It would be interesting
to travel back in time to an era where transportation meant walking.
All in all, it would probably end up being similar to commuting via
rapid transit machines (cars, buses, trains) time-wise. I spend
about three and a half hours a day speeding across Tokyo from one place
to another, traveling about 80km a day; and in bygone eras, probably
people didn't walk off more than three and a half hours to wherever
they had to go (maybe 8km a day?). So, what is the point of our
modernity? Rapid transit gets us from A to B faster, so what do
we do? We move further away and spend the same time in a train!
Computers save us time in doing tasks, so do we have more free time?
No! We just work more! Thus life becomes one of toil as
of old, with the difference that we sleep on our feet in an electronic
and blurred world at speed.
And then again... there are times when Tokyo city life seems really great. There are museums, movie theaters, more restaurants than it's possible to even count, and the train system will take you anywhere in the city without burning a drop of bloody gasoline - the root cause of all evil in our early 21st century world.....
The picture on the left above was - believe it or not (go ahead, believe it, it's true!) - taken just two minutes before the middle picture above on the same day, and from the same platform. The elevated Yamanote Line comes in under a building at Shibuya, so much of the station is somewhat like a subway. The middle and right picture above and the left and middle picture below were all taken from the very front of the platform, which is just before the bridge seen in the picture on the right below. Truly the sky is something to appreciate in Tokyo! It's not often seen!
One of the most famous "crossings" in Tokyo. They're all over the city of course, but this is one of the busiest - and is a typical subject for cameras when wanting to show how busy Tokyo life is....
The street in the left third of the picture on the right below marks the former path of a river (or stream I suppose I should say). I don't know what's become of it - in some places they just put them underground in pipes, or maybe they've rerouted it elsewhere.
Summer in Shibuya....The pictures above this point were taken between 18:00 and 18:20, and the pictures below were taken around 22:00 - all on the same day (June 8th, 2006). Below left - Brazilian soccer player on screen, Shibuya Station on the right. Below center - looking at the waiting area in front of the Hachiko dog statue, entrance to the Hanzomon (subway) Line to the right. Below right - looking towards Shibuya Station from the edge of the Hachiko waiting area.
Copyright 2006 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon, Images Through Glass, Tokyo