| "Multi-Clouds & Nishi-Ogikubo -
July 2009" - Watching the Sky in Ebisu & Visiting
by Lyle (Hiroshi)
Saxon, Images Through Glass
Tokyo gets a fair amount of rain and wind, and so there are days like last Wednesday (July 29th, 2009) with both blue sky and dramatic clouds drifting across the sky. What was unique about Wednesday, was the way there were high white clouds - seemingly motionless - with low, slightly dark clouds zooming by on a brisk wind. To add to the general visual experience, a half-moon was visible now and then between the dramatic, speeding clouds (visible on the left side of the above photo).
The day got off to a good start for cloud-watching, as I actually (very rare) was able to stand next to a door window (no sarcasm there at all folks - sitting down is 99.99% impossible and being able to actually stand next to a window is only an occasional occurrence. Usually I'm smashed between four or five bipeds, with all of us pretending to be sardines, waiting for the cross-town people hauler to get us where we're going. Tokyo has an excellent train system, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's fun to ride on it most of the time, given the crowding. The alternative (no public transportation) would be unthinkably worse of course, so please don't think I'm criticizing the train system - it's one of (if not "the") best public transportation systems in the world.
(Above) - Nearing Shinjuku with its high-rises (first area of the country to have a cluster of them) and the monotonous view looking down (interesting only in that the rails are usually in very good condition and so flow by quite smoothly). As for the overhead structures and wires - that's the other component of most electric railways. There are only two lines in Tokyo that have a third (electric), rail, enabling them to run with no overhead power lines and their supporting structures - the Ginza Line and the Marunouchi Line - the two oldest subways in the city. (The Ginza Line - completed in the late 1920's - was the first subway in the country).
(Above) - The view of the sky from Ebisu after work, at around 6:00 p.m. Earlier in the day, at work (in another part of town), during a meeting with another biped in a corner with windows, I looked over his shoulder and noticed dramatic clouds zooming by quite low in the sky, so I held up my hand at one point in the meeting to stop our discussion and pointed out the window. He was impressed with the clouds, but not as impressed as I. We resumed our meeting and I momentarily pondered whether it was a mistake to point out the drama and beauty zooming by behind him.... I didn't reach a solid conclusion, but believed then and believe now that it's important to "Stop & View the Clouds" sometimes (a cousin to "Stop & Smell the Roses").
(Above) - Ebisu Station. After admiring the low flying clouds beneath the backdrop of lazily hanging white clouds high up in the sky and the moon behind it all (see leading photo at top of page), I got back on the train system and rode over to Nishi-Ogikubo.
And... in Nishi-Ogikubo I wanted to double-check on the name of a messy-hamburger place there (third photo from left, above) that I was considering meeting a friend at the following day, and while I was there, I walked around a little and took some pictures.
I don't know what the history of this area of Tokyo is, but it has an old style drinking area that was interesting to walk through. It may be that this area is a balance of being close enough to central Tokyo to still feel like Tokyo (keep in mind that Tokyo includes some areas in the mountains and also islands off the coast), but far enough away that land prices and rent are a little lower, enabling this type of area to be right by a station on a major train line (the Chuo Line).
Typical when taking pictures first and foremost, there are details in the pictures that I missed at the time. Like the second floor balcony - I didn't notice that until I saw the images on the monitor.
(Below) - Back to the Chuo Line to head for home after another day... but not just any day - this was Multi-Cloud Day. See that as a joke if you like, and I suppose there's something of that behind my words, but very little. It really was an interesting experience to watch those clouds blowing by in Ebisu. Pictures don't do it justice - it was a great and... (dare I use this term? I don't think I ever have before...) magical thing to experience.
Copyright 2009 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon, Images Through Glass, Tokyo - All rights reserved