| "Tokyo - Night & Day" - by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon, Images Through Glass, Tokyo
Tokyo is far enough south that the shortness of the day in the winter is not extreme (in contrast to countries in the far north for example), but since Tokyo is in the wrong time zone, the sun comes up way too early (wasting all that free light), and sets way too early (causing people to become night owls and needlessly burn an extra hour or two's worth of lighting energy every day).
Proof? Let's have a look at the sunrise-sunset figures for Finland and Tokyo for February 4th, 2007. Finland: Sunrise at 8:29 a.m.; Sunset at 4:40 p.m.; Duration of day: 8 hours, 11 minutes. Tokyo: Sunrise at 6:39 a.m.; Sunset at 5:11 p.m.; Duration of day: 10 hours, 31 minutes. So, at this time of year, it gets dark (by the clock) just 30 minutes sooner in Finland than in Tokyo, but Tokyo receives the light of the sun over two hours earlier. How many people are out and about at 6:39 a.m.? Not many! How many are even awake at 6:39 a.m.? Not so many! For the country that invented the word "motainai", I really don't understand why so much of the free light of the sun is thrown away every single day of every single year. Wouldn't it be better to make more effective use of the light of the sun?
All of that said, there is one good thing about half of Japan being in the wrong time zone - the entire country is set to the same time, so wherever you go in Japan, you never have to reset your watch. Convenient for sure, but it would be better to move the entire country ahead an hour all year I think (there is no daylight savings time here either, by the way). Okinawa and Kyushu are in the right time zone - I'm almost tempted to move down there for that reason alone!
(Above left): Gotanda (Above right): Ebisu
(Above left): Ebisu (Above right & below R&L): Somewhere in Tokyo - I'm not certain which stations each of the pictures were taken at. (It was a busy day and I didn't take notes.)
(Right above & left below): Over the past 20 years, train stations in Tokyo have become more interesting, with shopping within the ticket gates increasing to the point where just about every station seems to have something. The only station I remember having restaurants and shops within it in 1984, was Shinagawa, but I think Tokyo Station had some too... maybe! (Right below): Within the train, looking out while waiting for the train to get underway.
The day isn't as long as I would like, but I get to experience some of it every day nonetheless!
Copyright 2007 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon, Images Through Glass, Tokyo