chuo Line Platform 140714

駒込駅で山手線を待ってる Waiting for Yamanote Line at Komagome 140715

恵比寿駅隣 金曜日の夜 Sidewalk Scene Beside Ebisu Station 140718

Ebisu Station - Waiting for a Train 恵比寿駅で電車を待ってる 140718

Departing Ebisu Station at Night 恵比寿駅から夜出発 140718

東鷲宮駅の夜ホームの様子 Higashi-Washinomiya Station Night Platform 140718

Waiting for a Train at Higashi-Washinomiya 東鷲宮駅で電車を待ってる 140718

大宮駅までの最終上り電車 Last Inbound Train to Omiya 140718

東京駅 午前四時の空っぽ朝変えり 410AM Tokyo Station 140719

Waiting by the ticket gates early Saturday morning, when they switched them on at 4:10 a.m., I was one of the first people (aside from the people working there) to walk into the station.  It was a bit weird walking through gleaming empty spaces that are usually full of crowds of people rushing here and there....

東京駅 朝一の電車を待ってる Waiting for 1st Trains from Tokyo Station 140719

Twilight Yurakucho in the Rain 夕暮れの雨有楽町 140711g

プラットホームの人々が仕事に向かう People Walking Down Platform 140717g

The title sounds really boring, but as everyone was walking in the same direction, it feels a little like standing on an island, facing downriver, and watching water flowing by on both sides.
新宿駅-渋谷駅 山手線 Shinjuku to Shibuya - Yamanote Line 140718g
Shibuya / 渋谷
Shibuya / 渋谷
Shibuya / 渋谷
赤羽駅 最終の金曜日京浜東北線の電車を待ってる Waiting for Last Keihin-Tohoku Train 140719g

歩行者天国 銀座四丁目 Ginza Pedestrian Paradise 4-Chome 140721

アートスペースロンド 下町の祭り (ア) 村山勝治と村山能扶子 140721

アートスペース_ロンド 下町の祭り (イ) 村山勝治と村山能扶子 140721

Yasumoto Ryosuke 安元亮祐 (ア) Gallery Kazuki 画廊香月 140721

Yasumoto Ryosuke 安元亮祐 (イ) Gallery Kazuki 画廊香月 140721

Yasumoto Ryosuke 安元亮祐 (ウ) Gallery Kazuki 画廊香月 140721

四ッ谷駅ホーム午前八時四十分の一見 Glimpse of Morning Yotsuya Station 140722

西新宿向かうの横断歩道 Crossing Into Nishi-Shinjuku 元淀橋へ 140722

People Waiting to Buy Lottery Tickets in Shinjuku 夜の新宿 宝くじの人々 140722

京王線特急府中駅から出発 Keio Tokkyu Departing Fuchu Station 140724
新宿駅新南口向きの眺め Shinjuku Station Rails Etc 140722

新宿夜の思い出横丁など Walking Through Shinjuku Omoide-Yokocho 140722

新宿駅-四ッ谷駅 朝の中央線 Shinjuku to Yotsuya - Morning Chuo Line 140723

昼の丸の内線 霞ヶ関 Afternoon Marunouchi Line at Kasumigaseki 140723

霞ヶ関駅-赤坂見附駅 丸の内線 Kasumigaseki to Akasaka-Mitsuke - Marunouchi Line 140723
Chuo Line Arriving at Yotsuya Station 四ッ谷駅 中央線の電車が遣って来る 140723
Waiting for a Train at Fuchu Station 京王府中駅のホームの様子 140724

京王線東府中駅北口 East Exit of Keio Higashi-Fuchu Station 140724

夜の分倍河原駅 Bubaigawara Station at Night 140724
分倍河原駅-立川駅 夜南武線 Bubaigawara -Tachikawa - Nanbu Line at Night 140724
立川駅の貨物電車 Tanker Train Stopping at Tachikawa Station 140724

霞ヶ関駅-神谷町駅 朝の日比谷線 Kasumigaseki to Kamiyacho - Hibiya Line 140725

朝神谷町駅ホームの様子 Platform Walk at Morning Kamiyacho Station 140725

Waiting for Marunouchi Line Train at Kasumigaseki Station 霞ヶ関駅丸の内線 140725

Summer Shinjuku Quick-360 夏の新宿 横道360 140725

I would have taken a lot more in Shinjuku on the day I took this, but it was so hot out that I was primarily focused on getting myself into an air-conditioned space.

工事中の新宿駅新南口 South Part of Shinjuku Station Under Construction 140725
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Pink - May 2000"

2000 was Year-Pink or something - with pink featured on fashion magazine covers and enough people going along with the "trend" that pink was seen fairly often around town. I thought at the time that I'd try to record some of that - which is what these (sloppy, since they were taken in a rush while on the move) May 2000 photos are about (with the first picture from April).
"Pink - April 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, July 13, 2014

1991 Ikebukuro, Asakusa Hozuki-ichi Festival, Hibarigaoka, Etc.; 2014 Shinjuku と Shibuya, etc.

This batch of videos starts off with an hour-long visit to July 10th, 1991 Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, which was a festival day and very crowded.  Other 1991 views are of Ueno, Ikebukuro, and Hibarigaoka, with an interesting (I think) walk through a popular (and very crowded) stand-as-you-eat place within Ikebukuro Station (but on the outside of the ticket gates, not the inside, as is the current development model).
Coming back to the present year, 2014, are just a few videos - all Tokyo rail system views.  Personally, I think the view (and sounds) of the construction project taking place right next to the Saikyo Line platform is interesting, particularly the combination of sounds from the construction site mixed with typical Tokyo train station sounds.

1991年 浅草寺のほおずき市 Asakusa Hozuki-ichi Matsuri 910710
This is just over an hour long, so I imagine most people won't even get to the interesting parts.  Okay - I better explain something related to that comment.  I personally find it really irritating when books are written with opening lines like "I paused before opening the door - wondering if the assassin would be waiting on the other side..." with the intent of getting you interested, and then jump back to ordinary times - leaving you with the "Yeah?!  Yeah?!  And *then* what happened?!!" feeling which was put there to, a) make you buy the book and, b) keep you reading.  Part of that irritation is that it conditions people to have zero patience.  If they're not excited in ten seconds, off they go in search of cheap thrills elsewhere....
Okay - rant over!  I bring that up, because there are historically interesting elements to this hour-long video.  And - if nothing else - the (fairly lengthy) part within the temple is interesting since they they didn't have at the time, but have now, a strict "no photography" rule.  I and others were taking video in 1991 and there didn't seem to be any problem with that.  In any event, it's something you can't do now, so it might be interesting to see (and hear) for that reason alone.  The sound is very important, and I strongly recommend watching it with a good pair of headphones with the sound at a properly loud level (to simulate the volume of the original sound), so you can get the (in digital stereo by the way) full effect of the money raining into the collection box as an endless river of thousands flowed through the temple, throwing the money over other people's heads.  It was quite an experience, and that is conveyed almost exclusively through the sound.
A technical note - you may be wondering about the sound being digital since the video was analog.  The video was indeed analog, but the sound was digital, called by Sony (at the time) "PCM audio", with the "PCM" standing for "Pulse Code Modulated".  Looking up "PCM audio" on-line, I find this definition (from Wikipedia):
   "Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a method used to digitally represent sampled analog signals. It is the standard form of digital audio in computers, Compact Discs, digital telephony and other digital audio applications."
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
Asakusa / 1991年の浅草
1991 池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 西武池袋線 Ikebukuro to Hibarigaoka - Seibu Line 910710

1991 ひばりが丘工事など Construction Zone in Hibarigaoka Etc 910710
This includes a good look at the empty ground under construction that was to became the Parco (department store) and an apartment building (on the side of the building by the railway).

1991 Walking to Hibarigaoka Station ひばりヶ丘駅までの散歩 910711

1991 五反田駅-池袋駅 山手線 Gotanda to Ikebukuro - Yamanote Line 910708
1991 池袋東口散歩 Ikebukuro East Side Walkabout 910708
Ikebukuro / 池袋
Ikebukuro / 池袋
Ikebukuro Bungeiza / 池袋 文芸坐
Ikebukuro / 池袋
1991 池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 西武池袋線 Ikebukuro to Hibarigaoka - Seibu Line 910708
1991 ひばりヶ丘駅辺りの散歩 Hibarigaoka Station Area 910708
1991 ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 西武池袋線 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro - Seibu Line 910710
Hibarigaoka / ひばりヶ丘駅
Hibarigaoka / ひばりヶ丘駅
Hibarigaoka / ひばりヶ丘駅
1991 池袋散策散歩 Ikebukuro Short Walkabout 910710

1991 池袋駅の平日お昼 Lunchtime in Ikebukuro 910710
A fairly detailed look at some side streets in Ikebukuro during the peak of the lunch hour.

1991 池袋駅-上野駅 山手線 Ikebukuro to Ueno - Yamanote Line 910710

1991 上野駅の平日お昼 Lunchtime in Ueno Station 910710
A little off-peak, but still this captures some of the lunchtime atmosphere of Ueno Station.
1991 上野駅-浅草駅 銀座線 Ueno to Asakusa - Ginza Line 910710

1991 浅草駅-池袋駅 銀座線と山手線 Asakusa to Ikebukuro 910710

1991 池袋東口午後散歩 Ikebukuro Evening East Side Short Walkabout 910710n

新宿駅隣工事現場 Construction by Shinjuku Station 140703

Walking around on the Saikyo Line platform while waiting for a train - looking at the ongoing construction next to the station, as well as trains coming and going, and listening to the various sounds of everything.

新宿駅-渋谷駅 埼京線-臨海線直通 Shinjuku to Shibuya - Saikyo-Rinkai Line 140703
Watch this closely as the train comes into Shibuya Station and you can see the last remains of the Tokyu Department Store they have demolished on the east side of the station.  A little past that, you can see the last remnants of the bridge over the roadway that used to support the overhead platforms of Tokyu-Shibuya Station.... which is kind of depressing to see, as I always liked that station.
渋谷駅-大崎駅 埼京線-臨海線直通 Shibuya to Osaki - FC View - Rinkai Line 140703
Untitled-00001 140703

I couldn't decide what to call this one, so I just called it "Untitled".  It shows the situation near one of the ticket gates at Osaki Station when the Yamanote Line was delayed.

大崎駅の夜ホームの様子 Osaki Station - Waiting for a Train 140703

Departing Osaki Station 大崎駅から出発 140703

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon