|"Out & About-2"|
When you can't find a seat or when you are about to get off the train, standing by one of the doors and looking out the window is the place to be - better than sitting down in fact, as when you're sitting down, you are facing away from the window and looking at the people on the other side who are looking back at you. It feels like sitting on a stage sometimes it does! If no one is standing in the middle, at least you can see out the windows on the far side, but it's so much more relaxing to idly look out the window and - in the evening - be equally able to refocus and look inside the train as you stare "out" the window....
Changing trains; walking to an appointment just before the rain; contemplating the world outside through yet another piece of glass....
Escalator behavior is an interesting thing. Apparently Osaka has a tradition dating back to the 1970 World Expo of standing on the right side, leaving the left side as a fast lane. When I came to Tokyo in 1984, people stood on both sides and there was no fast lane at all - if you were in a hurry, you took the stairs. Then, at some point, people began standing on the left, leaving the right side as a fast lane. It would be interesting to know the process under which this change came about - it seemed to coincide with a single line for the bank machines (before there was a separate line for each and every machine), reserved seats at some movie theaters (and I mean for all the seats, not just the more expensive center section), and a few other things. The increased attention Japan was under when the value of the yen shot up might be the initial cause... for whatever reason, all those changes were very welcome! Occasionally though, a group of people, like the bunch in the photo above, will park themselves in both lanes and block passage. Not often though, fortunately!
The second and third pictures above are of the area in front of the east side of Shinjuku Station.
1) The vast underground area of Shinjuku Station on the east side. 2) An underpass below the JR tracks (the Yamanote Line, etc.). 3) Area in front of Seibu-Shinjuku Station.
Seibu-Shinjuku Station - outside; just past the ticket gates; and down the platform.
Away from the city center and on a branch line, the biped density is quite a bit lower.
Copyright 2005 - Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon, Images Through Glass, Tokyo