Sunday, July 06, 2014

2014 Maebashi Trip, Ginza, Etc.: 1990 Nihonbashi, Marunouchi, Machida, Miyahara, Kudanshita, Iidabashi, Etc.

The most notable views from 2014 in this batch of 1990 and 2014 videos show several scenes I recorded while taking a day trip to Maebashi.  I don't know exactly why, but I've always liked Maebashi - from the sound of the name, to the relaxed feeling of the area.  I haven't been there often, but when I've gone, I've always enjoyed the area.  It was also nice to ride in the old type JR trains on the Ryomo Line (between Takasaki and Maebashi).
Jumping back 24 years to July 1990, there are views of several areas, mainly the ones listed in the title of this post above.  I think the walkabout clips of the Marunouchi District and of Machida may be the most interesting, along with (shorter) walkabout views of Miyahara (in Saitama) and the Kudanshita and Iidabashi areas (the daytime view that is - the nighttime view is a bit dark, as the lighting was barely enough to take pictures in with the camera I was using at the time).
Other that that, the titles are mostly self-explanatory.  This first short one (immediate below this paragraph) taken in a platform stand-as-you-eat restaurant I like.  The soba noodles were quite good, and it was interesting to look out the window and see the Yamanote Line so close!

プラットホームの蕎麦 Platform Soba Noodles 140619

Yamanote Line Train Arriving at Gotanda 五反田駅の山手線がやって来る 140619

Arriving at Koigakubo - Seibu-Kokubunji Line 西武国分寺線 恋ヶ窪駅に到着 140620

御茶ノ水駅-東京駅 中央線 Ochanomizu to Tokyo - Chuo Line 140620

東京駅ホームの様子 Tokyo Station - Waiting for Yamanote Line 140620
高崎駅から出発 両毛線 Departing Takasaki Station - Ryomo Line 140629

This one is overexposed (never mind why, that's a long story), but I left the camera running until the live announcement (from the conductor in the rear of the train) was finished, as I thought it was important to get that recorded.  More and more trains rely on (highly irritating) recordings, so listen and see how much nicer an announcement is from a real live human being.

There is one thing, and one thing only that is good about the recordings - since they are lifeless set things, the volume of the playback is (usually) set at a non-painful level, while with the manual human announcements, sometimes they crank up the volume so loud that it's actually painful, or (the other extreme), it's so quiet that you can't hear what they are saying.

高崎駅-前橋駅 両毛線 Takasaki to Maebashi - Ryomo Line 140629

This is far enough out of Tokyo that the atmosphere is quite different.  In going from Tokyo to an area in the country, probably the most striking thing when exiting a station is a sensation of "Where is everybody?", as there appear to be very few people out and about.  But you get used to that rapidly; it's the new normal in matter of about an hour, and then you just relax.  Upon returning to Tokyo, you change trains in one of the busy hub stations, and then you think "!!!!! Wow!!  There are an *amazing* number of people here!!".  But again, within an hour or so, that becomes normal again and you're back where you started (assuming you're a resident of Tokyo).

東京駅ホーム側の工事現場 End of Platform Construction Zone at Tokyo Station 140620

They've been doing some kind of construction in this area for years now... it appears to be approaching completion now?

有楽町駅-東京駅 山手線 Yurakucho to Tokyo - Yamanote Line 140620

Ochanomizu Reflections - Chuo Line 夜中央線 御茶ノ水反射 140620

Evening Nishi-Shinjuku 夕暮れの西新宿 元淀橋 140624

Nearing Kokubunji - Seibu-Kokubunji Line 国分寺駅に近づく 西武国分寺線 140626

Tokyo Station Zero Marker 140626

It's hard to believe that I really haven't seen this before, but I don't remember it.  I just happened to be standing next to it one day, and so took this video to record the zero marker.  Tokyo is considered the zero point of the country and distances are measured from here... I think.  The real center is the center of Nihonbashi Bridge, but I guess this is the rail version at Tokyo Station.

Maruyama Norio 丸山則夫 Photo Exhibition at Art Space Rondo 140619

Art Space Rondo June 2014 Exhibition A アートスペースロンド六月展示会 140626

Art Space Rondo June 2014 Exhibition B アートスペースロンド六月展示会 140626

飯田橋駅-神田駅 総武線と中央線 Iidabashi to Kanda - Sobu と Chuo Line 140627

中央線光と影とエスカレーター Chuo Line Light and Shadow 140627

朝東京駅ホームの様子 Looking Around on a Tokyo Station Platform 140627

東京駅-品川駅 山手線 Tokyo to Shinagawa - Yamanote Line 140627

Walking Towards Osaki Station 夕方大崎駅向き 140627

Waiting for Yamanote Line at Osaki 大崎駅山手線ホーム 140627

昭和七年のビルの元談話室辺り 140627

Art Space Rondo June 2014 Exhibition C アートスペースロンド六月展示会 140627

Art Space Rondo June 2014 Exhibition D アートスペースロンド六月展示会 140627

昭和七年のビルの階段とビルの夜顔 140627

有楽町晴海通り夕方散歩 Evening Showa-Dori Stroll 140627

Entering Yurakucho Yakitori Area 有楽町焼き鳥通り 140627

居酒屋の音とグラス響く Izakaya Sounds and Glass Echoes 140627g

I rather like this... I was about to leave an old izakaya under the elevated tracks that I had stopped at for a beer and some yakitori, but as I looked in my nearly empty glass, the view and surrounding sounds seemed interesting, so I made this visual and audio recording, capturing a few elements of the izakaya experience.

Yurakucho Nighttime Track-side 有楽町 140627

有楽町駅-東京駅 京浜東北線 Yurakucho to Tokyo - Keihin-Tohoku Line 140627

Omiya - About to Board Takasaki Line Train 大宮駅 高崎線 140629

前橋駅の前 暑い六月の日 Hot June Day at Maebashi Station 140629

前橋駅前 バスが通る Buses in Front of Maebashi Station 140629

前橋のバスを乗る 内部ビュー Maebashi Bus Ride 140629

前橋バス内部と外部ビュー Maebashi Bus Ride 140629

Maebashi Bus Ride in the Rain 雨の前橋バスを乗る 前向き 140629

前橋駅のホーム 両毛線の電車が遣って来る Maebashi Station - Ryomo Line 140629

前橋駅から出発 両毛線電車内 Departing Maebashi Station via Ryomo Line 140629

高崎駅-倉賀野駅 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 Takasaki Line 140629

新町駅に到着 高崎線 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 Takasaki Line 140629

高崎線窓風景 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 Takasaki Line 140629

Takasaki Line - June Afternoon Window View 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 140629

夕方高崎線の窓風景 Evening Takasaki Line Window View 140629

上尾駅-大宮駅 高崎線 夕暮れ風景 Ageo to Omiya - Takasaki Line Evening View 140629

Saikyo Line Arriving at Omiya 大宮駅で埼京線が遣って来る 140629

1990 日本橋室から両国までの散策散歩 Nihonbashi to Ryogoku Night Walkabout 900702

[Above] I don't actually recommend this one.  This first video camera that I was using didn't record night scenes very well, and much of this is so dark it's hard to make sense off.  Still, it captures some elements of the area I walked though and gets more watchable when I get to the river area, which had brighter illumination.

1990 両国駅-新宿駅 総武線と中央線 Ryogoku to Shinjuku Sobu と Chuo Lines 900702

1990 Late Night Train Leaving Station ひばりヶ丘駅の夜下り電車 900702

1990 丸の内昼間彼方此方散策散歩 Daytime Marunouchi District Walkabout 900703

If you're interested in how the Marunouchi District was before the extensive reconstruction it has undergone in the quarter century since this was taken, I definitely recommend this video.

The post-Great Kanto Earthquake concrete buildings of the Marunouchi District (although the Marunouchi Building was actually built before the quake - and survived it well), which were mostly built in the 1930's, were of a solid construction and designed before the advent of air conditioning and florescent lighting, so they had openable windows and were designed to let air circulate though the building.  Modern buildings with their recirculating air systems leave me feeling like a goldfish in a bowl that needs to have the water changed.

Aside from that - there was something very familiar about this area before it was redeveloped.  The redevelopment was done well I think, but I do miss the atmosphere of the old 1930's buildings.

1990 東京駅-新宿駅 中央線 Tokyo to Shinjuku - Chuo Line 900703

1990 新宿東口15秒 Quick 15-Second Shinjuku Spin - East Side 900703

1990 FF-Dinner 急ぎの夕外食 900703

1990 池袋駅 帰る道 Late Evening Ikebukuro Station 900703

1990 新宿駅と町田駅 Shinjuku Station and Machida Station 900704

1990 Machida Walkabout 町田散策散歩 900704

I had intended to spend a couple of hours just walking around in the Machida Station area, but the rain chased me indoors (it was a fine mist that was getting under the umbrella and onto the lens), so the last half of this video is a pretty detailed look inside a couple of the department stores in the area.  This seems historically interesting to me, as there are fewer and fewer of this type of heavily staffed department store.  The new model is cutting costs in any way possible and so typically modern stores only have a skeleton crew - mainly just operating the checkout area.

1990 新型定期券自動販売機 New Commuter Pass Machine 900704

In 2014, this is just an ordinary thing that everyone is used to, but in 1990, this was very new, and the two people I recorded buying commuter passes from the machine were very clearly using this type of machine for the very first time.

This kind of transition recording is important for future reference I think, as relying on actors from the past (via old movies and TV dramas, etc.) to show people in the present/future how it was always generates mistakes.  This is the real thing.

1990 ロマンスカー 町田-新宿 Romance Car Ride - Machida to Shinjuku 900704

Back in 1990, there were several times I recorded taking the Odakyu Romance Car to Machida, but the schedule for the trains was such that I usually took a regular express train back to Shinjuku, so this Romance Car ride going in the other direction - from Machida to Shinjuku - is rare (within my videos).  I also left the camera running more than usual, so it's a good record of the scene out a left-side window.

1990 新宿駅 Shinjuku Station Walkabout 900704

This has some interesting content in it - I only wish I'd spent a little more time and taken a more careful record.  Basically it's Shinjuku Station from the upper exit of the Odakyu Line, into the JR section via the west entrance, and then walking the width of the station and going up to the Saikyo Line platform, with the video ending as I get on a Saikyo Line train.

1990 宮原駅辺りとバスと奈良町など Miyahara Station と Bus と Naracho 900704

This probably should have been two videos, since there's a several hour gap in the middle and the video suddenly goes from the afternoon to twilight, and then it becomes night as I walk around recording video, but I decided to make it one clip as it was mostly taken in the same area.

1990 田町駅辺りなど Tamachi Station Area Etc - Comic Book Afternoon 900705

July 1990... this was the last part of the bubble era, and the beginnings of the end of the bubble era were already starting to happen.  I bring this up, because it was a very slow day in the office this day - thus the woman reading a comic book - and the company went bankrupt within a year of when this was taken.

Thinking back - I remember the uneasy feeling of a too-quiet office... the writing was already on the wall.  The expression I give the camera at the end of this doesn't seem to show any of that, but I was basically just laughing about having recorded over the shoulder of the comic-book-reading woman without her having noticed.

1990 新宿駅-九段下駅 都営新宿線 Shinjuku to Kudanshita - Toei-Shinjuku Line 900705

1990 九段下駅辺りの散策散歩 Kudanshita Station Walkabout 900705

1990 飯田橋駅で有楽町線を乗る Boarding Yurakucho Line at Iidabashi Station 900705

1990 飯田橋駅辺りなどの散策散歩 Iidabashi Station Area Walkabout 900706
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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