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blog-L - (2013b)


"Hamamatsucho, July Mt. Takao, Hachioji Hanabi, Shinjuku, Etc."

In this batch of video views, in addition to here-and-there scenes out and about via the Tokyo train system, are a number of views of a visit to Mt. Takao (including going up and coming back on the cable car there) and a fireworks event in Hachioji.

Kunitachi Station 国立駅 ホームから改札口まで (130711)

Walking from one of the platforms at Kunitachi Station down to the ticket barrier area.  There's no specific indication in the video of how hot it was, but was quite a hot day!

Nihonbashi Twilight Stroll 日本橋夕暮れ散策散歩 (130717)

Megacity lights look best in the twilight....  I had just missed the walk light when I began taking this one, so the beginning is just looking around on a street corner while waiting for the light to change, but then the view is walking down, first, the main street, and then side streets (and a couple of foot-traffic-only alleys) all the way to Tokyo Station.

Shinjuku Chuo Line Evening Platform Walk 新宿駅中央線の様子 (130717)

It's interesting about the advertising on the side of some trains - advertising in public appears to be continuing to shrink, but I guess that since people actually look up from their micro-computer devices when a train comes alongside the platform, it's considered worth the cost.  The type of advertising that used to be all over the city, but is really in decline now are the big billboard ads on top of buildings.  More and more you see the skeletal framework of them with no advertising on them.

Shinjuku - Crossing Over to Nishi-Shinjuku 新宿 (130717)

In the beginning of this one, the "Extra!  Read all about it!" newspaper hand-outs are regarding Paul McCartney's upcoming concert tour in Japan.

Ochanomizu to Hamamatsucho 御茶ノ水駅-浜松町駅 (130718)

This actually begins a little past Ochanomizu Station, just before going past the grass-covered platform of the former Manseibashi Station, and the new... restaurant?/pub?/what? that they built into the back end of the platform.  On the back part of that is an open section, so I imagine it will be something like an enclosed restaurant/pub with an open-air section where you can sit out (when the weather is nice) and watch modern Chuo Line trains go by while pondering the history of the line's original terminal station, Manseibashi.

After that, I get off the Chuo Line in Kanda, and transfer to the Yamanote Line, which I take to Hamamatsucho.  It's sensible to modernize Kanda Station, but I feel a little bit nostalgic for the old version.  At the moment, it's still mainly a construction zone, although there's one new finished section that I walk through in this video.  (Incidentally, I had enough time, so I walked through both the new section, and also the older section on the way to the Yamanote Line platform.)  After that I look out the window on the way to Hamamatsucho.

Hamamatsucho Station - Waiting for Yamanote Line 浜松町駅 山手線 (130718)

Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho 浜松町駅-有楽町駅 夜の山手線 Yamanote (130718)

This shows some of the visual attraction of looking out the window of a night train traveling through the center of Tokyo - with the combination of reflections, dim views, moving lights, combinations of different colored lights, etc.

Yurakucho Station Construction Shed - Waiting for Yamanote Line (130718)

Having a look at the early stages of platform door construction-related storage space and listening to the "be careful" recordings (warning that the space on the platform is limited due to the storage area, so to watch your step, etc).  When the train comes, I take it to Tokyo Station.

Shinagawa to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 品川駅-有楽町駅 山手線 (130718)

I would have taken some video in Shinagawa, but I was shy on time after seeing a friend off at his hotel there and had the camera off until I got back to the station.  Looking at this again, I see that I messed up the door counting... I had just noticed the old marker for the former six-door cars (all moved to other lines now that all Yamanote Line cars are back to four doors), and thought I'd point that out....

Onitsuka Midori (鬼塚緑) Exhibition at Art Gallery Ishi (アートギャラリー石) 130717

At an art exhibition in Ginza (above and below).  The person dancing in the mysterious mask in the following video is the artist herself.

Onitsuka Midori (鬼塚緑) Performance at Art Gallery Ishi (アートギャラリー石) 130717

Ozashiki-485 Special Train in Shinjuku 華はな (130720)

One of the special Ozashiki trains, which appeared to be on a trip for families.  There were toy trains set up in one part of the train, which is something I don't think I've ever seen before.  I tried to imagine being a kid and wondered if I'd really want to play with a toy train while riding in a real train....

Saikyo Line Platform (Shinjuku) 新宿駅埼京線ホーム (130720)

Shinjuku to Ebisu (Saikyo Line) 新宿駅-恵比寿駅 埼京線 (130720)

Looking out the right side of a Saikyo Line train as it runs from Shinjuku to Ebisu.  This is an angle I've begun taking and given up on in some other videos due to the sun shining into the lens, but this was in the morning, so the sun was on the left side of the train for a change.  One of the thoughts that comes to me while watching this is "July Green".

Ebisu - Saikyo to Hibiya Transfer 恵比寿駅 埼京線-日比谷線 (130720)

Politician in Speaker Van Driving By in Kyobashi (130720)

Tokyo Station Yaesu Side - New Face Visible 東京駅新八重洲口の顔 (130720)

After a lot of construction, some of the scaffolding has come down and much of the new face of the Yaesu side of Tokyo Station is visible now.

Tokyo July Green Grass (130721)

Green grass and tall weeds might have been a better title for this, although the insect noises in the background and all that green do say "July" to me....

Pre-Construction Zone Area in Central Tokyo 工事前の段階 (130721)

A big healthy plant somehow growing in-between asphalt lots - in an area that is slated for construction in the near future, so I thought it would be good to record this moment in time before this space becomes part of the first floor of a large building.

Watching this now - I rather like it, but I suppose this is practically textbook "boring" for most people?  By content, it's just empty lots, a plant with very large leaves, and a new building under construction, with a soundtrack of a few birds making their morning noises.  But for me, it's a piece of Tokyo at a particular time, and a kind of "stop and notice your surroundings" (no roses to smell).

Quiet Area of Tokyo One Sunday in July (130721)

This area is busier on weekdays, and there's water flowing out of that empty box-like thing I take a look at in this video.

Shinjuku to Ebisu (Left Side) 新宿駅-恵比寿駅 埼京線 (左側) 130721

Hibiya Line Train Arriving at Ebisu Station 恵比寿駅の日比谷線 (130721)

Hibiya to Marunouchi Transfer at Kasumigaseki 日比谷線-丸の内線 (130721)

Underground Part of Shinjuku Station on West Side 新宿駅 西側 (130721)

新宿西側散策散歩 Street Scene West Side of Shinjuku Station (130721)

A seven minute video showing the walk by the west front of Shinjuku Station, and then down the Omoide-Yokocho izakaya street (fairly early in the day - before most of the places were open).  At the end of the video, I walk through the pedestrian tunnel that connects the east and west sides of the station.

Shinjuku Pedestrian Paradise (Quick View) 新宿歩行者天国 (130721)

Shinjuku Afternoon East Side Back Streets 新宿東側のお昼裏道 (130721)

July Weekend Afternoon in Shinjuku 新宿七月の日曜日の午後 (130721)

Mysterious Alley - One Hot Afternoon (130721)

Can't say I recommend going down this... I think once was enough for me (it didn't smell very nice for one thing), but I couldn't resist going for the contrast angle.  It's one of the reasons Tokyo is an interesting city.  You go to an area, and there are elements to it that are totally unexpected.  All the times I've been to Shinjuku, and I don't think I've ever noticed this alley before....

Seibu-Shinjuku Station Afternoon Platform Walk (Red Arrow NRA) 130721

Kiki 浜松町ライブ (黄緑) Set-1 Song-3 Kiki Live in Hamamatsucho (130718)

Kiki 浜松町ライブ (左目のポケット) Set-2 Song-4 Kiki Live in Hamamatsucho (130718)

Kiki 浜松町ライブ Set-3 Song-1 Kiki Live in Hamamatsucho (130718)

Above and below are several clips from a street concert (although actually within the property of a building that has an open corner) in Hamamatsucho.  Kiki is a nice, tight band, and their singer has a nice voice.  Apparently they're about to release their first CD (which I'm looking forward to).

Kiki 浜松町ライブ Set-3 Song-4 Kiki Live in Hamamatsucho (130718)

Kiki 浜松町ライブ Set-4 (Prelude) Kiki Live in Hamamatsucho (130718)

Kiki 浜松町ライブ (Jellyfish) Set-4 Song-3 Kiki Live in Hamamatsucho (130718)

Kiki 浜松町ライブ (Tonight) Set-4 Song-4 Kiki Live in Hamamatsucho (130718)

Boarding Tozai Line Train at Nihonbashi 東西線 日本橋 (130722)

Ochanomizu to Kanda 御茶ノ水駅-神田駅 工事中の神田駅 (130722)

This includes the transfer from the Chuo Line to the Yamanote Line at Kanda Station, and - at 2:33 and 2:38 - a quick look at an exposed-during-construction section of an old brick wall.

Kanda to Shinbashi Morning Rush 朝通勤ラッシュ 神田駅-新橋駅 (130722)

Just some scenes from the morning commute, but they convey somewhat the atmosphere in the morning.  Incidentally, this particular morning was kind of a tough commute.  Once I got to work, I needed about 30 minutes to... decompress?  In any case, it was a high-stress commute, as sometimes (or "often" maybe I should say) happens.

Hamamatsucho Station Morning Rush Platform Walk 浜松町駅 朝通勤 (130722)

Morning platform scene.  I suppose car commutes may watch this and be thankful they have all that personal space *within* the car, but there are a range of positive aspects to commuting by train, even when it's rather crowded.  First and foremost, I think, is that (most of the time), you waste less time getting across town and are better able to make tight schedules, since the amount of time it takes to get about by train is much more predictable than it is by car (when the trains run on time that is, as they usually do in Tokyo).  And once you get to your destination, there are no parking issues whatsoever - you step off the train - and you're there, free to move about without having to deal with parking hassles!  In that sense, within a megacity like Tokyo, there's actually more freedom of movement without a car than with one.

Hamamatsucho Sidewalk Stroll 浜松町朝散歩 (130722)

The morning walk away from the city center station... with lots of white shirts and very few jackets on a hot July day.

Toyama Shingo 遠山伸吾インスタレーション GG1C ギャラリー銀座一丁目 (130723)

A quick look (with the artist's permission) at an art installation/exhibition in Ginza.

Floor Pattern by Room-306 (130723)

This concrete floor has been in use for 79 years now, and the wear patterns where the non-slip colored surface have worn down to the base concrete below are fascinating if you look at them in detail.  This particular room (Room-306) used to be a beauty salon, and the way there are a serious of what almost look like holes in the surface coating, in contrast to wider patches in other parts of the building, makes me wonder if this wear pattern - unique to this one spot - came about through decades of women coming to this door in high heel shoes perhaps?  In Tokyo, where almost everything old is destroyed, this kind of thing takes on some kind of urgent meaning that's hard to explain... it's as though the very building is saying "Take a very good look, as what I can show you - if you look and listen carefully/hard enough - is almost extinct in Tokyo now..."

Yurakucho Rail Bridge Noises Etc 有楽町鉄道橋下の音 (130723)

More echoes of the past.  Concrete bridges probably make more sense to build now, but these old steel bridges make such cool noises when the heavy trains go by overhead.  (And I guess the rail term for the type of trains going by overhead is probably "light rail", but I mean "heavy" in that the trains are big, heavy, and long enough to make a lot of very cool noises as they go by.)

Abstract - Station Noises (Light and Shadow) 駅の音光と影 (130724)

I specifically recorded this one to get the sound of motors, echoes, announcements, trains, etc that I noticed in this station.  The pattern of light and shadow is incidental to the sound, and it might even be better to just listen to this one and not watch the visual part.

Proper recordings of sounds in various places is actually kind of a new thing.  The documentaries that people are used to seeing with sound generally have 100% fake sounds.  It's a shame, because a lot of the atmosphere of a place is in the sound, and putting generic mundane sounds onto documentary material degrades its value and programs people's minds with bad/inaccurate info.  I think it would be much better to leave silent (documentary) films silent than to dump in those horrible fake sounds.

Yurakucho to Tokyo (Yamanote Line) 有楽町駅-東京駅 夕方の山手線 (130723na)

Tokyo to Kanda (Chuo Line) 神田駅-御茶ノ水駅 中央線 (130723)

Shinjuku Station - Platform to Lower Concourse 新宿駅 ホームと下の通路 (130723)

Shinjuku Station East Entrances 新宿駅 中央東口と東口 (130723)

Shinjuku Night Stroll on East Side 新宿東側の夜散歩 (130723)

Shinjuku Night Walk (East to West) 新宿夜散歩 東から西へ (130723g)

Walking out of the east exit of Shinjuku Station, and then walking over wet streets to the pedestrian tunnel that connects the east and west sides of the station.

Once on the west side, I walk through the Omoide-Yokocho izakaya alley... it's hard to pass up doing that when in this area!  About twenty years ago, I thought of it as a time slip zone, but since it's become quite a tourist attraction, it seems a bit like a theme park in a way, but I still like it.  Still, with a river of tourists pouring through, the time-slip feeling has largely disappeared and now it seems very much in the present, even though there's the obvious overhang of style and form from the past?  Something like that.  On the other hand, my way of looking at it has also probably changed over the years, so maybe it seems as much of a time-slip area to tourists as I used to perceive it?

Shinjuku to Yotsuya (R) Chuo Line 新宿駅-四ッ谷駅 朝の中央線 (130724)

Chuo to Marunouchi Transfer at Yotsuya 四ッ谷駅で中央線-丸の内線の乗り換え (130724)

Shinjuku to Yotsuya (L) Chuo Line 新宿駅-四ッ谷駅 朝の中央線 (130725)

Yotsuya Station Morning Platform Walk 四ッ谷駅朝ホームの様子 (130725)

Yotsuya to Akasaka-Mitsuke (Marunouchi Line) 四ッ谷駅-赤坂見附 丸の内線 (130725)

Arriving at Kasumigaseki (Marunouchi Line) 霞ヶ関駅 丸の内線 (130725)

Marunouchi to Hibiya Transfer (Kasumigaseki) 霞ヶ関駅で丸の内線-日比谷線の乗り換え (130725)

Old Stone Lined Stairway in the Mountains 山の古い石階段 (130727)

In the Mountains - Green Green Everywhere Green 緑緑の七月の山 (130727)

Green Leaves Overhead - Old Mountain Path 緑と古い山道 (130727)

Old Houses in Central Tokyo 中央東京の古い家 (130725)

Tokyo is interesting in that you never know when you'll be in an ultra-modern area, and then suddenly come upon an island of old wooden houses from the past like this.  I've always enjoyed stumbling onto old houses like this.  The old custom of putting potted plants around the wooden houses provides a welcome (and sudden) change in atmosphere.

Hibiya to Marunouchi Transfer at Kasumigaseki 霞ヶ関駅で日比谷線-丸の内線 (130725)

Kasumigaseki Station Maze 霞ヶ関駅の一部 (130725)

Waiting for Marunouchi Line Train at Kasumigaseki Station 霞ヶ関駅 (130725)

Quick 360 in Shinjuku (Bicycles Etc) 新宿の一見 (130725)

Inside Nearly Empty Train 三ドア車両の中 (130725)

Visitors try pretty hard to find the most crowded trains they can to take videos of to delight their friends overseas, but (depending on the line and time of day of course), there are also rides like this where you have nearly an entire train carriage to yourself.  More often than not, it's crowded of course, but not always.

Takao Cable Car - Midday July Trip Up Mountain 高尾ケーブルカー昼上り旅 (130727)

美しい七月山緑 Beautiful Green Forest in the Mountains (130727)

夕方蟲の七月歌 Evening Insect Noises and Passing Bipedal Mountain Goers (130727)

Full Cable Car Descending Mt Takao 高尾ケーブルカー 山から降りる (130727)

Takaosanguchi to Takao 高尾山口駅-高尾駅 京王線 (130727)

Keio to JR Transfer at Takao 高尾駅で京王線-JR線乗り換え (130727)

高尾駅-西八王子駅 中央線 Takao to Nishi-Hachioji (Chuo Line) 130727

Fireworks in the Rain While Walking Down Street in Hachioji 八王子 (130727)

Watching Fireworks from a Wet Street in Hachioji (130727)

Nishi-Hachioji Station at Night (Fireworks Night) 西八王子駅 花火の夜 (130727)

Watching Fireworks from Under an Umbrella (130727)

花火対雷 八王子 Fireworks vs Lightning - Hachioji Fireworks Event (130727)

Walking Towards Fireworks Event in Hachioji (130727)

Approaching Venue for Hachioji Fireworks Display (130727)

Early Part of Fire Walking Event in Hachioji (130727)

Fire Walking Event in Hachioji 八王子火の上に歩く (130727)

Twilight Announcements at Hachioji Fireworks Event (130727)

Waiting for Hachioji Fireworks to Begin (Stadium Views) 130727

Early Twilight at Hachioji Fireworks Event (130727)

八王子花火 Hachioji Fireworks (Sparks と Wind と Fireworks) 130727

Fireworks in Front of Dramatic Twilight Clouds (130727)

花火と夕暮れの雨雲 八王子 Fireworks and Dark Clouds (Hachioji) 130727

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon


"1991 Ueno, Toride, Uguisudani, Etc.; 2013 Takao, Ginza, Etc."

Jumping back to 1991 with views of Ueno, Toride, Uguisudani, Shibuya, Gotanda, etc., and in 2013, a trip to Takao, as well as typical views of Ginza and various trains in Tokyo.

1991 うえの夏まつり アメヤ横丁 Ueno Walkabout (910727)

Walking through the former black market area Ameya-Yokocho (or Ame-Yokocho) in 1991....  Watching this now, I sense/remember a difference between then and now.  Back then, a good percentage of the people on the street were there to buy something, and spent money in the area.  What tends to happen now is people go there specifically to see the crowds and the crowd density is so high that basically you *can't* shop.  All you can do is flow along with the river of people.  Other days, there aren't many people there.  These shops don't appear to be doing good business these days...

Of course, a huge change that has very strongly affected this area has been the strong yen, which happened just a few years before this was taken.  When the yen was weak,  you really could get a number of things more cheaply in this area, and people would come in from afar just for shopping.  What with the bad economy and persistently strong yen however, people increasingly put effort into not spending money, and there has been a constant increase in the number of low-cost retail stores throughout the country answering that demand.  And so this area is more of a theme park now, with people coming by to savor the atmosphere of days gone by, but buying little or nothing at all.  In any case, in this 1991 video, the shops were still doing pretty well.

1991 Toride Walkabout 取手散策散歩 (910727)

Looking around in Toride - starting with temple scenes, after which I walked around in the city - ending up at Toride Station.  Toride is outside of Tokyo, but since it's an easy commute into central Tokyo via the Joban Line, it's kind of a suburb of Tokyo, with a lot of people who live in Toride commuting into Tokyo every day.

Architectural change comes to where the land prices are highest first, so the old buildings around the 04:32 mark are a good example of Showa Era buildings that were mostly already gone in Tokyo at the time.  (I haven't been to Toride recently, but I suspect those buildings are gone at this point.)  That type of building used to be quite common - with a shop on the first floor, and the shopkeeper and their family living on the second floor.  (There's still a little of that - even in Tokyo - but not much.)

Sometimes I stop and try to imagine how that would be, and I find myself envying the 15-second commute they had from shop to residence.  Zero time in the sardine trains, zero time in traffic jams, etc.  On the other hand, I suppose it could get boring always being in the same place.  An attraction to commuting a long distance to work is that it's a daily journey and so you are guaranteed a certain amount of variety in life.  And when the trains aren't overly crowded (which they usually are...), the train rides can be quite pleasant themselves.

Watching this as I type - around the 10:00 mark, I ponder the feeling I get of a less frenetic pace to life... and realize the higher pace to BigCity/MegaCity life is (I suddenly realize for some reason) due to time pressures.  There are many more options for things to do, so you schedule more and then have to rush to hold to the schedule?  That's at least part of it.

Around the 12:20 mark - the kids' pictures in the pedestrian underpass:  That's something they often do here in Japan that I like (and think is a good/important idea).  Kids paint pictures in art class in elementary school, and then they have exhibitions to show the results.  Generally at the school, but also public ones like in the video.  I've seen exhibitions of kids' pictures on trains before as well.

Art education and promotion (in the world) tends to be disrespected by the Short-Term-Profits-Are-Everything crowd, but art is an important element in a healthy society....

1991 Toride to Tokyo 取手駅-東京駅 (910727)

The "Tokyo" in the title means "Tokyo Station".  This was a busy day, as I had gone out to Toride early in the morning and then left in time to go to a few places back in central Tokyo.  The sounds of the train as it speeds back to Tokyo are quite different from most of the current generation of JR commuter trains.  The sound of the motor, the clanking of metal parts, etc.  Also the suspension was a purely passive one with big steel coil springs and no air involved, holding up steel carriages that were much heavier than current types.  You actually have a feeling of something substantial thundering through the countryside.  With new trains with all the windows closed and no ceiling air vents, it's more like riding in an elevator or something.  It's hard to explain exactly, but the overall feel and atmosphere of the old type carriages was quite different and - somehow - more real in some earthy way (iron instead of aluminum maybe?).

At around the 04:37 mark, I change trains (from the Joban Line to the Yamanote Line) in Ueno, where the train dead-ends.  (They've been working on an extension so some of these trains will continue down the line to Tokyo Station, saving people from having to make the train change I make in this video.)

At the 6:38 mark, I watch a Yamanote Line train going in the other direction pull into a neighboring platform.  The round sign on the front advertises the very new (at the time) 6-door car that had been added to the Yamanote Line to make the previously ten-car train an eleven-car train.  The six-door cars were to help with crowded conditions in the morning, and they were the first cars on the Yamanote Line to have LCD monitors over the doors playing video images (which is just a standard feature on almost all trains here now).  The six-door cars were a good idea (for crowded conditions - it did mean fewer seats) but they had to go back to all eleven cars being four-door (per side) in order to facilitate easy match up with the platform wall doors that they are currently installing at all Yamanote Line stations.

At around the 7:28 mark, I exit Tokyo Station (on the Marunouchi side) and there are views of the Central Post Office (which has since been half-demolished, leaving just the front part of the building, which is now part of the JP Tower).

1991 中央郵便局 地方切手 Tokyo Central Post Office (910727)

At the time, they issued regional stamps every month(?) that were sold only in the region they were issued for (Fukuoka, Kyoto, etc.) and here - at the Central Post Office in Tokyo.  Since this was taken (1991), they demolished the back half of the building (to build JP Tower) and while there's a reopened post office in (part of) this space, with the same high ceiling, I'm not sure the regional stamp system continues as before... certainly computers have radically reduced the number of physical letters that people send.

Some years after this was taken, I began seeing region stamps for sale on and off at branch post offices, which I took to be a sign of the post office having difficulty selling them.  Back when I took this, they often sold out just at this one location.  People would come in and buy 100 *sheets* of them at a time!

Just after stepping outside at the end of this video, I look over towards the Marunouchi Building and the Shin-Marunouchi Building - both of which were later demolished to make way for office towers with the same names.  (I understand the system of using the exact same name, but wish they'd modify it slightly or even come up with a new name.  It makes it difficult to identify the former building, since there's no unique name for it.)

1991 Entering Tokyo Station 東京駅を入る (910727)

To see how different the dome area of Tokyo Station (on the post office side) was before being renovated, this is a good clip.  Actually... there have been three distinct versions of Tokyo Station.  The original version, the post war version (repaired after the fire-bombing of Tokyo), and the renovated/rebuilt version that is there now.  While the external appearance/shape of the building as been restored to the original design, internally, (other than restoring the upper dome design) it's quite different now from when the building was originally built.  (Not a complaint - just a comment after looking at photos of the original interior design of the building.)

1991 Tokyo to Ueno 東京駅-上野駅 (910727)

The opening scenes of this video show a Tokyo Station platform looking a bit different than most of the platforms look now.  I think there's just one platform now (the one for Shinagawa-bound Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku Line trains) that sill has one of the old type wooden roofs - all the other platforms have had new roofs installed.

If you're familiar with the buildings along the Yamanote Line now, you can see a number of differences in this the view out the window as the train rolls to Ueno Station.

1991 Hiyoshi to Hibarigaoka 日吉駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 (910706)

Abstract - Flaming Sun (TSG Tokyo) 130710

田中睦子個展 Art Space Rondo 有田焼睦 Tanaka Mutsuko Exhibition (130710)

Old 1930s Hallways 7-B1 and B1-2 (130710)

Walking through an old 1932/1934 (built in two sections) building.  New buildings might be nice, but old buildings like this one have so much more character!

Hayashi Hiroko Exhibition (A) 林裕子展 インスタレーション Gallery Kobo 巷房 (130710)

This exhibition/installation turned out to be quite interesting/fun.  The different colors and shadow patterns were fun to watch while walking around the room.  The videos (above and below) only partially capture the experience (in person is definitely the best way to see this kind of thing), but if you didn't go to this one, this gives you some idea of how it was at least.

Hayashi Hiroko Exhibition (B) 林裕子展 インスタレーション Gallery Kobo 巷房 (130710)

Takao to Takaosanguchi (Keio Line) 高尾駅-高尾山口駅 京王線 (130709)

高尾登山電鉄ケーブルカー (上向) Mt Takao Cable Car Ascent (130709)

No Lights Ahead Recording (130709)

高尾登山電鉄ケーブルカー (下向) Mt Takao Cable Car Descent (130709)

Takaosanguchi to Takao (Keio Line) 高尾山口駅-高尾駅 京王線 (130709)

Otemachi to Nihonbashi (Tozai Line) 大手町駅-日本橋駅 東西線 (130710)

Kyobashi Station to Tokyo Square Garden Building (130710)

New Passageways and Frosted Glass - TSG Tokyo (130710)

New Lines - New Lobby - TSG Tokyo (130710)

Office Tower Water Reflections (130710)

Tokyo to Ochanomizu (Chuo Line) 東京駅-御茶ノ水駅 夜中央線 (130710)

Shinjuku Summer Night (Glimpse) 新宿夏の夜 (130710)

Usuki Hideyuki (臼木英之) Kamei Jun (亀井潤) Gallery Ginza 1-Chome ギャラリー銀座一丁目 (130710)

1991 Nihonbashi to Tokyo Station Walkabout (910706)

This starts off with a look around mostly deserted streets near Tokyo's waterfront area, and then changes pace as I walk over to Tokyo Station.  The first part by the waterfront isn't exciting, but it captures a side of Tokyo most people tend not to see.  After that, the scenes depict the usual busy side of Tokyo that is its most well-known face, including a look inside Maruzen Bookstore in Nihonbashi.

1991 Quick View of Saturday Night Shibuya (910706)

Exiting Shibuya Station and walking into the crowds on a Saturday night, and then going back to the station and entering the Toyoko Line part of the station.

1991 東横渋谷駅 Toyoko Shibuya Station (910706)

1991 Shibuya to Hiyoshi 東横線 渋谷駅-日吉駅 (910706)

1991 Yamanote Front Cab View 池袋駅-五反田駅 (910708)

Looking out the front cab window of a counterclockwise Yamanote Line train.  Certain stations were quite different when this was taken - the Saikyo Line hadn't been extended to Shibuya yet, so to the left of the train at Shibuya Station is just tracks and open space, and Ebisu Station is pretty radically different.  It was only the Yamanote Line and the station consisted of one open-air platform with no department store built over it.

1991 南馬込散策散歩 Minami-Magome Stroll (910708)

This clip also includes a section in front of Nishi-Magome Station set up with racks of stuff selling for Y100, which was something relatively new at the time (made possible by the strength of the yen).

1991 西馬込駅-五反田駅 都営浅草線 Nishi-Magome to Gotanda (910708)

The yellow tint of this is because I left the camera's white balance set to "Sun" (or the *symbol* for sun, to be precise).  My thinking at the time was that I thought it was a good way to show the relative colors of lighting in different places.

Anyway - what I think is interesting about this video is the view down the train with all of its internal doors open, so you can see all the way to the front of the train, and also see the curvature of the train as it goes to the left and right, as well as (at one point) up.

1991 Early Recorded Train Announcement (910708)

The announcements on just about all the trains are recordings now, but in 1991, they had just begun to use them.  All the buses I used even back in the early eighties used recordings for the bus stop names, but not the trains.  I was thinking when I heard the recording in this video "Hmm... I guess that works... they've been doing that for a long time already with buses after all...", but now, in 2013, I really hate most of the recordings.  It's like back in the days of radio when they kept playing a song that you hated - with each playing it becomes ever more annoying.

Actually, the local language recordings aren't too bad, but most of the English language ones I've heard are extremely irritating - over-pronounced, over-intonated, and obviously read by a rank amateur.

1991 Tokyo to Uguisudani 東京駅-鶯谷駅 山手線 (910706)

Starting on the Yaesu side of Tokyo Station, I have a roast beef sandwich inside the station (just a brief view of the inside of the place in the video) and then take a Yamanote Line train to Uguisudani in order to see a festival there (see next video).

Looking out a left side door widow, there are some radically different (from 2013) scenes, for example from around the 3:29 mark, is a view of part of pre-highrise Akihabara, with already demolished empty space and some mysterious buildings in the background that appear to be warehouses, etc.

I think... (I need to research this) that there was probably a freight yard in this area for freight trains that came to Tokyo from northern Japan.  I know there was a huge freight yard in Shinbashi ("Shiodome Freight Terminal" - the current site of the Shiodome office towers), and... well... let me try Google for Akihabara...

Um... OK... things are come up fast and thick!  A Wikimedia Commons photo is identified as: Akihabara Freight Station (秋葉原貨物駅)" and another website calls it "Akihabara freight yard".  Here are a couple of links:

"As part of this project, the former site of the Kanda produce market and national railway (Akihabara freight yard) was redeveloped."

1960 Photo (above) from Wikimedia Commons:

1991 鶯谷駅 朝顔まつり 朝顔市 Asagao Matsuri (910706)

Summer festivals can be fun - with the food stalls, lighting, casual crowds, etc.  (Which reminds me... I haven't been to one this year yet...)  Watching this, I remember that I was exited by the event at the time - I didn't grow up with this type of thing after all - but after all this time, while I still like festivals like this, I don't know if I'd spend as much time at this same event now, since it doesn't seem exotic any more.  But who knows - you get to a place that you find to be interesting, and then you end up spending a lot of time there.

Incidentally, the Internet has created a problem for popular events.  If the word gets around a little too well in a city with a population of (including the suburbs) 30,000,000 people, a dangerously high number of people can turn up.  A couple of events in the past year were canceled due to being too popular (and therefore potentially dangerous).  Watching this video, imagine what would happen if you tripled the number of people there [shudder!].

1991 Uguisudani to Shibuya 鶯谷駅-渋谷駅 山手線 (910706)

That tunnel at Uguisudani Station is still pretty much as it appears in this video.

1991 工事中日吉駅 Hiyoshi Station Under Construction (910706)

1991 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 (910708)

1991 Gotanda to Nishimagome 五反田駅-西馬込駅 (910708)

1991 五反田駅前 Gotanda (Near Station) 910708

After watching all this stuff from 1991, so many memories of that time have come back that I find myself wondering if I'll get some kind of future-shock when I step away from the computer and go back out into 2013 Tokyo!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon


"1991 Okutama, Musashi-Itsukaichi, Kofu, Etc.; 2013 Kyobashi, Chuo Line, Etc."

There are a few views from 2013, but this batch is mainly several trips back to 1991 - with three destinations out in the summertime mountains - Okutama, Musashi-Itsukaichi, and the train ride to Kofu City in Yamanashi Prefecture.  It was one of a number of long-distance unplanned trips I took that year.  I would pick a train line to use and set off without any specific destination in mind.  When the train ride itself was interesting, I tended to end up going pretty far from Tokyo (far for a one-day out-and-back trip anyway), and the trip to Kofu was one such trip.  I took an early morning train and was planning to spend most of the day in Kofu, but not long into my wanderings in the city, the camera broke... more on that later.

Most notable for 2013 are views of a squeaky new high-rise office tower in Kyobashi (next to Ginza).  I tend not to like new office tower buildings very much, but this one is pretty cool, with retail shops and restaurants on the lower floors and a very nice elevated... maybe "terrace" is the right word?  Whatever the term, it is a bit like a nice little park sitting up on the side of the building.

With that - let's look at the clips one-by-one.

1991 Okutama Mountain Area Walkabout 奥多摩駅辺り散策散歩 (910622)

At over 58 minutes, this is a long one.  I spent about six hours walking around in the area around Okutama Station, which is the last stop on one of the branches of the Chuo Line (the Okutama Line).  It was a rainy day, with mist in the mountains... looking a little like one of those pictures of misty mysterious mountains in old Chinese scrolls (said primarily because there's a rounded mountain near the station not really typical of Japan, but looking like those old Chinese prints).  Nothing exciting exactly, but it captures the atmosphere of a mountain town in Japan somewhat.  Strangely, this is still in Tokyo!  It's on the western edge, and the nearby lake is probably the reason this belongs to Tokyo (water control).  (In the same way, Sagamiko Lake (just past Takao on the Chuo Line) belongs to Kanagawa-ken.)

1991 奥多摩駅-拝島駅 青梅線 Okutama to Haijima (Ome Line) 910622

1991 Haijima Station 1991年の拝島駅 (910622)

I got to Haijima Station just as middle school and high school students were headed home, and I ran into scores of them on the platform.  The trains all look very historical to me now.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the way the ordinary present becomes the nostalgic past....  Just a really ordinary thing on the one hand, but... when I watch old footage like this, I keep running into the feeling of "Wait... how can that have changed so drastically?  All those high school girls are now middle-aged women?  Really?"....

1991年 拝島駅-武蔵五日市駅 五日市線 Haijima to Musashi-Itsukaichi (910622)

Rolling away from central Tokyo, the Chuo Line branches at Tachikawa, and if you take the Ome Line branch of it, it again branches at Haijima, with one line going to Ome and then on to Okutama as the Okutama Line and the other called the Itsukaichi Line and going to Musashi-Itsukaichi Station.  Heading towards Tokyo on the Okutama Line (and then Ome Line), I got off at Haijima Station so I could head back towards the mountains via the Itsukaichi branch line... it was a busy day!

When I get to Musashi-Itsukaichi Station (in 1991) it's a typical countryside style station that hasn't changed for decades.  Fast forward to 2013, if you go to this same station now, be prepared to discover no trace of anything shown in this video!  Nothing remains of the old station at all.  The new station is nice enough, but the old one had so much more character.

1991年の武蔵五日市駅から散策散歩 Musashi-Itsukaichi Station Area Walkabout (910622)

Similar to the long walkabout I did earlier in the day at Okutama, I spend a fair amount of time walking around in the area around the Musashi-Itsukaichi Station, much of it shown in this 46-minute video.  Personally, I like this one, if for no other reason than thanks to the deserted temple I stumbled upon.

There's nothing like walking around alone for picking up the faint radio waves a place gives off....

1991 - Ringing Temple Bell (910622)

Not recommended and in fact probably not possible - the ringer logs are generally locked when not in use so wandering tourists with cameras can't ring them at random times.  That said, this video gives a fairly good idea of the melodious sound this type of bell makes when struck.

1991 Temple Tea House (910622)

1991年の武蔵五日市駅 Musashi-Itsukaichi Station (910622)

To cover the now vanished-in-the-mist-of-time version of this station as best as I can, I put together the footage I took both when arriving and when I came back a few hours later.  Fortunately I had some time before my train departed, so I captured images of the station office, a train arriving, etc.  If you knew this station before it was rebuilt, you might like this one.

1991 Musashi-Itsukaichi to Tachikawa 武蔵五日市駅-立川駅 (910622)

Some overlap with the previous video, but this one focuses on the train ride from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station to Tachikawa Station, beginning in the twilight of the day and ending when it's fully night.

1991 Tachikawa Station 立川駅 (910622)

Tachikawa Station itself had already been recently rebuilt in a modern style, but the trains are all previous generation.  Looking at this now - the station looks squeaky-new, which it probably was at the time.  The station is still nice, but the large concourse as you come out of the ticket gates has a different feel to it now.

1991年の立川駅辺り Tachikawa Station Area (910622)

The video above is the first half of my time in Tachikawa, and the one below the second half.  These would have been one file, but are on different tapes - I ran out of tape while taking the first half.

I suppose these narrow streets in Tachikawa I'm wandering around on have changed... I don't recognize most of them in comparison with what I've seen in Tachikawa recently.

1991 Tachikawa Nighttime Walkabout 夜の立川 (910622)

1991 Late Night Tachikawa Station 夜の立川駅 (910622)

1991 Tachikawa to Ikebukuro Etc 立川駅-池袋駅など (910622)

Ogikubo to Shinjuku - Night Chuo Line 荻窪駅-新宿駅 夜中央線 (130625)

By title, this looks like it would be another of my standing-by-the-door videos, but I stumbled upon a very rare thing - a Chuo Line train that was half empty!  I don't know how that happened, but I took advantage of the situation and recorded the view out one of the large side windows (instead of through one of the small door windows, which is what I usually have to do).  The other thing that prompted me to pull out the camera, is that the view looked so clean... possibly the window had just been washed?  In any case, it's a clear/clean view of a night train window.

New Multi-Speed Escalator (130627)

There's been some confusion about these escalators, so I probably should explain how they work.  In contrast with the type often used in train stations that stop when not in use and automatically start up when someone trips a sensor, these don't completely stop when not in use, but slow to a barely moving crawl (probably to both show they are open for use and indicate direction) and then come up to speed when a sensor is tripped.

What I found interesting is how they don't jump from the crawl-speed to regular speed, but smoothly slide up to speed with no sudden change.  They change speed so smoothly that you can't feel the change, although on one of them, I was walking in full speed mode when I got on, and since it hadn't started accelerating yet, there was a different-from-expectations sensation when I stepped onto it.  A mild form of the feeling you get when you think you're going to be stepping onto moving stairs and discover that they're stopped.

Basement Gallery 地下画廊 (130627)

This gallery - unfortunately - will be closing in a few weeks.  The gallery owner gave me permission to record the space.  This space was originally a sento (communal bath) for the apartment building overhead (which this building originally was).  Apparently during WW-II the iron equipment for the steam heat and bath was removed (for the war effort) and never reinstalled following the war, so the bath was only used for about ten years.

Tokyo New Building Stroll - Escalators Elevator Etc (130627)

Imitating Irritating Elevator Electronic Voice (130627)

OK... I probably shouldn't mock the poor elevator machine lady, but I figure computer chips don't really care, and man - I really hate those over-pronounced horrible-sounding English recordings they torment passengers on the train system with, and now they're doing the same thing in the elevators!

Upper Floor Lobby of New Building in Tokyo - Walk to Basement (130627)

Entering Kyobashi Subway Station 京橋駅を入る (130627)

Kyobashi to Kudanshita (Ginza-Tozai) 京橋駅-九段下駅 銀座線-東西線 (130627)

Subway all the way, there's not much to see outside the window while the trains are in motion - just the blurred motion of the subway tunnel walls.  This does include the transfer from the Ginza Line to the Tozai Line (at Nihonbashi Station) though.

Takadanobaba Tozai Line Platform Walk 高田馬場駅ホームの様子 (130627)

Takadanobaba Night Street View 高田馬場夜ストリートビュー (130627)

Takadanobaba is basically a college student area and the students were out in force when I walked through - making energetic student noises.  It still looks like fun, but that level of overflowing energy isn't generally mine to tap into any more....

Shinjuku Station Lower Plaza at Night 夜新宿駅下の広場 (130625)

Much of Shinjuku Station has been renovated, but this area leading up to the west entrance ticket gates hasn't changed for a while.  It feels familiar to me at this point, so an alarm went off and I thought "Wait... it feels familiar?  Then its days are very probably numbered!  Better record it if you want to see it again some time in the future."  And that's what this video is.  Note to future-shock self (in the future): "Here it is dude.  What have they done with it in the future?"

Tokyo Station - Southwest Dome to Tokaido Line 東京駅西南ドーム-東海道線 (130626)

Tokyo to Shinagawa - Tokaido Line 東京駅-品川駅 東海道線 (130626)

Shinagawa Station Walkabout 品川駅内の様子 散策散歩 (130626)

Yurakucho to Tokyo (Keihin-Tohoku Line) 有楽町駅-東京駅 京浜東北線 (130626)

Tokyo to Kanda - Nighttime Chuo Line 東京駅-神田駅 夜の中央線 (130626)

Chuo Line from Kanda - Into the Night 神田駅 中央線 (130626)

Tokyo to Hamamatsucho (Yamanote Line) 東京駅-浜松町駅 山手線 (130627)

Shinbashi to Yurakucho FCV (Yamanote Line) 新橋駅-有楽町駅 山手線 (130627)

Yurakucho Station Afternoon Platform View 有楽町駅 午後の様子 (130627)

Tokyo Square Garden B1 Restaurant Floor to Ginza Subway Kyobashi (130627)

I like the way they have the open-to-the-sky section between the B1 level of the building and the entrance to the subway system (Kyobashi Station on the Ginza Line) - it's so much nicer than just walking through an underground tunnel from the building's basement to the train.

風中の七夕飾り物 (130703)

TSG Elevated Tree Garden Stroll (130703)

The sensation from this balcony tree garden (my term - I hope it makes sense) feels very much like looking down on a city from a hill.

TSG Kyobashi Plaza 京橋TSG広場 (130703)

Tokyo Station Yaesu Side to Concourse 東京駅八重洲口と通路 (130703)

Nishi-Shinjuku Side Street Stroll 西新宿夕方散歩 (130703)

Shinjuku - Boarding Late Night Train 新宿駅で夜の中央線電車を乗る (130703)

1991 Ikebukuro Afternoon 池袋駅辺り (910715)

1991 Ikebukuro to Nishimagome 池袋駅-西馬込駅 (910715)

1991 Minamimagome Stroll 南馬込散策散歩 (910715)

1991 Gotanda と Otsuka Station と Suburbia Etc 五反田駅 大塚駅など (910715)

1991 踏切 The Railroad Crossing (910627辺り)

A piece of Tokyo suburbia: street-level rail crossings.  At times, the number of people waiting grows to quite a crowd by the time the crossing opens.

There are several views of (mostly) the same crossing in this one.  Watch from around the 01:40 mark for an example of a large crowd being generated by the wait.  Even so, it was often much more crowded than that... but this set of different views of the same crossing shows how it was generally.

Off on the right is the empty space where they were beginning to build the combination Parco Store and apartment building.

1991 Early Morning Suburbia - Western Tokyo 朝早く東京の西側 (910629)

I stumbled upon an area of housing with narrow walkways running between the houses - which is how it generally was done in old Tokyo - before the fire-breathing machinery came, and more and more land was buried under wide expanses of black asphalt.  It's true enough that if there's a fire, closely packed wooden housing is liable to all burn down, but when it's not on fire (most of the time, hopefully never) it's so much nicer to walk on a people-only path than it is to share space with the machines  with their noise, pollution, vibration, and danger.  Many more people die in traffic accidents than fire, after all.

I would put the address in here, but while I know the road I was walking down when I discovered this area, I'm  not sure which section of it exactly this was.

1991 Musashisakai Station 武蔵境駅 (910629)

Yet another station that has been completely rebuilt.  Knowing what it looks like now, it's hard to believe that this is really the same station.

1991 Musashisakai to Kofu 武蔵境駅-甲府駅 (910629)

Another long one at 42-minutes, this has some (to me at least) great footage of the countryside well away from Tokyo as seen out an open window on a speeding train - the best way to see the countryside.  Fortunately the camera held up all the way to Kofu.

1991 Kofu-shi Yamanashi-ken 山梨県 甲府市 (910629)

This would have been much more extensive - having come so far from Tokyo, I had intended to spend most of the day having a good look at Kofu, but the camera part of my analog video camera broke.  It would play previously recorded material back with no problem, but something in the camera part (maybe the CCD sensor?) was broken.

I came really close to losing this tape actually - when the camera broke down, I went to a Sony store in the center of town to see if they might be able to fix it (they couldn't), and while the guy in the shop was trying to get the camera to work, at one point, when he ejected the tape, it hadn't properly re-spooled and some of the tape was out of its cassette and got crumpled a little (which shows up as damaged sound and horizontal lines in the picture).  Fortunately it didn't break though.  I lost at least one (maybe two?) tape(s?) that way before.  The tape physically broke in a jam, and while I didn't (I don't think...) throw the tape away, I gave up on it and it's sleeping in a box somewhere.  I lost somewhere between one and three hours of material that way (the more I think about it, the more I think there were two tapes that happened to).

Anyway, back to this footage of Kofu - at the time I remember thinking "After coming all this way!  And I was just getting started!", but in re-watching this as I write this, there's actually a bit more material than I had remembered being able to take.... and while the guy at the Sony shop was busy with my camera, he let try out a demo camera in the store, so I got some footage of the shotengai mall that the store was in, as well as a view of the Sony guy trying to figure out what was wrong with my camera.

Incidentally, I had been having a problem with the camera producing lines in the picture, that I was able to clear up by (gently?) whacking the side of the camera.  The service center was secretive about repair details (over a variety of break-downs, they always said that they changed the heads, even when that was clearly not the problem.  I'm pretty sure they replaced the CCD sensor and/or camera unit(?) to fix this.  Remember that playback was fine (sound and picture) even after it broke; there was just no picture information at all, but it was still recording sound (see around 11:22 for the moment when it broke).

Well, whatever they did to fix it, they did a proper repair job, because (after I got the camera back two weeks later) I was able to use the camera for many more hours of recording before performance began to deteriorate again (those analog 8mm cameras didn't like being used very heavily).

Anyway... more camera maintenance details than you wanted to hear about!  Sorry about that.  It was an important issue for me at the time, so it's still pretty clear in my memory and further forward than it should be.  Maybe by writing down the above details I can push it into the back archive vault of the mind and forget about it.  Strange how some things stick so vividly in mind for so long....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon


"1990 Meguro, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Etc; 2013 Hamamatsucho, Yurakucho, Etc."

Another collection of things from this year (2013) and (over) two decades in the past - this time going back to 1990.  Comparing my videos of 1990 and 1991, I think a simple way of putting it would be to say that I experienced more interesting times in 1990, but didn't do such a great job of recording them, because I was still getting used to using a motion-picture camera (after a lifetime of using only still cameras).  For 1991, the reverse is true.  I was experiencing less interesting times in my daily life in Tokyo, but I was much more practiced in recording moving images, so the 1991 material tends to be smoother than the 1990 material.  All a long way of making excuses for the roughness of some of the 1990 material in this batch - all from June 1990.

Seibu to Tozai Transfer 西武線-東西線 高田馬場駅 (130611)

Yurakucho Night Walkabout 夜雨有楽町の散策散歩 (130613)

Walking through the yakitori izakaya area of Yurakucho in a light rain at night around closing time, with the last customers on the verge of going home.

Yurakucho to Tokyo (Yamanote Line) 有楽町駅-東京駅 (山手線) 130613

Otemachi to Nihonbashi (Tozai Line) 大手町駅-日本橋駅 (東西線) 130611

Nihonbashi to Kyobashi (Ginza Line) 日本橋駅-京橋駅 (銀座線) 130611

Tokyo to Kanda - Chuo Line at Night 東京駅-神田駅 夜の中央線 (130611)

Tokyo - June 2001 (Camera Test, Etc) 新宿など (010600)

This video falls right between the 1990-93 analog material I took and resuming taking video on a regular basis from around 2007.  I had a (rented) company camera for a few days in order to record some company events and I took some footage on the trains, etc. to familiarize myself with the camera.  I decided to go ahead and post that as a record of the kind of features a 2001 digital tape camera had.  Also, even if the screen effects are distracting in places, the audio track was unaffected by the visual changes, and has value in its own right.

From the 07:59 mark is a view of the many rails visible from the edge of the bridge across the street from the South Exit of Shinjuku Station.  Since this was taken, they have built a huge platform over all of the rails and completion of a huge bus terminal (Boo! Hiss! Boo!) is nearing completion.  Why am I booing?  Because I hate to see them shutting down train lines on the one hand, and moving more and more to diesel engine buses on the other....

From around the 09:50 mark, is a scene inside a taxi.  I'm glad I took this, as I (after having bad experiences with several taxi drivers in several countries) am nearly allergic to riding in taxis now, and very rarely do so.  An acquaintance whose father is a taxi driver pointed out that their father had to put up with a lot of bad customers, and I don't doubt that that's very true, but I've never done anything rude or improper to taxi drivers myself, but have had way too many bad experiences with dishonest drivers, so even if they got/get that way via bad customers, it's not my fault.  (And for the record, I and my two companions on this particular taxi ride didn't have any problems.)

From the 11:42 mark, are a few glimpses inside a Tokyo office.

Zojoji Temple Entrance in Rain 雨の増上寺入口360 (130613)

Hamamatsucho - Walking to Station in Rain 雨の浜松町駅辺り (130613)

Hamamatsucho Station Platform 浜松町駅ホームの雨様子 (130613)

Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho - Rain Cab View 浜松町駅-有楽町駅 雨の中前向き (130613)

Looking out through the front cab at the scene ahead as the train makes its way along the line.  The view of the wet railway and other trains passing is interesting (at least to me it is - hopefully it's also interesting for others).

Yurakucho Station - Platform to Exit 有楽町駅ホーム-出口 雨の日 (130613)

雨の有楽町 Yurakucho in the Rain (130613)

Yurakucho Plaza in the Rain 美しい夜雨の中の有楽町広場 (130613g)

1990 Meguro Station (Morning) 朝の目黒駅辺り (900614)

The railroad companies in Tokyo were still in the early stages of installing automatic ticket gates and so there were a mix of magnetic strip tickets and older types without the magnetic strip, so they had people by the new machines telling people to only use brown-backed (magnetic strip) tickets in them.  The man with a bullhorn at the 00:29 mark is making just such an explanation about newly installed machines.

This video shows the typical atmosphere of central Tokyo in the morning - as commuters leave stations after their commute into town and march off to work in the surrounding areas.

At the 04:07 mark, is a view of the still above-ground Tokyu Line (Tokyu Meguro Line 東急目黒線 - I think.  That's what it's called now).  This has been moved underground and connected with the subway system.

After that I walk around the area for a bit - taking in the central Tokyo picture of buildings, cars, trucks, wide roads and narrow roads, etc.

1990 Shibuya Game Center 渋谷ゲームセンター (900614)

I haven't set foot in a game center for a while, so I'm not sure how much things have changed, but I suppose most (all?) of the games are different now - some 23 years later.

Tokyo to Kanda (Chuo Line) 東京駅-神田駅 中央線 (130618)

Street Musician by Shinjuku Station 新宿駅隣ストリートライブの一見 (130618)

(Update) Route to Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (130618)

Late Night Shinjuku Station - Waiting for a Train 新宿駅夜遅く (130618)

1990年六月の田町駅 Tamachi Station (900611)

A number of changes have taken place to this station.  One of the things that stands out to me in this one is the sound of the manual ticket punchers as I walk though the ticket gates.

1990年の喫茶店と神田駅 Coffee Shop and Kanda Station (900611)

The nighttime view of Kanda Station was recorded fairly smoothly - if you can get past the shaky first part at the coffee shop, etc....

1990年西武池袋線急行 ひばりヶ丘駅-石神井公園駅 (900612)

Riding an inbound express train on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line from Hibarigaoka to Shakujikoen, looking out a left-side window as the train speeds along, and also glancing at the interior.  It was past the morning rush, so since the rails weren't crowded with a maximum load of trains, it was moving along at pretty good speed.

1990年の石神井公園駅 Shakujikoen Station (900612)

A look at the old Shakujikoen Station - with the rails still on the ground.  The station has since been completely rebuilt and the rails elevated, so this is quite a time-trip for anyone who experienced the old station and got a bit of future shock when visiting again to find it completely changed.  If I had known this version of the station was going to completely disappear, I would have recorded it in more detail, but still - you can see fairly well how it was constructed in this set of views taken on June 12th, 1990.

1990年の石神井町散歩 Shakujimachi (900612)

This is a pretty rough view, but I posted it as a record of June 12th, 1990 at this location.  If this was a video of 2013, I wouldn't post it, but not everyone was walking around with video cameras in hand in 1990, so I figure there must be some value to it as a record of the time.  (The camera I was using was hypersensitive to bright light, which is why so much of it is underexposed....  In later use of this camera I achieved slightly better results under similar conditions with the exposure set to manual.)

1990年の埼京線 池袋駅-新宿駅 Ikebukuro to Shinjuku (Saikyo Line) 900612

1990年の新宿駅南口 Shinjuku Station South Exit Area (900612)

1990 - Shinjuku at Night (East Side) 夜の新宿 (東口) 900612

Starting near the South Exit of Shinjuku Station and then walking over to the east side of the station, including a quick look at the inside of the Dug Coffee Shop.

Seibu-Shinjuku Line (Right Side View) 西武新宿線右側の眺め (130618)

Central Tokyo Alley 中央東京のある路地 (130618)

Deep Construction Hole in Ginza 銀座工事の深い穴 (130618)

Something I wonder about when they dig down this deep, is that there must be ground water down there (remember how much rain Tokyo gets), so I guess they pump it out until the (very deep) foundation is completed.  In a nearby construction project (also in Ginza) a few years ago, the sidewalk in front of a nearby building dropped about four or five centimeters!  Presumably, as they pump out the water over an extended period of time, the ground dries out and collapses downward?  In this video, you can see a square at the bottom with moving water in it.  I have no idea what that is, but wouldn't be surprised if that is part of whatever system they have in place to drain groundwater away from the construction hole....

Garage Area of Hotel Seiyo Ginza ホテル西洋銀座の閉館 (130618)

1874 Kaleidoscope 1874年の万華鏡 カレイドスコープ at Y's Arts Ginza (130618)

Yoshimura Sakao Exhibition at Gallery-403 吉村サカオ ギャラリー403 (130618)

View of a stone sculpture art exhibition at Gallery-403 in the Ginza Okuno Building.

Old Building in Kyobashi 京橋にある古い建物 (130618)

Twilight Edge of Kyobashi 夕暮れの京橋散策散歩 (130618)

Twilight Marunouchi-360 夕暮れ丸の内360度 (130618)

Kitte Marunouchi Walkabout キッテ丸の内夕暮れ散策 (130618)

Starting out on the street beside the former Central Post Office Building (the part remaining that is) and the new JP-Tower office tower that is integrated with the restaurant and shopping area called "Kitte" (which means stamp in Japanese... former post office... get it?).  I walk in the main entrance, have a look at the large triangular atrium, and then head to the rooftop garden via the escalators - stopping on each floor to have a look at the atrium.

Up on the roof, I walk around and check out the spectacular view of the Marunouchi district, including an angled view of the old (recently rebuilt/refurbished) Tokyo Station.  The view of Tokyo Station is impressive for two significant reasons: 1) The former Central Post Office roof is much closer to the Tokyo Station Building than similar observation areas in the Marunouchi and Shin-Marunouchi buildings, and 2) The angled view of the station building emphasizes its size and gives you an idea of how impressive it must have seemed when it was new - when it was the largest structure in the area.

Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 浜松町駅-有楽町駅 山手線 (130620)

The next three videos are of the band Kiki (from Kumamoto in Kyushu) performing live in Hamamatsucho in an interesting space that is open to the street, but under a building, so it's usable in all weather.  (It's basically a section of the first floor of the building - with the section having no outside walls.  They promote the event as "live on the street", but it's actually a slightly different category than that.  The space belongs to the building, and isn't technically part of the street, although you can walk straight onto it from the street.

Kiki (1-2) Live in Hamamatsucho - Kiki浜松町のライブ (130620)

Kiki (2-2) Live in Hamamatsucho - Kiki浜松町のライブ (130620)

Kiki (2-5) Live in Hamamatsucho - Kiki浜松町のライブ (Jellyfish) 130620

Nishi-Ogikubo Station Platform 西荻窪駅のホーム (130620)

Looking around from a platform at Nishi-Ogikubo Station while waiting for a train to arrive.

西荻窪駅-中野駅 (中央線) Nishi-Ogikubo to Nakano (Chuo Line) 130620

工事中の神田駅 Kanda Station Under Construction (130620)

At one point I had thought the construction work at Kanda was nearing completion, but the only part that appears to be finalized is the one escalator and passageway on the east side of the station.  In this video, it's pretty obvious that the ongoing construction is quite extensive.  It's hard to imagine what the final shape of the station will be, but that it will be very different than now is for sure!

Hamamatsucho Evening Rain 夕方浜松町の雨 (130620)

1990 Shibuya to Nagatacho 渋谷駅-永田町駅 半蔵門線 (900615)

Starting at street level in Shibuya and then walking down three levels below ground and getting on a Hanzomon Line (半蔵門線) train and riding to Nagatacho Station (永田町駅), where I go past hundreds of schoolgirls going in the other direction as I exit the station.  Either there was some kind of school trip or there's a girl's high school in the area?  I'm not sure which or what, but there were a *lot* of high school girls going in the other direction.

Jumping back to the middle of the video, where I'm looking up and down the long escalator; Nagatacho used to be famous for being deep underground (until the Oedo Line was built - which is even deeper in places), and so I found the loooonnng escalator quite interesting....

1990 永田町駅-三越前駅 半蔵門線 Nagatacho to Mitsukoshi-mae (900615)

The title sounds like this is just a ride from one station to another, but I walk around in the Nagatacho Station area for a while before going back underground and taking a train further down the line.  (More views on the long escalator... I'm surprised now that that seemed *that* interesting to me back then...)

1990 Marunouchi Line to Ikebukuro, Etc. 古い丸ノ内線 池袋駅へ (900615)

A brief view of the inside of an old-type Marunouchi Line train, followed by transfering to the Seibu Line at Ikebukuro Station.

1990 Shibuya Walkabout 渋谷散策散歩 (900615)

In brief: Walking about in Shibuya, having a fairly detailed look at the side streets, etc. on both sides of the station.

In a little more detail, let me point out a few more things.  At a couple of places in the video, one of the old all-orange Ginza Line trains goes by on the Ginza Line's one overhead section (it's a subway after all).  (They were already phasing in the next generation of trains, but several of the old trains were still in use.)

At the 09:56 mark, I walk into a squeaky-new department store and look around for a while, including a fairly long look inside a bookstore - which was a bit more crowded than bookstores are now, what with people reading things on-line and via electronic devices instead of on paper.  Back out on the street at 14:42, I head over towards the other side of the station.

At the 15:48 mark, I walk through the first floor area of an old building (which building I'm not sure exactly, but not far from the old Tokyu Building - with the planetarium at the top - that was later torn down to make way for a new high-rise).  Looking at this now, that space looks like it was from 50 years ago or something, but it's only been 23 years (which is still a lot I guess...).

From about the 19:52 mark, I go three levels down and board a subway headed further into central Tokyo (see "1990 Shibuya to Nagatacho 渋谷駅-永田町駅 半蔵門線 (900615)").

1990 Early Morning Suburbia Walkabout (900616)

1990 Hibarigaoka to Gaienmae ひばりヶ丘駅-外苑前駅 (900616)

This one is a little hard to follow, as I'm on a Seibu-Ikebukuro Line train, and then suddenly I'm on a Yamanote Line train, and after just a few seconds shown on the second train, I get off at Shibuya Station and transfer to a Ginza Line train (one of the old all-orange ones), which I take to Gaienmae Station.  After climbing up to street level, I walk around in that area for a while.

1990 Tokyo Bubble-Era Party (900616)

At the time, I didn't think about it much, but in looking at this now, I can't help but think "Ah... to be young and care-free!", but of course I'm forgetting that I was not "carefree" then - it's just that the things being worried about were different.  That it was (overall) a more optimistic time is true enough though.

1990 Taxi - Somewhere - Taxi - Shibuya - 東京バブルの夜 (900616)

After a party, I went with a few of the party-goers (by taxi) to another place, spent some time there, and then took a taxi (with the same party-goers) to Shibuya Station.  No big deal, but a piece of the bubble years and something of the atmosphere of the time is within the video (mainly in the sound track).

After getting out of the taxi by Shibuya Station, I walk around a little in Shibuya, having a look at Hachiko Square, etc.

1990 Shibuya Station - Saturday Night 土曜日の夜の渋谷駅 (900616)



"1991 Omiya, Toyoko Line, Etc.; 2013 Asakusa, Toyoko Line, Kamata, Etc."

Going here and there in Tokyo - bouncing back and forth between 2013 and 1991 - and revisiting a few places highlighted in 1991 videos this time around as well - specifically Gakugeidaigaku Station, Toritsudaigaku Station and Jiyugaoka Stations on the Toyoko Line and (if you scroll down the page for 1991 views) Asakusa.  Actually, Asakusa was covered last week, but there are some new videos of another visit there after that one.

1991 Tokyo Suburbia (910508) 1991年の散策散歩

Some typical scenes of suburban Tokyo (on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line).  Pretty ordinary stuff, but as time passes, this type of thing strangely takes on more meaning.  I guess that's due to over-coverage of the famous areas and under-coverage of the ordinary areas - and then as time passes and ordinary places change, suddenly it becomes apparent that there's almost no record of what was most common at the time....

At about the 3:52 mark, one of the old type Red Arrow trains passes.

I'm not sure why I recorded the evidence of trash day - either for no particular reason, or else because this was just as the first plans for trash separation began to be implemented.  In any case, in the area I was taking video, it appeared to be the old way, with everything just tossed out together?  Not sure, but certainly trash is much more carefully separated now than it was at the time I took this video.

1991 Watching One of my Analog Videos on a CRT TV (910525)

A short video that starts out showing Omoide-Yokocho in Shinjuku - which was playing on an old (current at the time) cathode ray tube (CRT) television set, running from an analog tape deck (modern technology at the time) playing a tape I'd taken previously.

There is also a quick view of one of my video cameras - an analog Hi-8 camera... modern technology at the time.  Not long before this, video cameras consisted of two parts - a camera and a tape deck, with a cable connecting the two.  You'd wear the tape deck like a shoulder bag and operate the camera with... I'm embarrassed to even finish the sentence - what else but your hands?  (Your feet?)  In any case, the all-in-one design was a big deal at the time.  Just the one machine, with no cables.  If you're interested in what I recorded the 1991 stuff in this back of videos with - that's the type of machine, right there.  It looks huge from the side, but head-on, it wasn't very large, and the matte-black color actually made it a lot less conspicuous than you might think.  From the side, it sure stood out though.

1991 Hibarigaoka Afternoon (910614) 午後のひばりが丘

This shows Hibarigaoka just before a lot of new construction kicked into high gear.  The empty lot used to be a series of old wooden buildings.  They began constructing the Parco Building, etc. from about this time.  In my 1990 videos, the old stuff is still there, and later in 1991, there are obvious signs of construction.

1991年 大宮までの電車旅 Trip to Omiya (910524)

This includes views of the east side of Ikebukuro Station before I continued on to Omiya via a couple of trains.  I was just going to say something about how you get used to transferring here and there as you go about the city, which is true enough, but they've made a lot of changes to the system so that, if you choose the train you take carefully, you can often use several lines without changing trains (through agreements between different lines and companies where the train continues on, running on another company's rails).

1991 Bicycle Cleanup at Miyahara Station 大宮の宮原駅自転車片付け (910524)

At the time I watched them tossing bicycles onto a truck to be hauled away, I thought it was a good thing, since I was a little irritated about the way people would leave their bikes anywhere - blocking the entrances to stores, etc., but I view it from a different perspective now.  It seems to me that far too much emphasis is placed on making things easy for owners of fire-breathing machinery these days.  Out in the countryside is one thing, but cars are basically a curse in Tokyo.  The more they make it easy for the fire-breathing machinery, the worse it gets for human beings.  More convenient for some?  Something like one in a thousand and one.  Make life worse for 1,000 people so one can drive a fire-breathing machine?  It's short-sighted madness I say!

1991年 宮原駅-池袋駅 夜の電車 Omiya to Ikebukuro Night Train (910524)

It's a little hard to pin down just what has changed so much between 1991 and 2013 when I watch this now, but the atmosphere is quite different.  Is it just that the current young generation is a completely new set of people (a huge reason), or is there something else in the background?  New bipeds and their new radio waves taking over I guess.  Of course, manual ticket gates and (virtually) no cell phones is a big deal as well.

Asakusa Sensoji-360 浅草の浅草寺での見回り (130528)

浅草寺の仲見世通り Asakusa Sensoji Souvenir Shop Area (130528)

秋葉原駅ホームの様子 360-Degree Look Around at Akihabara Station (130528)

神田駅-有楽町駅 (山手線) Kanda to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 130528

Susanna Niederer スザンナニーデラー展 APS-Gallery and Gallery Kobo 巷房 (130528)

Evening Edge of Ginza 夕暮れの銀座隣 (有楽町) 130528

Twilight Yurakucho Plaza 夕暮れの有楽町広場 (130528)

Yurakucho Station at Night 夜の有楽町駅 - 改札口からホームまで (130528)

Missing Platform Seats - Yurakucho to Tokyo 有楽町駅-東京駅 (山手線) 130528

Typical Tokyo thing.  One day something that has been part of your surroundings for many years just suddenly disappears.  They've accelerated the installation of power-hungry (at least 88 electric motors in motion per train - 11 cars x 4 doors x 2 doors) platform walls on the Yamanote Line (so they can ditch the conductors) and they probably need the space the seats used to be in, in order to make a platform shed for construction equipment while they're installing the platform walls and electric doors.  (It would have made more sense to have installed passive barriers with openings for the doors I think, but then they would have had to keep the conductors to keep an eye on the platform still.)

Setting off into the Night on the Chuo Line 中央線で夜へ出発 (130528)

Exiting Shinjuku Station via South Exit 新宿駅 - ホームから南口へ (130528)

Kanda Station Under Construction - Looking Around 工事中神田駅の見回り (130530)

Very extensive construction continues at Kanda Station - I'm wondering what the finished station will end up looking like!  In this video I was about to get on the train when I noticed the old elements of that stairwell, so I thought I'd get a quick record of that before it's vaporized... and I missed the train.  It turned out to be a good thing though, as it gave me time to have a more careful look at the ongoing construction work, and to discover some brick elements to the station, which have got to go back pretty far in the station's history.  Noticing similar brick at another station, I think that is part of the structure of the elevated platforms.

Kanda to Hamamatsucho - Yamanote Line 神田駅-浜松町駅 - 山手線左側 (130530)

Hibiya-Dori-360 by Zojoji 増上寺近くの日比谷通りの様子 (130530)

Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 浜松町駅-有楽町駅 (山手線) 130530

Higashi-Koganei to Mitaka (Chuo Line) 東小金井駅-三鷹駅 (中央線) 130601

中野駅-新宿駅 (中央線) Nakano to Shinjuku (Inbound Chuo Line) 130601

Yurakucho Station Kokusai Forum Exit 有楽町駅国際フォーラム出口 (130530)

Art Space Rondo 工房アンダンテ吉田直樹 Andante - Yoshida Naoki (130530g)

A fascinating exhibition of woodwork art, including custom speakers which exhibited good quality sound and artistic design.  At about the 0:05 mark in the video, you can see them on the left - very tall and narrow, with the actual speaker facing down, and a bass port facing forward at the top of the box.

This gallery simultaneously showcases its cool space/ambiance in the 1932 half of the 1932/1934 Ginza Okuno Building along with various artistic art - which I see (from running a Google search) is an existing term - but I use it here to make a distinction between "artistic art" and "dealer art".

The problem with the art world, as a business, is that (among others) two non-artistic factors heavily influence the marketability of art: supply and name/brand recognition, which means art from a deceased famous artist is what is considered the safest investment.  So since the profit lies with those two factors, often really ugly garbage that isn't artistic at all is easy to sell, because (for one reason or another) the artist's name has been developed/marketed/hyped, and if their output is limited (or finished), anything with their name on it is considered to have value.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are prolific artistic artists who produce beautiful art, but have trouble convincing people to buy it - not because people don't find it appealing, but because they have no guidelines as to the investment value of the work, and lack the courage to invest in art that they like for its own appeal - based on their own reaction(s) to it.

That said - perhaps not too much scorn should be heaped upon spineless investors.  They're not artists, and never will be.  They don't deeply understand art, and never will.  Add into this the bogus "artists" who market absolute garbage with no value whatsoever; neither artistic nor as a long-term investment, and someone without the needed combination of artistic sight/insight, courage, empathy, and good BS-detection abilities, can't really be blamed too much for wanting to go with something that is laugh-proof and guaranteed to hold its value.

Another factor... is deliberate incomprehensibility.  Since the people who have the money to *buy* art, tend to not be artistic, they mistake easily understood beauty as something to scorn, and want/need something incomprehensible, so that anyone who criticizes it can be easily accused of "not understand" it.  This is a really unfortunate part of the art world, and possibly its most fraudulent aspect.  In talking with living artists about their artwork on display at exhibitions, once you know a little about art, artistic-artists and fraud-artists can often be found out through asking a few relevant questions.  Real artists are generally able and willing to explain their art, and it takes on added beauty as you contemplate it while they explain their intent.  Bogus artists quickly become antagonistic, defensive, nasty, dishonest, and sophistic when you start asking questions.

But I would have to write a book to properly go into these aspects of the modern art world (and I'm no expert myself anyway), so just let me say that after about six years of gallery crawling in (primarily) Ginza and Kyobashi, I have come to more deeply appreciate authentic artists and to more strongly dislike bogus/fraudulent "artists" than before my gallery-crawling education.  In any case, I find this gallery and its owner to be authentically artistic.

[Note: After writing the above about the art world, I decided to post that part as a text-only blog entry - which is why you may have already read it.]

Tsutsumi Yoshihiko つつみよしひこ Fusion Art and Antiques (130530)

This clip shows a recent fusion art exhibition in the combination art and antique space in room-101 in the Ginza Okuno Building.  Here is some background on the artist:

   Since 1986, Yoshihiko Tsutsumi has produced a wide range of art and design (graphic design, logos, paintings, etc.) for a diverse range of clients, including discotheques and live houses (similar to bars with live music, but with the difference that people come to hear the music primarily) in the Roppongi and Shibuya districts of Tokyo.  In 1992, Tsutsumi moved to London, and traveled in the UK and throughout Europe, researching art and antiques.
   Returning to Japan in 1995, he became involved in the (western) antique (and vintage) market, while continuing to do design and art direction.  He is involved in a number of innovative projects, among them logo and design work, a collaborative effort with a leatherwork artist (the team using the name NU-LU), and fusion art - combining the marrying of antique/vintage objects/art with his original art, creating art that embraces and transcends time.
   Two large exhibitions of note are a recent solo exhibition in New York, and an upcoming large-scale art exhibition at the Ueno Royal Museum (上野の森美術館).

Yurakucho to Shinbashi Etc Train Race 有楽町駅-新橋駅 電車のレース KTとY (130530)

Hamamatsucho to Tamachi KT-Line 浜松町駅-田町駅 京浜東北線 夜の様子 (130530)

Kamata Walkabout - Station to Bourbon St 蒲田夜散歩 駅-バーボンストリート (130530)

Kamata Bourbon Street at Night 夜の蒲田バーボンストリート (130530)

Kamata Station West Side Plaza 蒲田駅の西側広場 (130530)

Kamata Station at Night 夜の蒲田駅 (130530)

Boarding Keihin-Tohoku Line Train at Kamata 蒲田駅の夜京浜東北線電車 (130530)

夜の大井町駅 Nighttime Oimachi Station 京浜東北線 (130530)

夜の大井町居酒屋の細道 Nighttime Izakaya Alley in Oimachi (130530)

大井町居酒屋散策散歩 Oimachi Izakaya Walkabout on Back Streets (130530)

Yurakucho Station - Platform to Exit 有楽町駅 ホームから出口まで (130530)

有楽町駅-東京駅 (山手線) Yurakucho to Tokyo via Yamanote Line (130530)

Shinjuku to Shin-Okubo (Yamanote Line) 新宿駅-新大久保 (山手線) 130601

Shin-Okubo to Otsuka (Yamanote Line) 新大久保駅-大塚駅 (山手線) 130601

Otsuka Station to Otsuka Sun Mall 大塚駅からさんもーる大塚まで (130601)

Otsuka Sun Mall Walkabout さんもーる大塚散策散歩 (130601)

This was taken in the morning, which is about the least-busy time of day for this kind of area.

All Green Yamanote Line Train Departing Takadanobaba 全緑山手線 高田馬場 (130601)

Exiting JR-Takadanobaba Station JR-高田馬場駅を出る 土曜日のお昼 (130601)

Takadanobaba Afternoon Walkabout 高田馬場土曜日お昼散策散歩 (130601)

1991 東急東横店南館 Tokyu Dept Store South Side Roof Etc (910601)

The rooftop I visit in Shibuya in this video is still there, but most of it is blocked off and is used for storage it appears.  I'm wondering if they will still have a beer garden here in August, as they used to (actually it used to be a beer garden from June to August I think).  I'll have to swing by and have a look in August.  Here's how it looks now:

東急東横店南館の屋上 (A) Shibuya Tokyu Southwest Building Roof (130604)

東急東横店南館の屋上 (B) Shibuya Tokyu Southwest Building Roof (130604)

Those repeat further down the page (since they are relevant to other clips of Shibuya).

1991 Busy Shibuya Tokyu Dept Store 渋谷駅東急百貨店 (910601)

1991 東急東横線渋谷駅 Toyoko Line Shibuya (910601)

1991 Shibuya to Gakugei-Daigaku 渋谷駅-学芸大学駅 東横線 (910601)

This is historically interesting now, as it shows the elevated section of the railway leaving Shibuya that has been decommissioned (with the line being moved underground and connected to the subway system).  If I had known this section of track was going to be shut down, I would have just left the camera running the entire time, but even though I started and stopped it a few times, it still shows much of the old railway.  The recorded announcements are also from the past - having been replaced with new recordings some years after this was taken.

Kokubunji Street Musician (130603)

Asagaya Station Walkabout 阿佐ヶ谷駅散策散歩 モールなど (130604)

Shinjuku - Chuo to Yamanote Trans 新宿駅 - 中央線-山手線乗り換え (130604)

Shinjuku to Yoyogi (Chuo Local) 新宿駅-代々木駅 (中央線各駅) 130604

Yoyogi Station Area - Yamanote to Shibuya 代々木駅辺り-渋谷駅 (130604)

Former Toyoko Shibuya Station Empty Platforms (130604)

Shibuya Station Area Walkabout 渋谷駅辺りの散策散歩 (130604)

東急東横店南館の屋上 (A) Shibuya Tokyu Southwest Building Roof (130604)

東急東横店南館の屋上 (B) Shibuya Tokyu Southwest Building Roof (130604)

The rooftop looked like this in 1991:

1991 東急東横店南館 Tokyu Dept Store South Side Roof Etc (910601)

Shibuya Station Southwest Side 渋谷駅西南辺り (130604)

Shibuya to Tamachi (Yamanote Line) 渋谷駅-田町駅 - 山手線の右側 (130604)

Hotel Seiyo Ginza RIP ホテル西洋銀座の閉館 (130604)

This hotel isn't particularly old, but it's been closed and apparently they're going to tear it down and put something else there - hopefully not a big, ugly box full of banksters....

Tokyo Station Yaesu Side (Under Construction) 東京駅八重洲側工事中 (130604)

Tokyo to Ochanomizu (Chuo Line) 東京駅-御茶ノ水駅 - 中央線左側 (130604)

Entering Shinjuku Station via South Entrance 新宿駅南口を通る (130604)

新宿駅の様子 サッカー試合の後 Shinjuku Station Post-Soccer Game Walkabout (130604)

I initially started taking this just to show Shinjuku Station at night, and then I started noticing the soccer (football) fans - thus the title.  Pretty much there's that one "Honda-4" guy on the Yamanote Line platform at the beginning, but many more show up later in the clip over by the east entrance.  The place that's famous for crowds of soccer fans in Tokyo is Shibuya - where an army of police show up to maintain order and stop people from shutting down the Shibuya scramble crosswalk.

Shinjuku Station After Soccer Game 新宿駅 サッカー試合の後 (130604)

I probably should have just called this one "Entering Shinjuku Station via East Entrance", but the atmosphere - after a favorable outcome to the soccer game - was jovial and it seemed relevant to mention the game....

Street Musicians by Shinjuku Station South Exit (130604)

1991 Long Walk - Gakugei-Daigaku to Toritsu-Daigaku (910601) 散策散歩

1991 - In the Looking Glass (910601) 鏡は楽しいです 1991年の東京

1991 Trying New Drink Before Reading Label Properly (910601)

1991年 長い散歩 都立大学駅-自由が丘駅 Toritsu Daigaku to Jiyugaoka (910601)

I went back to these same stations on the Toyoko Line last week and those videos are further down the page.

1991年 都立大学駅辺り Toritsu-Daigaku Station Area (910601)

1991年 学芸大学駅辺り Gakugei-Daigaku Station Area (910601)

1991年 名店会館 トリツフードセンター 1F-商店街 2F-飲食街 (910601)

1991年 自由が丘駅辺り Jiyugaoka Evening Station Area (910601)

Walking Up to an Old Roof in Meguro-ku (130606)

目黒区の植物屋上 Plants on the Roof in Meguro-ku (130606)

Old Building in Meguro-ku 目黒区にある古いビル内 (130606)

Shinjuku to Ebisu SLT 新宿駅-恵比寿駅 (130606)

Ebisu - JR to Hibiya Line Transfer 恵比寿駅 - JR線-日比谷線の乗り換え (130606)

Old Houses in Toranomon - Walk up Hill 虎ノ門の古い家と新しい家 (130606)

Toranomon - Top of Hill to Main Road 虎ノ門 - 丘の上から大通りまでの散歩 (130606)

Old Buildings About to be Torn Down in Toranomon 虎ノ門の古い建物 (130606)

Nakameguro Trains 中目黒駅電車々 (東急電鉄東横線) 130606

Toyoko Line - Express to Jiyugaoka 東横線 - 自由が丘駅までの急行 (130606)

Jiyugaoka Afternoon Platform Scene 自由が丘駅夕方ホームの様子 (130606)

Jiyugaoka to Toritsudaigaku Toyoko Line 自由が丘駅-都立大学駅 東横線 (130606)

Toritsu Food Center Being Torn Down 名店会館の元トリツフードセンター (130606)

都立大学駅近くの自転車整理場所 Bike Parking Near Toritsudaigaku Station (130606)

Toritsudaigaku Station Area Walkabout 都立大学駅辺りの徒歩旅行 (散策散歩) 130606

Big Crane Truck Near Toritsudaigaku Station (130606)

Toritsudaigaku Station Ticket Gates to Platform 都立大学駅 (130606)

Toritsudaigaku to Gakugeidaigaku - Toyoko Line 都立大学駅, 学芸大学駅 (130606)

Gakugeidaigaku Nishiguchi Shotengai 学芸大学駅西口商店街散歩 (130606)

Gakugeidaigaku Shopping Mall East 学芸大学駅東口商店街散歩 (130606)

夕暮れの学芸大学駅西口商店街散歩 Twilight Gakugeidaigaku WSS (130606)

夜の学芸大学駅東口商店街散歩 Gakugeidaigaku Shopping Mall East (130606)

Gakugeidaigaku Station East Side Night 学芸大学駅東口横道散策散歩 (130606)

Bookstore to Platform - Gakugeidaigaku Station 学芸大学駅と本屋 (130606)

More so than most, this video reminds me of the videos I took back in 1990-92 - including the busy bookstore.  Unfortunately, a lot of bookstores aren't doing so well these days and are often empty.

Jiyugaoka Night Walkabout 自由が丘夜の徒歩旅行 (130606)

通勤特急が学芸大学駅を通る Tsukin-Tokkyu Passing at Speed (130606)

Gakugeidaigaku to Jiyugaoka (Toyoko Line) 学芸大学駅-自由が丘駅 (130606)

Jiyugaoka Station Walk-Through 自由が丘駅の夜様子 (130606)

Jiyugaoka Tsukin-Tokkyu Night Train Ride 自由が丘駅から夜通勤特急 (130606)

Shinjuku San-Chome from Train to Street 地下鉄電車から地上道まで (130606)

Shinjuku-Dori and Glass Wind Chimes 新宿通りとグラスチャイム風鈴 (130606)

I was glad to come upon this mobile wind chime seller.  This way of marketing something goes way back... I imagine.  In any case, the sound of all those wind chimes going together was great to hear (towards the end of the video).

Shinjuku Night Streets 新宿夜の道 (130606)


May 26th, 2013

"2013 JP Tower, Asakusa, Etc; 1991 Tsukiji, Naka-Meguro, Gakugei-Daigaku Station Area, Etc."

Very pressed for time this week, so I'm afraid I'll have to be sparing with text - hopefully the videos will speak for themselves.  Notable in this batch are 2013 views of the recently opened (reopened?) remains of the former Central Post Office next to Tokyo Station (元東京中央郵便局).  People have mixed feelings about this, as many wanted to see the building preserved and while it's great that at least the facade and the front part of the building (by that I mean that a usable section going back a little - more than just the external face of the building) have been preserved, most of the rear of the building was removed to make way for an office tower (the JP Tower).  Personally, I think the result is pretty cool, and the front of the building goes well aesthetically and historically with the newly renovated/rebuilt Tokyo Station, with the Tokyo Station building representing 1914 Tokyo and the former post office building (now part of "JP Tower", the high-rise the facade is connected to) dating back to 1933.  Included in the video clips below are several views from the roof of the 1933 building showing Tokyo Station and the surrounding buildings of Marunouchi.

Also notable in this batch of videos are 1991 views of (yes, again, and I'll explain why in a second) Tsukiji.  I have recently posted videos of 1991 Tsukiji, but rather than just a repeat (on another day) this is a continuation of a pretty detailed look at the huge wholesale market, with (this time) views of the surrounding shops, restaurants, and offices, and also a view of the Saturday afternoon cleanup inside the market.

Kyobashi Late Spring Day 京橋ある春の日 (130521)

Tokyo Station Yaesu Bus Area Etc 東京駅八重洲バスゾーンなど (130521)

Tokyo to Kanda (Chuo Line) 東京駅-神田駅 中央線 (130521)

Shinjuku - Platform to Upper Concourse 新宿駅ホームから上の通路へ (130521)

新宿駅南口から夜へ向かう Entering the Night from Shinjuku Station (130521)

Entering Nishi-Shinjuku (Former Yodobashi) 西新宿 (元淀橋) へ入る (130521)

Shinjuku - Escalator to Plaza 新宿東南口プラザへのエスカレーター (130521)

Shinjuku Brief Street View 新宿の数秒間 (130521)

Twilight in Kyobashi 京橋の夕暮れの時 (130521g)

Springtime Tamagawa-Josui Quick Look 春の玉川上水 (130518)

I was asked about how to find the the APA Hotel near Ningyocho Station, so I went out there and took a few clips to show the person who asked me how to find the hotel and what the station looks like, etc. (next five videos).

Nigyocho Station to APA Hotel 人形町駅からAPAホテルまで人形町駅北 (130524)

Entering APA-Ningyocho-kita Hotel アパホテル人形町北を入る (130524)

Both Entrances of APA-Ningyocho-kita Hotel アパホテル人形町北の入り口 (130524)

Entering Ningyocho Station 人形町駅を入る (130524)

Ningyocho Station - Toei-Asakusa Line 都営浅草線の人形町駅 (130524)

Chuo Line Side View to Mitaka 中央線三鷹駅までの右側 (130524)

三鷹駅-中野駅 中央線の左側 Mitaka to Nakano Chuo Line Left Side (130524)

中野駅-新宿駅 中央線の左側 Nakano to Shinjuku Chuo Line Left Side (130524)

These next two were mainly taken as updates to the video I took a few years back showing how to get to the Sunroute Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku.  As I mentioned above, I'm pressed for time right now (I have a ton of things to do), so I'll have to try to edit this later with a link to that along with a better explanation.

Shinjuku - Narita Express to Southern Terrace Exit and South Exit 新宿駅 (130524)

Shinjuku Station - South Exit and Southern Terrace Exit Areas 新宿駅南口など (130524)

Departing Shinjuku Station on Inbound Chuo Line 中央線で新宿駅から出発 (130524)

Chuo Line Central Area Side View 中央東京中央線昼の左側眺め (130524)

Yotsuya to Kanda (Chuo Line) 四ッ谷駅-神田駅 昼の中央線 (130524)

Kanda to Ueno (Yamanote Line) 神田駅-上野駅 山手線 (130524)

Ueno Station - Missing Path to Basement 上野駅無くなった地下までの階段口 (130524)

Ueno Station - From Yamanote Line to Main Terminal and Mall Stroll 上野駅 (130524)

Ueno Station Walkabout - Main Terminal to Subway Entrance Etc 上野駅色々 (130524)

Ueno Station - Yamanote to Hibiya Transfer 上野駅の山手線-日比谷線乗り換え (130524)

Ueno to Ningyocho (Hibiya Line) 上野駅-人形町駅 日比谷線 (地下鉄) 130524

Nighttime Tokyo Station from Above Etc 上からの夜東京駅の様子など (130524)

Ningyocho Station - Exiting via A3 Exit 人形町駅をA3口から出る (130524)

Ningyocho Station - Waiting for Toei-Asakusa Line Train 都営人形町駅の様子 (130524)

Complicated Map on Tokyo Subway 複雑な電車内の地図 (130524)

Rooftop-360A Asakusa Matsuya 浅草松屋360A (130524)

Rooftop-360B Asakusa Matsuya 浅草松屋360B (130524)

Suehirocho to Awajicho (Ginza Line) 末広町駅-淡路町駅 銀座線 (130524)

Akihabara Street Scene Near Southwest Side of Station 夕方の秋葉原駅辺り (130524)

Akihabara - From Southeast Streets to Station 秋葉原東南道から駅まで (130524)

Akihabara to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 秋葉原駅-有楽町駅 山手線 (130524)

Evening Yurakucho (Musical Clock Etc) 夕方の有楽町 音楽時計 (130524)

Down Escalators in JP Tower JPタワーの下りエスカレーター (130524)

Yurakucho Night - Under-Tracks Izakaya 賑やかな居酒屋 有楽町金曜日の夜 (130524)

Late Night Friday Yurakucho Station 有楽町駅 金曜日の夜遅く (130524)

Late Night Friday - Yurakucho to Tokyo 金曜日の夜遅く 有楽町駅-東京駅 (130524)

Tokyo Station - Yaesu to Marunouchi 夕方東京駅 八重洲川-丸の内側 (130524)

Tokyo to Yurakucho - Keihin-Tohoku Line 東京駅-有楽町駅 京浜東北線 (130524)

Yurakucho-SB Evening Stroll 夕方の有楽町SB (130524)

Yurakucho to Tokyo (Yamanote Line) 有楽町駅-東京駅 山手線 (130524)

JP Tower - Upper Two Floors of Former Central PO Building JPタワー 元中央郵便局 130524

Tokyo Station - Marunouchi Dome to Yamanote Platform 東京駅改札-山手線 (130524)

Tokyo to Shinbashi - Keihin-Tohoku Line 東京駅-新橋駅 京浜東北線 (130524)

Shinbashi Station Keihin-Tohoku Line Train 新橋駅の京浜東北線の様子 (130524)

Shinbashi Late Night Walkabout 新橋夜遅く散策散歩 (130524)

Shinbashi Plaza to Keihin-Tohoku Line Train 新橋広場からホームまで (130524)

都営浅草駅 From Toei-Asakusa Platform to Asakusa Streets (130524)

Walking to Asakusa Sensoji Kaminarimon 浅草観光 浅草寺の雷門 (130524)

Walking to Temple 浅草寺の仲見世通り Nakamise-Dori at Sensoji (130524)

Asakusa Hanayashiki Entrance Area 浅草花屋敷の入り口辺り (130524)

Asakusa 2-Chome Shotengai 浅草二丁目商店街 (130524)

Asakusa 3-Chome Shotengai 浅草三丁目商店街 (130524)

Asakusa Green Leaf Roof Izakaya and Shotengai 浅草植物屋根の居酒屋道 (130524)

Asakusa Sensoji - Return Walk to Kaminarimon 浅草寺の仲見世通り 雷門 (130524)

Asakusa Shotengai Shopping Streets 浅草商店街散策散歩 (130524)

浅草観音近道 浅草地下商店街を見回る Asakusa-Kannon-Chikamichi (130524)

浅草観音近道 浅草地下商店街を通る Asakusa-Kannon-Chikamichi (130524)

Asakusa Street Island and Look at old Underground Shopping Area (130524)

Asakusa Entrance to Tobu-Isezaki Line 浅草駅 東武伊勢崎線の入り口 (130524)

Stairwell Stone in Old Department Store in Asakusa (130524)

Department Store to Tobu-Isezaki Line to Underground Shotengai to Ginza Line 130524

Asakusa Station - Ginza Line Platform and Train Interior 銀座線 (130524)

Evening Nihonbashi Walkabout 夕方日本橋散策散歩 (130524)

神田駅 Waiting for a Train at Kanda Station 電車来るまでの見回り (130524g)

JP Tower - Former Central Post Office Section 元中央郵便局の残りに散策散歩 (130524g)

Roof Walk - Former Central Post Office 屋上散策散歩 元中央郵便局 (130524g)

Marunouchi Friday Night Lights 丸の内金曜日の光 五月の月光 (130524g)

Friday Night Yurakucho-SB 金曜日有楽町の夜 賑やかなYSB (130524g)

Kiki - Hamamatsucho Live (Set-1, Song-1) 130516

Kiki - Hamamatsucho Live (Set-1, Song-3) 130516

Kiki - Hamamatsucho Live (Set-1, Song-4) 130516

Kiki - Hamamatsucho Live (Set-2, Song-1) 130516

Kiki - Hamamatsucho Live (Set-2, Song-2) 130516

1991 Tsukiji Fish Market 1020-AM 築地市場 (910518)

1991 Tsukiji Styrofoam Recycle Machine (910518)

1991 Tsukiji Shops 築地市場の店 (910518)

1991 Tsukiji Offices and Old Houses Etc 築地市場 (910518)

1991 Tsukiji After Hours 築地市場 (910518)

Tsukiji Shops - Saturday Afternoon 築地市場土曜日の午後 (910518)

1991 Setagaya Walkabout 世田谷区散策散歩 (910518)

1991 Tsukiji to Naka-Meguro 築地駅-中目黒駅 (910518)

1991 Setagaya Walkabout 世田谷区散策散歩 (910518)

1991 Hiyoshi Station at Night 夜の日吉駅 (910518)

1991 Waiting for Friends near Hiyoshi Station 日吉駅で待ってる (910518)

1991 Hiyoshi to Ikebukuro 日吉駅-池袋駅 (910518)

1991 Exiting Seibu Train at Hibarigaoka ひばりヶ丘駅で降りる (910518)

1991 Naka-Meguro Station Area 中目黒駅の駅辺り (910518)

1991 Afternoon Gakugei-Daigaku Station Area 学芸大学駅 (910518)

1991年夕暮れの学芸大学駅辺り 西口商店街 Gakugeidaigaku Station 910518



"1990 Izakaya, Bubble Era, Here and There, Etc.; 2013 Hamamatsucho Etc."

There's more of 1990 than 2013 in this one, with many short videos of various places in 1990 central Tokyo.  This captures some of the energy and optimism of the era, contrasted with the yet to be (at the time) rebuilt backdrop of the Showa Era train system, etc.  I'm not sure how important it is, or even if it's important at all, but I think many people have the wrong idea of what the bubble economy years were like from watching fictional accounts of it.  It goes something like this:

Step-1: 1987-1991 television dramas and movies utilize the most modern type of apartments as cool backdrops for their supposedly "contemporary" fictional tales.  At the time, people living in typically much smaller and older apartments shake their heads a little and say "What's with all the dramas showing ordinary people living in sparkling palatial apartments?"

Step-2: Fast forward to post 2010 years.  At this point, even the people who were shaking their heads about the sparkling palatial drama apartments at the time, after watching countless dramas and movies depicting things that way, and seeing real-world apartment design - some two decades later - looking as it was depicted before it became the norm, come to think that the fictional over-the-top depictions in the 1987-91 dramas was more or less accurate (through the brain's memory management distortion of overwrite-save), even though they knew it wasn't accurate at the time.

Step-3: Young scenario writers for a - say - 2012 movie about the bubble era in Japan, reference the television dramas and movies that were made in that era depicting supposedly contemporary life.  Not having (other than as small children) personally experienced the era themselves, they're in an even worse position than the Step-2 people, so they write a script showing a sparkling era that they think is accurate, but since they're basing it on over-the-top fictional dramas from that time frame, they amplify the fiction that everything was sparkling then.

Step-4:  The actors.  They basically do the same thing the scenario writers do, and compound the error-prone process by mimicking the things they see actors of the period doing in fictional movies made at the time.  This has some (or maybe I should say "a lot of") merit of course, as actors in a contemporary film are going to be speaking - to a certain extent at least - in the style of the time.  The problem though, is that popular actors often get that way by having peculiar and interesting ways of speaking!  People don't become fascinated with them because they seem ordinary (read "real") after all!

Step-5: Step-2 people, with their largely shifted memories (due to too much exposure to fictional accounts of the era) see a new movie about the era they lived through and, since there is enough overlap with the truth (or what is perceived as the truth anyway), they see it as basically accurate, although naturally a bit over-the-top in the way movies always are.

Step-6: Young people in their twenties see a modern movie about the bubble era, with its depiction of sparkle and shine, and tell people who lived through the era as young people themselves, "I envy your experience of that wonderful era".

And here's where it gets complicated.  The fictional accounts are shallow - obviously - they're fiction after all.  And so on one hand, the era was actually *better* than people think, but not in ways that they recognize.  And the parts of it that they admire in the fictional accounts were not as good as they think.  All of this makes me think - if we get things from such a recent era (just over two decades ago) so wrong, how in the world can we have anything approaching an accurate understanding of more distant things in history?

Now.  You may well ask how it is that I would not fall victim to Step-2 memory overwrite-save myself.  The answer is I *did* fall victim to it, although maybe less than some people, due to my not watching many TV dramas or movies (although I have seen a fair number of them).  The difference for me, is that I recorded my surroundings and myself via video camera at the time, and in re-watching scenes I saw first-hand, a lot of the moment comes back to me, and then I realize - with a shock - that my memory of the era had been corrupted!  Through new overwrite save of images and sounds that I took of my experiences then, I'm correcting the errors, but it's a shocking realization of how people's memories get changed and are not necessarily accurate.

1990 Noontime Tamachi 午後の田町 (900528)

The sounds of trains vary from model to model, so the combination of the sounds of the trains combined with the visual element really bring back memories.  It was just the background to riding on the train at the time, but now that they are running the next generation of trains on the Yamanote Line, suddenly the old sounds bring on feelings of nostalgia.

At the 0:31 mark, is a view looking out from the north exit of Tamachi Station - before they built out an elevated plaza there.

At the 0:41 mark, you can see early stages of construction work.  Something that is often forgotten about the bubble era years is that the era was primarily one of demolishing old things and making big plans for large scale construction projects.  The construction projects themselves weren't completed until many years later - after the bubble years.

1990 Ginza and Yurakucho 銀座と有楽町 (900528)

This begins in Ginza, and then I walk into Yurakucho.  There's overlap in the atmosphere of the two districts, so for this video, I'd say it's basically Ginza-Yurakucho, as one area.

This video is fairly rough, and the video camera I used (C1) for this one didn't do very well at night, so it's on the dark side as well.  Actually, the camera was capable of more exposure than it generally gave the picture, but the automatic exposure system was ultra-sensitive to florescent lighting, of which there are vast quantities in Tokyo, so with just a hint of florescent lighting in the picture, the camera would pick up on that and darken the picture.

From the 02:42 mark, there's a long segment showing the opening of the big clock in Yurakucho, that runs to around the 05:15 mark.  I considered cutting that part out, but ended up leaving it in, on the off-chance that it might be interesting to somebody, somewhere, sometime.

After that I walk through the outside yakitori places in Yurakucho (and that is very definitely Yurakucho, not Ginza!).  Incidentally, the next video is one short segment contained in this longer video - showing the under-tracks yakitori places that still (some of them anyway) exist in lesser form.  They were still going strong when this was taken.  It's (unfortunately) the age of chain store everything, and independent shops are (seemingly) going extinct.

At the 09:55 mark, you can see large, garish, colorful flashing signs that used to be all over the city, but are now almost all gone.  When this was taken, people would actually look around them while outside.  Now, of course, people stay tuned into their micro-computers and don't pay any attention to what's around them in the real world.  I'm sure there are many reasons for the demise of the large colorful advertising signs, but one of the reasons is likely that people don't look up any more.

1990 Under Tracks Izakaya ガード下の居酒屋 (900528)

Part of this still exists - in much reduced form.  The under-tracks izakaya tunnel was much more exciting in 1990 than it is in 2013.  The open-air street part is more-or-less the same, although now people have gone soft and they put out heaters, roofs, tents, etc.

Personally, I think the whole reason for going to a place like this is that you're outside, basically.  Putting up plastic walls and heating the space with electric heaters destroys the cool atmosphere of the area.  That said, it really does seem to me that a lot of people are seriously anemic these days and their bodies appear to be unable to self-heat.  Here's something that was definitely better before.  People were healthier before.  In 25 years, Japan has gone from overuse of air-conditioning and under-use of heating, to overuse of heating and under-use of air conditioning....

1990 Yurakucho Izakaya 有楽町居酒屋 (900528)

Taken while inside an izakaya in Yurakucho.  It's pretty much the same as scenes in izakayas today, except for smoking, fashion, wanting to be on camera, etc.  I hesitated to post this one....  I had consumed a fair number of beverages [cough] and got overly bold with the camera.  If this were a current video, I don't think I would post it, but since it was taken 23 years ago, I'm thinking it is sort of ancient history and has some historical value... and so here it is.

1990 Yurakucho to Ikebukuro (Yurakucho Line) 有楽町駅-池袋駅 有楽町線 (900528)

Another video that was you probably wouldn't want to try recording in this way today.

Regarding taking video outside in general.  People are getting hyper-sensitive to video these days.  I was taking a video out a window last week, carefully shielding the lens so as not to record the inside of the train via reflection, and while taking it, a woman got a real serious expression on her face and intently watched my monitor - apparently to see if I was taking her picture(?).  Sigh.  The way things are going, the only people who will be able to take pictures in public will be banks, convenience stores, apartment buildings and police, etc.  So you'll be safe from someone's YouTube video, but your every move once you set foot outside is recorded by organizations.  Oh well, GO-1984 is the society we live in now... I guess.

1990 Transfer to Seibu-Ikebukuro Line 西武池袋線までの乗り換え (900528)

It's a long transfer (then and now) from the subway, JR lines, etc. to the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line.  I wouldn't take this video in quite this way now, but - again - after 23 years has passed, it's ancient history and I think it has some historical meaning, and so here it is.

Ogawa to Hagiyama (Post Construction) 小川駅-萩山駅 西武拝島線 (130514)

The construction to elevate (most of) the tracks between these two stations is complete now.  Here's a video (from last year) of the same stretch while the elevated part was still under construction (but nearly finished):

Ogawa to Hagiyama 120710

Seibu-Shinjuku Line (Side Window View) 西武新宿線 左窓風景 (130514)

Looking out a left-side window on the way to Takadanobaba.

Takadanobaba Seibu-Tozai Transfer 高田馬場駅で西武線-東西線の乗り換え (130514)

Waiting for Tozai Line at Takadanobaba 高田馬場駅で東西線を乗る (130514)

Tozai Subway (Side Window View) 東西線地下鉄の窓トンネル風景 早稲田駅まで (130514g)

I like the double-exposure effect, but a huge part of this record of riding from Takadanobaba to Waseda is the sound.  Nothing defines subway travel more than sound I think - the way the sounds of the train echo around inside the tunnel.

Tokyo to Yotsuya - Chuo Line Night View 東京駅-四ッ谷駅 中央線夜の窓風景 (130514g)

Just another nighttime ride on a train, but I like the way it looks.  It seems really clear... maybe the windows had just been cleaned?

Shinjuku Chuo Line to South Exit 新宿駅 中央線から南口まで (130514)

Shinjuku South Exit Jazz Band (Very Short View) 130514

Just as the title says, a "very short" view of a jazz band performing on the street in Shinjuku (just seven seconds).  They just played two melodies and as they began passing out fliers, I headed off down the street - passing a couple of policemen hurrying in the opposite direction about a minute later.  Hopefully the police weren't rushing over to kick the nice jazz band off the street (they were finished at that point anyway), and if they were, I hope the band got packed up in time.  The crowd (including me) really enjoyed the short concert, and I can't see how it could hurt anything for them to play a couple of melodies like that....

Omoide-Yokocho Shinjuku West Side 思い出横丁-西新宿からの散策散歩 (130514g)

Beginning in front of the west side of Shinjuku Station - I walk over to and through the Omoide-Yokocho izakaya street.  This street *looks* much as it has for many decades, but while it was a back street filled with traditional Japanese izakaya places before, now many of the shops are run by (or staffed by in any case) people from southeast Asian countries.  I bring this up, because the change in nationality changes the atmosphere.

One mismatch with Japanese culture that I've noticed, is that it used to be that you could walk through the street verbally and visually unmolested, and shopkeepers would only call out to you if you were peering into their shops, looking like you were thinking of entering, but now woman from other south-east Asian countries stand like sentries in the doorways (of some shops) and stare at you intently while you walk by and (often) call out in an irritating way.  That's not the way it's supposed to be done here.

At the 02:51 mark is a shop with a Japanese flag and several sheets of paper saying that the shop is authentically Japanese, etc.  It shows there's some friction about the direction the alley has taken.

Ochanomizu to Hamamatsucho (Tokyo Transfer) 御茶ノ水-浜松町 東京駅乗り換え (130516)

Midway to Hamamatsucho, I transfer from the Chuo Line to the Yamanote Line at Tokyo Station.  Typical 2013 video of the Tokyo train system, but sort of a strange thing happened at Tokyo Station on one of the long escalators leading down to the concourse area from the elevated Chuo Line platforms.  Beginning at about the 03:49 mark, everyone on the escalator is walking, but the people on the left are walking faster, and I fall in with them and speed past the slowly moving line on the right.  This is rather strange for two reasons.  Since road (and escalator) traffic uses lest-side travel on two-way paths, and right-side passing lanes for same-direction traffic, it was unusual to be passing people on the left.  Also, usually there is a line of people standing motionless on the left, so the only place you can usually walk is the right.  Thought I better mention that in case someone got the wrong idea from watching people zooming past on the left.  That was freakishly unusual.

Venue for Kiki Performance in Hamamatsucho 浜松町Kikiライブの場所 (130516)

A look at the interesting outside (but covered) space in Hamamatsucho that has live performances from time-to-time.

Kiki Live in Hamamatsucho - Kiki浜松町ライブ 2-4 (130516)

Kiki performing my favorite song of theirs "Tonight" in Hamamatsucho in May 2013.

Hamamatsucho to Zojoji Temple 浜松町駅-増上寺の散策散歩 港区芝公園内 (130516)

Walking by Tokyo Tower (Construction Work) 130516

Yokoyama Mitsunobu よこやまみつのぶ Exhibition at Art Gallery Ishi アートギャラリー石 (130516)

Yurakucho to Tokyo 1020 PM 有楽町駅-東京駅 京浜東北線 (130516)

Tokyo Station - Waiting for Next Chuo Line Train 東京駅夜の中央線ホーム (130516)

Tanker Train Passing Through Takao Station 貨物列車 高尾駅を通る (130516)

You don't see that many freight trains in Tokyo these days, particularly ones that go right by a platform, so when you do, it stands out.  I think the only type I've seen on the Chuo Line in the last several years are tanker trains like this one.

大月駅行きの電車が高尾駅から出発 Old Type JR Train Departing Takao Station (130516)

午前零時の高尾駅 Midnight at Takao Station (130516)

Zojoji Temple Look-Around 増上寺の見回し (130516)

Rainy Evening Side Street in Hamamatsucho 夕方浜松町の雨横道 (130516)

Evening Hamamatsucho Station (North Entrance) 夕方の浜松町駅 北口 (130516)

Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho (Evening) 夕暮れ浜松著駅-有楽町駅 京浜東北線 (130516)

Evening Yurakucho Station 夕方の有楽町駅 (130516g)

Train Coming In - Yurakucho Under-Bridge Passageway Etc (130516)

Yurakucho Night Rain Reflections 有楽町夜雨の反射 (130516)

Yurakucho-SB Zone in the Rain (130516)

Yurakucho Station - Waiting for Late Night Train 有楽町駅夜のホーム (130516g)

1990 Chuo Line to Nakano 中央線で中野駅まで (900529)

1990 Nakano New Bicycle Parking 新自転車駐車場 中野 (900529)

1990 Nakano Walkabout 中野散策散歩 (900529)

1990 Nakano to Shinjuku (Right Side) 中野駅-新宿駅 中央線の右側 (900529)

1990 Shinjuku Station (Chuo Line and Lower Concourse) 新宿駅 (900529)

1990 Chinese Restaurant in Shinjuku 新宿の中国料理 (900529)

It was a really good meal I had on the evening I took this.  One of the people I was with was Chinese and he really knew how to order!  He studied the menu carefully and called the server over a few times to ask questions about ingredients, etc.  The result was the best Chinese food I'd ever had.  The building this restaurant was in was torn down not many years after this, and I don't know what became of the restaurant (maybe it reopened within whatever building replaced the old one?).

1990 Shinjuku South-Entrance 新宿駅南口 (900529)

1990 Saikyo Line from Shinjuku 新宿駅からの埼京線 (900529)

1990 Kanda Station Bubble Evening 神田駅バブル時代の金曜日夜 (900601)

Saying good-bye to some work acquaintances at Kanda Station.  It was an optimistic time.  Notice the manual ticket gates - they were automated a year or two after this was taken.

1990 Inside Old Type Saikyo Line Train 昔の埼京線車両内部 (900530)

1990 Shinjuku Station - Lower Concourse 新宿駅下の通路東口 (900530)

1990 Shinjuku (East Side) 新宿東口側 (900530)

1990 Shinjuku Bookstore ある新宿の本屋 (900530)

With the Internet and various electronic ways to read things, there are not nearly as many people in book stores these days.  It used to always be crowded, as it appears in this video.  For many years, when I wanted to read something in English, this is where I came to buy it, and since a lot of other people had the same routine, I often ran into foreigners I knew here.

1990 Shinjuku Night Walkabout 新宿夜散策散歩 (900530)

A nine-minute video of various things seen while walking around in Shinjuku.  Since I'd had that great meal at that Chinese restaurant, I went back there, but without that Chinese guy to order, the result wasn't so good.

The camera drifts in and out of proper exposure due to its faulty over sensitivity to florescent lighting, but still there are some interesting moments in the night stroll.

1990 Late Night Platforms 東京夜のホーム (900530)

1990 Tamachi Station 田町駅 (900531)

1990 Evening Shinjuku Station Etc 夕方新宿駅など (900531)

1990 Walking into Nishi-Shinjuku 西新宿へ歩く (900531)

1990 Shinjuku to Gotanda 新宿駅-五反田駅 山手線 (900531)

1990 Ikegami Line (from Gotanda) 池上線五反田駅から (900531)

1990 Akihabara to Ryogoku 秋葉原駅-両国駅 (900601)

1990 Ryogoku Walkabout 両国の散策散歩 (900601)

1990 Ryogoku to Akihabara (Sobu Line) 両国駅-秋葉原駅 総武線 (900601)

1990 Akihabara to Kanda 秋葉原駅-神田駅 京浜東北線 (900601)

1990 Kanda Station (Afternoon) 午後の神田駅 (900601)

1990 Nihonbashi Kanpai Etc 日本橋の乾杯 (900601)

I was walking around after work taking video, when I ran into some business acquaintances, who I then went to a couple of izakayas with.



"1990 Night Trains, Etc., 1991 Tsukiji, Etc., Akihabara, Etc."

Looking back at material I recorded in 1990 and 1991, it occurs to me the atmosphere of go-go-go!, on-to-a-brighter-future! that was much in evidence during Japan's "bubble" economy years was still pretty much still near full strength in 1990, but less so in 1991, when it was beginning to sink in that things were really not going to go up-up-up forevermore.  It's hard to pin down exactly, but while most people's lifestyles were not suddenly changed in those years of spiraling land prices, the dramatic strengthening of the yen and the many big projects put in motion at the time contributed to an energetic atmosphere that was evident even in the mundane act of transferring from one train line to another in the hub stations.

I'm not entirely confident that will be evident to everyone who sees the video records of 1990 and 1991 I've included below, but keep the thought in mind and see how much of the atmosphere of the time makes it way through the screen into the 21 century.

Trains at Ochanomizu お茶の水の電車 (130503hd)

A short video, taken from the middle of a bridge, with the timing such that Chuo Line trains and Marunouchi Line trains were both running at the same time.  (The Marunouchi Line is a subway, but it briefly comes out of its tunnels to pass over a river here.)

Shinjuku East Side Night Walkabout 新宿東口夜の散策散歩 (130507)

Starting just across the street from Studio Alta and then doubling back and entering Shinjuku Station and walking by the east side ticket gates and back up to street level towards the south, ending after I arrive at the plaza by the southeast entrance.

新宿駅東南口 Shinjuku Station Southeast Entrance Plaza (130507)

I go by here from time to time anyway, but I took a harder look than usual this month after watching the following video that I took of the area in 1991:

"1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area (910410)"

There's not a trace of what was there before, but I've gotten used to it... until watching the 1991 video a few times, after which I could sense the immense change that has taken place.

新宿夜の散策散歩 (思い出横丁など) Nighttime Shinjuku (West Side Etc) 130507g

For experiencing a lot of the trackside atmosphere of (mostly) the west side of Shinjuku Station, this video covers a lot - from the under-steel-bridge sounds of a rail bridge to the izakaya alley "Omoide-Yokocho" and then the concrete pedestrian tunnel that leads over to the east side, which has its own distinctive sounds while trains are passing overhead.  A vital component to the overall atmosphere of Tokyo are the overhead trains - I hope they never put them underground (and indeed - in spite of the added transfer convenience - the Toyoko Line being underground in Shibuya now is kind of depressing).

1991年築地市場散策散歩 Exploring the Tsukiji Fish Market (910518) [Reload]

As I say on the YouTube post: "This a higher (not 'High' with a capital 'H', but 'highER') resolution version of a video I previously posted of my May 18th, 1991 exploration of the Tsukiji Fish Market."

This came about due to my original post of this video having been of very low resolution.  Normally I wouldn't worry about an old post too much, but I spent some time editing this one and wanted a better-looking version available, so I made a higher resolution version (with the same edit points), which is what this version is.

Keio Line Train Passing Park in Hachioji 京王線電車 春公園を通る (130428g)

No big deal, but I thought the appearance of the train through the green on a beautiful spring day was nice to see.

Takao to Takaosanguchi (Keio Line) 高尾駅-高尾山口駅 (京王線) 130428

Takadanobaba to Seibu-Shinjuku (Seibu Line) 高田馬場駅-西武新宿駅 西武線 (130507)

Seibu-Shinjuku Station Platform Walk and Stroll into Kabukicho 西武新宿駅 (130507)

歌舞伎町の散策散歩 - ある風が強い日 Walkabout in Kabukicho One Windy Day (130507)

Kokubunji to Nakano (Chuo Line) 国分寺駅-中野駅 中央線右窓の眺望 (130504)

Speeding along in an afternoon Chuo-Tokkai (中央特快) from just after Kokubunji - looking out a right-side window until the train arrived at Nakano Station.  Some of the angles are a bit wild, but this video conveys the speed of a Chuo-Tokkai (rapid) train fairly well I think.  (They're not particularly fast early in the morning, by the way, since the tracks are crowded then.)  I'm not sure how this one plays for others, but I rather like it.

1990 Tokyo Evening Crowds Etc 東京夜の人々 (900524)

1990 Shiinamachi at Night 夜の椎名町駅あたり (900524)

The analog camera I took this one with didn't record dark scenes very well, so this looks  a bit darker than it actually was at the time.  It was also overly sensitive to florescent light tubes, which are used in many signs for small shops and restaurants.

1990 Late Night Trains 夜遅くの電車 (900524)

One thing that stands out to me when I watch this - is how many windows were open.  In May, when the temperatures are nice, it's a perfect time to open windows, but even though the newer trains still have a few windows that can be opened, people seem to prefer to suffer in a stuffy sealed box.  I can never quite figure this aspect of people out - it's as though they think fresh air is dangerous or something....

1990 Nakano Late at Night 夜遅くの中野 (900526)

Two things that stand out in this video are the manual ticket gates and the buses in front of the station.  For some reason, the buses have been moved into inconvenient locations and there's a huge area of unused space in front of the station now - for what purpose this was done I have no idea.

1990 Midnight Chuo Line (900526)

Again I'm struck by the open windows.  As the old type Chuo Line comes into the station, notice all the open windows.  This is one aspect of the older trains that is vastly superior to the new ones - ventilation.  There were also vents in the ceiling that could be opened up.  The new trains have no vents in the ceiling and only some of the windows open... but people hardly ever open then - unfortunately.

Another general difference between videos from 1990 and 2013 is that in 1990, people read books, magazines, and newspapers on the train, rather then jabbing at little screens on electronic devices with a finger or thumb.

1990 Musashi-Sakai Station 武蔵境駅 (900526)

1990年 夜中の武蔵野市 Late Night Musashino-shi (900526)

Keio Line - Right Side Window View 京王線右窓からの景色 (130428)

Chuo Line - Left Side Window View on Inbound Train 中央線左側窓からの風景 (130428)

Takaosan Bound - Golden Week Crowds 高尾山向きのゴールデンウィーク人々 (130428)

Spring Green Near Takaosan 高尾山近くの春緑 (八王子市) 130428

A very short clip (26-seconds), but it shows the spring green of early May near Mt. Takao.

Bosozoku Near Takao in Hachioji 八王子高尾近くの暴走族が通る (130428)

A group of bosozoku motorcycle riders goes by - making their signature sounds.

春の緑 Green Leaves - Spring Closeup of Maple Leaves in a Breeze (130428)

Riverside Green in Hachioji 八王子の川隣の緑 ゴールデンウィーク (130428)

Takaosanguchi Station Golden Week Crowds 高尾山口駅GWの人々 (130428)

高尾山口駅ホームからの風景 End of Platform View from Takaosanguchi Station (130428)

Takaosanguchi to Hazama (Keio Line) 高尾山口駅-狭間駅 (京王線) 130428

Akihabara - Golden Week Scene 秋葉原夕暮れ道の様子 ゴールデンウイーク (130503)

I went to Akihabara twice over the Golden Week holiday period and was a little surprised at how many people were there.

Akihabara Walkabout - Station Area GW-Stroll 秋葉原電気街散歩 駅辺り (130503)

Akihabara Plaza Twilight View (Golden Week) 夕暮れの秋葉原駅前広場 (130503)

Akihabara Station - Plaza to Platform 秋葉原駅 - 広場からホームまで (130503)

Twilight Views - Akihabara to Ochanomizu 夕暮れ都市眺め - 秋葉原駅-御茶ノ水駅 (130503g)

Ogikubo to Asagaya (Chuo Line) 荻窪駅-阿佐ヶ谷駅 (中央線) 130509hdc

Koenji to Nakano (Chuo Line) 高円寺駅-中野駅 (中央線) 130509hdc

Yurakucho-YSB View (130509)

Yurakucho-YSB Night Dance (130509)

Yurakucho to Tokyo (Yamanote Line) 有楽町駅-東京駅 (山手線) 130509

Nakano to Shinjuku (Chuo Line) 中野駅-新宿駅 (中央線右側風景) 130509

Shinjuku to Kanda (Chuo Line) 新宿駅-神田駅 (中央線右側風景) 130509

Kanda to Hamamatsucho (Yamanote Line) 神田駅-浜松町駅 (山手線) 130509

Hamamatsucho - Walking Towards Station 浜松町駅へ向かう (130509)

Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 浜松町駅-有楽町駅 (山手線) 130509

Nihonbashi Night Walkabout 日本橋夜散策散歩 (130509)

Part of Nihonbashi appears to be a little like Kabukicho in Shinjuku.  Maybe it's always been that way, but I never noticed it until a year or two ago.

中央特快が西荻窪駅を通る Chuo-Tokkai Passing Nishi-Ogikubo Station (130509)

In this video, you can see how smoothly the train is rolling on the tracks - with no sign of the cars rocking in either direction.

Tokyo Station - Train to Yurakucho 東京駅八重洲口-京浜東北線で有楽町 (130509g)

Yurakucho Night Stroll to YSB 有楽町夜散歩YSBまで (130509g)

1991 - Newspaper Tour 新聞のツアー (910516)

1991 - Ginza to Tsukiji Walk 銀座から築地までの散歩 (910516)

1991 - Edge of Tsukiji Market 午後の築地市場の様子 (910516)

1991 Tsukiji to Ginza (Hibiya Line) 築地本願寺から銀座駅まで (910516)

1991 Ginza to Ikebukuro (Marunouchi Line) 銀座駅-池袋駅 (丸ノ内線) 910516

1991 Ikebukuro East Side Quick View 池袋駅前の様子 (910516)

1991 Ikebukuro to Hibarigaoka (Seibu Line) 池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 (910516)

1991 Basement Grocery Store in Tokyo Suburbia (910516)

1991 Sumiyoshi-cho Suburb 保谷市住吉町 (910516)

1991 Hibarigaoka Early Morning View 朝早くのひばりが丘 (910518)

1991 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 西武池袋線 (910518)

1991 Ikebukuro to Shinbashi (Yamanote Line) 池袋駅-新橋駅 山手線 (910518)

1991 Shinbashi to Tsukiji Walk 新橋駅-築地までの散歩 (910518)

This starts off at Shinbashi Station on the Yamanote Line platform, and then I walk through a fairly boring stretch, during which I stop and spend too much time looking around at things, but by the end of the video, the pace picks up with the amazing amount of activity I ran into when I got to the Tsukiji Fish Market.

Not far from Shinbashi Station, I look back and it's a little startling from the viewpoint of 2013 to realize there's no trace of the Yurikamome Line, as they hadn't started constructing that yet.  There is also no trace of the Shiodome office towers - just a large open space with some temporary things (model homes, etc.) where there used to be a freight rail yard.



"1991 Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Mukojima, etc; 2013 Minami-Senju, Etc."

This batch of videos starts off with several views from April 1991, from general going about town views (Hibarigaoka, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, etc.), to views of Ueno, Asakusa, and Mukojima.  Jumping forward to 2013, there are views of Akihabara, Ueno, Ogikubo, Minami-Senju, Musashisakai, Akasaka-Mitsuke, Shinjuku, etc.

1991 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 (西武池袋線) 910410

1991 Nishi-Ikebukuro Walkabout 西池袋散策散歩 - 東武デパート新工事 (910410)

The big difference between now and the views in this 1991 video are the Tobu Department Store (section) under construction.  Also, in closely watching the video, it seems to me that the 1991 people in the video are feeling futuristic as they experience the modern new structures of the day.  A generation on, the current young crowd experiencing the same places takes them for granted - and why shouldn't they?  They've known them all of their lives and yesterday's sparkling new things are getting old now.

1991 Ikebukuro to Shinjuku 池袋駅-新宿駅 (埼京線) 910410

1991 Shinjuku Walkabout 新宿散策散歩 (910410)

1991 Shinjuku Old Squatter Area (910410)

This old area - just outside the South-East Exit of Shinjuku Station - looks so out of place even 22 years ago...  There's no trace of it left now, so this video really feels like something from long-long ago.  In the video, as I look on, an expensive car drives up, a man in a suit gets out, who then goes to one of the ramshackle buildings.  Considering I was reading a contemporary book at the time that stated they were trying to clear the area, I now imagine that business-suited man from the expensive car was connected with that somehow?  "Listen, if you agree to move, we'll pay you..." etc.?

1991 Shinjuku to Hibarigaoka 新宿駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 (910410)

1991 Ueno Station Underground Old Layout 上野駅昔の地下 (910406 910413)

I put together views from two days for this one; from April 6th and 13th, 1991.  Since the footage consists of many short clips, it's a little hard to piece together how the basement of Ueno Station used to be, but there's still a lot to see if you carefully scrutinize the material.  If I had realized it would so radically change, I would have recorded it much more carefully!  Still, it's a glimpse in moving pictures with sound of a bygone era.

1991 Tobu Store Under Construction 東武百貨店の工事中池袋店 (910410)

1991 Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space 東京芸術劇場 (910410)

This building is basically the same, but now it's just something that everyone is used to, while it seemed ultra-modern in 1991, so the atmosphere generated by the people using the structure has changed.  Here's a look at when it was kind of exciting just to enter the space.

1991 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 (西武池袋線) 910413

1991 Ikebukuro to Ueno 池袋駅-上野駅 (山手線) 910413

1991 Ueno Station Basement Restaurants 上野駅の地下レストラン (910413)

If you watched "1991 Ueno Station Underground Old Layout 上野駅昔の地下 (910406 910413)" above, then there's no need to see this one, which is basically the April 6th, 1991 part of that material (I edited this one first and then realized there was more material I could add, and so created the other video).

1991 Ueno to Asakusa 上野駅-浅草駅 (銀座駅) 910413

1991 Asakusa Underground Shopping 浅草駅の地下商店街 (910413)

This looks quite old even for 1991, so I'm really curious what has become of it.  Probably they remodeled the space, but the last few times I went to Asakusa I went straight up to the surface of the earth and forgot that this area existed (and still exists?).

1991 Asakusa Sumida Riverside 浅草隅田川隣 (910413)

1991 Mukojima Walkabout 1991年の向島散策散歩 (910413)

A long video - 45 minutes of walking around in Mukojima (two or three hours at the time, with the recorded scenes adding up to 45 minutes).  Something I don't think I realized at the time, is how close this area is to Kyojima.  When (re)watching the material while editing it, one type of old pre-WW-II building caught my attention and I thought "Wait... that looks like the buildings I thought were unique to Kyojima!", so I took a good look at a map and was surprised to see that Kyojima and Mukojima are basically right by each other.

Akihabara Back Street (Quick View) 秋葉原電気街一見 (130423hd)

Akihabara - Avoiding Street Dolls 秋葉原 (130423hd)

I hadn't wanted to turn down that alley - but there were a team of irritating young women on the street trying to entice men into one of those theme coffee shops, so I couldn't walk down the street I wanted to without recording them.  Frankly speaking, I find it highly irritating that the streets of Akihabara have been taken over by armies of young women out noisily trying to get young men to spend their money at one of the many (many-many-many) theme coffee shops.  That the shops are there doesn't bother me much (although I think it's not particularly constructive or healthy for either the people working those kinds of jobs or the people spending money on that kind of thing), but what gives them the right to take over the streets like that?  They're ruining Akihabara.  Come to think of it, I guess I can just boycott the area and shop elsewhere.  There are fewer and fewer quality computer places in "Akiba" anyway.

Akihabara Main Street Stroll 秋葉原大通り散策散歩 (130423hd)

Akihabara Station Bound 秋葉原駅向き - 夕方散策散歩 (130423hd)

Trains Passing in the Night (SST) 夜の電車が通ります (130423hd)

Shinjuku to Yotsuya (Chuo Line) 新宿駅-四ッ谷駅 - 中央線 (130423hdc)

Kanda Station Under Construction - Platform to Exit 工事中の神田駅 (130423hdc)

With the extension of some long distance trains (some combination of the Takasaki, Utsunomiya, and Joban lines) from Ueno to Tokyo, they will presumably be adding a new platform to Kanda Station.  Considering the current state of the under-(re)construction station, it's probably a safe bet to assume that the station will be fairly radically different once construction is finished (although construction in Tokyo never, ever ends, so I probably shouldn't say "finished").

Ueno Station - Main Concourse (Platform to Ticket Gates) 上野駅中央色々 (130423hdc)

Akihabara to Tokyo (Yamanote Line) 秋葉原駅神田駅 - 山手線 (130423)

Tokyo Station (Tokaido to Yaesu Side) 東京駅 - 東海道線-八重洲口 (130423)

Performance Art (GOBP-306 April 2013) 奥野ビル306号室パフォーマンスアート (130423)

A very short clip, but it shows the jovial atmosphere of this performance art installation.

Tokyo to Kanda (Late Night Chuo Line) - 東京駅-神田駅 - 夜遅くの中央線 (130423g)

Walking Towards Late Night Chuo Line Train (Shinjuku) 新宿駅 (130423)

Mysterious Old Structure (130423)

I don't know what this is/was, but it's near a freight rail yard and I wonder if it was some kind of grain storage facility?

Ogikubo Station Walkabout 荻窪駅ホームから上の改札口まで (130423)

Ogikubo Station Area - North Side 荻窪駅から上荻まで (130423)

Ogikubo Walkabout (North to South) 荻窪散策散歩 - 上荻一丁目-荻窪五丁目 (130423)

Ogikubo Walkabout (South Side to Station) 荻窪五丁目から荻窪駅までの散策散歩 (130423)

Ogikubo Platform and Ogikubo to Asagaya (Chuo Line) 荻窪駅-阿佐ヶ谷駅 - 中央線 (130423)

Ogikubo to Shinjuku (Afternoon Chuo Line) 荻窪駅-新宿駅 - 午後の中央線 (130423)

Ochanomizu to Kanda (Chuo Line) 御茶ノ水駅-神田駅 - 中央線の左側 (130423)

Kajicho Stroll - Near Kanda Station 鍛冶町散策散歩 - 神田駅の近く (130423)

A walk along a street in Kanda.  Nothing really amazing, but it captures the atmosphere in afternoon Kanda somewhat.

Entering Kanda Station (Under Construction) 工事中神田駅を入る (130423)

Kanda-Ueno via Yamanote と Keihin-Tohoku 神田駅-上野駅 - 山手京浜東北 (130423g)

Ueno Upper Concourse to Joban Line 上野駅上の通路から常磐線まで (130423)

Vertical Gated Communities and A Discount Store (130423)

There isn't much horizontal space for creating US-style gated communities in Tokyo, but the same effect is created with residence towers that always have (every one I've seen in any case) restricted access, creating a vertical gated community.  Some have convenience stores, etc. within them, so people can go shopping, etc. without leaving the tower.  I thought the huge 100-yen store at the base of some of these expensive towers was an interesting juxtaposition.

Nippori to Minami-Senju (Joban Line) 日暮里駅-南千住駅 - 常磐線 (130423)

Minami-Senju Station (Platform to Exit) 南千住駅 - ホームから出口まで (130423)

Minami-Senju - Station to Bicycle Parking Lot 南千住散策散歩 (130423)

Bicycle Parking in Minami-Senju 南千住有料自転車駐車場 (130423)

This video shows the machines that handle paying for a parking space in a bicycle parking lot near Minami-Senju Station.

Crossing Main Road by Rail Yards (130423)

Minami-Senju - Areas on Both Sides of Station 南千住の駅隣 (130423)

Minami-Senju Walkabout - Narrow Streets Etc 南千住散策散歩 - 細い路地など (130423)

Minami-Senju to Ueno (Joban Line) 南千住駅-上野駅 - 常磐線の右側 (130423)

Many angles explored in this one - from walking around on the platform while waiting for my train, watching an outbound train arrive and depart on a neighboring platform, to inside and window views on the inbound Joban Line train I boarded at about the same time the outbound train was departing.

Ueno Station - Walk to End of Joban Line Platform Next to Main Concourse Building (130423)

Ueno Station - End of Platform View (Joban Line) 上野駅常磐線のホーム様子 (130423)

This one might be interesting for rail fans, as it shows the tracks that will be upgraded to take current end-of-the-line trains in Ueno up to Tokyo Station, and is right next to the old high roof (with new translucent material covering it - creating one huge skylight) that is over the central entrance concourse area.  Past the concourse area roof, you can see the side of the 1932 Ueno Station building.

Ueno to Akihabara (Yamanote Line) 上野駅から秋葉原駅まで - 山手線 (130423)

Akihabara Stroll 秋葉原散策散歩 Walking into Akihabara from Station (130423)

Akihabara Station - Ticket Gates to Platform 秋葉原駅 - 電気街改札口とホーム (130423)

Minami-Senju - Walk by Rail Yards 南千住散策散歩 (130423g)

Tadpols in a Temple Pond 平成25年4月

Walking Around at a Temple One Spring Day 平成25年4月

Spring Day at Temple ある春の日のお寺  平成25年4月

Tokyo Rural Scenery Rolling By (Chuo Line) 中央線からの風景 (130424hdc)

Marunouchi to JR Transfer 丸ノ内線-JR線乗り換え (130425hd)

Shinjuku Station  - West Exit Stroll 新宿駅西口散策散歩 (130425hd)

Trees in a Light Breeze 平成25年4月 (130426hdc)

Lobby of Pre-High-Rise Era Building (130425)

Just an office building lobby, but the type of stone used for the walls and the sound of the elevator arrival bells/chimes/whatever-that-sound-is-called are nostalgic to see in 2013, as that's the style that was used in the former Iino Building and other buildings that have since been torn down to make way for newer buildings.

Incidentally, the confusing thing about building names in Tokyo, is that when they tear down a building and build a new one in its place, they tend to use exactly the same name as the old building!  There doesn't appear to be (not to my knowledge anyway) a system to differentiate the different buildings built on the same area of ground.  I think I'll start just putting a version number after the name.  So the lobby of the old(ish) office building in the video is similar to the (former) Iino Building-I and the (former) Marunouchi Building-I, but not to Iino Building-II and Marunouchi Building-II.

Underground Passageway Between West and East Sides of Shinjuku Station (130425)

Edge of Kabukicho - Night Stroll 新宿歌舞伎町夜散策散歩 (130425)

Higashi-Murayama Station Platform at Night 東村山駅ホーム - 夜の様子 (130425)

Higashi-Koganei to Musashisakai (Chuo Line) 東小金井駅-武蔵境駅 - 中央線 (130426hdc)

Musashisakai Station Plaza (Spring Day) 武蔵境駅前広場 - ある春の日 (130426hdc)

It was a truly beautiful spring day when I took this - not too hot, not too cold, and with a pleasant breeze blowing - rustling the leaves of the large trees in front of the station.

Musashisakai Station Area - North to South 武蔵境駅 - 北と南 (130426hdc)

Musashisakai Station - North Side to Platform 武蔵境駅 - 北側からホームまで (130426hdc)

Musashisakai Station - Afternoon Platform Scene 武蔵境駅の午後の様子 (130426hdc)

The trains were off schedule when I took this - due to some problem down the line at Kichijoji Station apparently, so I walked around the platform a bit while waiting for my train.  Incidentally, the two times I looked down over the edge in the middle, it looked black to a person's eyes adjusted for the brightness of the platform, which is why I aimed the camera down (since it adjusts to darkness more quickly than the eyes do) to see what was down there.  Really seeing it for the first time at home on my monitor later, I wished I hadn't done that, as it doesn't look either nice or interesting, but at the time, it was a kind of semi-black void, and so I was curious....

At about the 01:03 mark, the automated recordings saying that the platforms are no smoking areas went off on both platforms - slightly out of sync.  Before they automated the station announcements, there was an actual living person who made the announcements, and they only made them when they had something to say.  Even though what they said you tended to already have memorized, each time it was slightly different, since it was live and coming from an actual living person.  The thing about the d**n recordings, is that not only have they (for some strange reason) not bothered to make ones with someone that has a nice voice, but since announcements like the no smoking one are exactly the same at all the stations on the same system, by the time you've heard precisely the same announcement several thousand times, it becomes an audio version of the Chinese water torture.  The more you hear it, the more irritating it becomes.

I really wonder if the people responsible for the recordings at most of the railways have any idea how horrible their recordings are.  From harsh voices that are unpleasant to listen to in the first place (probably they thought the voices were "professional" by being cold and robotic?), to amateurish readings and obviously cheap methods (one recorded sentence with inserts of different locations sloppily inserted), and truly horrible English announcements.  Some day, some day... probably the country will stop torturing its train riders and produce better announcements - I hope that day comes soon.

At the 01:59 mark, you can just make out a train stopped between stations down the line.  There was also an express train stopped on the same track between stations in the opposite direction.

武蔵境駅 - 特別快速中央線電車が通る Express Train Passing Musashisakai (130426hdc)

Akasaka-Mitsuke to Shinjuku - Marunouchi Line 赤坂見附駅-新宿駅 - 丸ノ内線 (130425)

Musashisakai Station - Boarding Chuo Line Train 武蔵境駅で中央線を乗る (130426hdc)

Musashisakai to Higashi-Koganei (Chuo Line) 武蔵境駅-東小金井駅 - 中央線 (130426hdc)

Departing Musashikoganei Station (Chuo Line) 武蔵小金井駅から出発 (130426hdc)

Walking into Akasaka 3-Chome at Night 夜の赤坂三丁目散策散歩 (130425)

Akasaka at Night - Walking Around 夜赤坂三丁目の散策散歩 (130425)

Entering Akasaka-Mitsuke Station 赤坂見附駅を入る (130425)

新宿駅 - 丸ノ内線からJR線口までの乗り換え Shinjuku - Marunouchi to JR Transfer (130425)

新宿散歩 - 夜の思い出横丁など Shinjuku Walkabout - Omoide-Yokocho Etc (130425)

Akasaka Lights - Akasaka Tokyu Hotel 赤坂光 - 赤坂東急ホテル (130425g)



"1991 Asakusa, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Etc; 2013 Shibamata, Joban Line, Kameari, Etc"

I've been going back and forth between 1991 Ueno Station and 2013 Ueno Station, trying to pin down how the building has been modified.  On one trip over to the station this year, a woman who stopped to help (mistaking my standing looking at the building intently as a sign of being lost), told me how there used to be some restaurants and izakaya places in the basement of the building (at the front side), which brought up vague memories of my own of having seen that, so I got to wishing that I had taken a video of that back in 1991... and it turns out I did!  I had forgotten about it, but on a trip to Asakusa, on the return part of the trip, I recorded images of Ueno Station while making the transfer from the Ginza Line to the Yamanote Line.  Not in as much detail as I'd like, but enough to understand one of the original design elements of the building that is impossible to figure out from observation alone of the station in its current form.

Anyway - more about Ueno Station further down the page.  Now, on to the videos!

1991 Asakusa Walkabout 台東区浅草散策散歩 (910406)

Walking around in Asakusa - looking into old shops and at the street scene there in general.  In the rain, most of the umbrellas are colorful - this being before the clear plastic ones came into popular use.  At one point, I go down to the B1 level and find myself in a kind of time-slip atmosphere with restaurants and izakaya places that seemed quite old even in 1991, and so I suspect might not still be there now.  Then I walk down a covered outdoor shotengai street., and then back underground - which turns out to be connected with Asakusa Station on the Ginza (subway) Line.  Right at the end is a very brief view of one of the old type (all orange) Ginza Line trains.  For that ride, see the next video:

1991 Asakusa to Ueno - Old Ginza Line Train 昔の銀座線 (910406)

The old type (all orange) Ginza Line trains were being phased out in 1991 - but there were still several running, and I ended up on one in this video.  The sounds of the train are a little different from now.  Watching and listening to this video actually brings back some faint smell memories associated with the subway.  This was before they air-conditioned the subway system, so it had some very distinct (and not always very pleasant) smells that came in the open windows form the old tunnels.

At the end of the clip is a quick view of one of the old underground restaurants in Ueno Station that I mentioned above in the introduction.  For more views of 1991 Ueno Station, see the next video:

1991 Ueno Station 平成三年の上野駅 (910406)

Watching this now, I really wish I had spent more time on it and recorded the scene at Ueno Station in more detail, but at the time, I was just transferring from the Ginza Line to the Yamanote Line, so I just took a few quick views.  The relevant parts that show the old design go by very quickly though, so you need to replay the video and pause it here and there to figure out what's what.

At around the 0:53 mark, is a view from inside the main part of the original 1932 station building, with a long row of ticket machines on both sides.  This space is used in a different way now, with part of it being taken up with a Hard Rock Cafe, an escalator, etc., and so it seems much smaller now.

Around the 1:08 mark you can see how the large area in front of the Central Entrance looked, with the ceiling and it's florescent lights (before the spot type lights now used that were already installed in 2000, when I took the pictures I posted in the following blog entry (scroll down the page a little for the pictures of 2000 Ueno Station):

2000年のあっちこっち - Here and There in 2000 Tokyo

In the 2000 photos, also notice how the 1932 building ticket machines are already shut down and construction is about to begin on the transformation that led to the current layout of the station.

At the 1:24 mark, there's a view of a station employee pulling out a jammed ticket from one of the (at the time) very new automatic ticket gates.  They didn't properly explain the technology of the machines, and while observant people noted that the back side of the new type tickets was covered with a magnetic material the same color as some cassette tapes, and understood the machines were reading magnetically recorded information, a lot of people had no idea how the machines worked, and would put older type tickets into the machines, which the machines couldn't read.  If you listen carefully, you can hear a recorded woman's voice explaining (in Japanese) that tickets that are white on the back can't be used in the automatic ticket gates.

1990 - Shinjuku to Tamachi (Yamanote Front Cab View) 山手線 (900409)

This one gets off to a shaky start (literally I'm afraid) as I walk down a platform at Shinjuku Station, but once I'm on the train, the front cab views are interesting in that many of the stations the train passes through have pretty radically changed, so it's interesting for comparing 1990 Yamanote Line Stations with the same stations in 2013.  Also, all the announcements are in Japanese, and made by a real, live human being!  Just imagine!  The horrible passenger-harassing amateurishly read English recorded messages they use now really... damage (I'm tempted to say "ruin") otherwise pleasant train trips.

1991 Ikebukuro to Hibarigaoka 池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 西武池袋線 (910406)

1991 Ueno to Ikebukuro (Yamanote Line) 上野駅-池袋駅 山手線 (910406)

1991 Evening Ikebukuro Rush 夕方池袋駅ラッシュー (910406)

This video, showing huge numbers of people changing trains at Ikebukuro Station, is good background regarding why they have built new subway lines and extended surface train lines so many people who used to have to transfer at Ikebukuro Station, can now just ride through on one train.

Ueno to Nippori (Joban Line) 上野駅-日暮里駅 - 常磐線 (130416)

Nippori to Matsudo (Joban Line) 日暮里駅-松戸駅 - 常磐線 (130416)

Matsudo Station Afternoon Platform View 松戸駅午後ホーム (130416)

Night Window View and Kita-Senju Transfer 夜常磐線窓風景と北千住乗り換え (130416)

Kita-Senju to Ueno (Joban Line) 北千住駅-上野駅 - 夜常磐線 (130416)

Boarding Twilight Joban Line Train at Kanamachi 金町駅から常磐線を乗る (130416)

Utage Train at Nakano 宴電車 - 中野 - Ozashiki-485 (130411)

Afternoon Nakano Station Platform 午後中野駅ホーム中央線を乗る (130411)

元万世橋駅新工事 (A) New Construction at Manseibashi Remains (130411)

元万世橋駅新工事 (B) New Construction at Manseibashi Remains (130411)

秋葉原散策散歩 Akihabara Stroll (Near Station) 130411

Yurakucho-SB (130411)

Yurakucho to Tokyo (Yamanote Line) 夜有楽町駅-東京駅 - 山手線 (130411)

夜遅くの東京中央線ホーム Tokyo Station Chuo Line Late Night Platform Stroll (130411)

Nighttime Kanda Glimpse from Chuo Line 夜遅くの神田 - 中央線から (130411)

Just a quick look through a Chuo Line window, but I liked the way it looked.

Tokyo to Ueno - Keihin-Tohoku Kaisoku 東京駅-上野駅 - 快速京浜東北線 (130416)

Ueno Station Upper Concourse Stroll 午後上野駅上の通路の様子 (130416)

Joban Line Green Car - Upstairs and Downstairs 常磐線グリーン車上下 (130416)

Shinjuku Outbound Chuo Line Platform Walk 新宿駅下り中央線ホーム様子 (130416)

Local Chuo Line Passing in the Night 新宿夜の中 - 各駅中央線電車が通る (130416)

Shinjuku South Entrance to Chuo Line 新宿駅南口から中央線まで (130416)

Matsudo to Kita-Senju (Joban Line) 松戸駅-北千住駅 - 常磐線 (130416)

Kita-Senju Station - Upper Platforms 北千住駅常磐線のホーム (130416)

北千住駅 - 昔の改札口探検 Kita-Senju - Exploring Old Ticket Barriers Etc (130416)

Kita-Senju to Ayase (Chiyoda Line) 北千住駅-綾瀬駅 - 千代田線 (130416)

Ayase Station Platform Look-Around 綾瀬駅ホームの見回り (130416)

Ayase to Kanamachi - Afternoon Joban Line 綾瀬駅-金町駅 - 午後の常磐線 (130416)

Kanamachi to Keisei-Kanamachi Station 金町駅-京成金町駅乗り換え (130416)

Keisei-Kanamachi to Shibamata 京成金町駅-柴又駅 - 京成金町線 (130416)

Shibamata Shotengai Entrance 帝釈天参道 - 柴又商店街 - 柴又帝釈天 (130416)

Shibamata is the area featured in the Tora-san movie series (proper name "Otoko-wa Tsurai-yo").  After seeing many of the movies, you really half expect to meet the characters from the movie as you walk down the old shotengai shopping street and also while walking on the grounds of the nearby temple.

Shibamata Shotengai Quick View 帝釈天参道 - 柴又商店街 - 柴又帝釈天 (130416)

Shibamata Taishakuten Temple - Quick Look 柴又帝釈天 (130416)

Shibamata Taishakuten Bell Being Rung 柴又帝釈天 (130416)

Twilight Shibamata Shotengai 夕暮れ帝釈天参道 - 柴又商店街 (130416)

Shibamata Station - Twilight View 夕暮れの柴又駅 (130416)

Kanamachi Station - from Entrance to Platform 金町駅 - 入り口から-ホームまで (130416)

Shibamata to Kanamachi (Keisei Line) 柴又駅-京成金町駅 - 京成金町線 (130416g)

Ueno to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 上野駅-有楽町駅 - 山手線 (130416g)

Tokyo to Kanda - Chuo Line Night View 東京駅-神田駅 - 中央線夜の風景 (130416g)

Akihabara Station - Ride to Yurakucho 秋葉原駅と有楽町駅まで (130411g)

Ueno to Matsudo - Kaisoku Joban Line 上野駅-松戸駅 - 快速常磐線 (130419)

Matsudo Station - Departing Station on Joban Line_松戸駅から出発 (130419)

Joban Line Left Side View on Way to Kita-Senju 常磐線北千住に (130419hdc)

Kita-Senju - Afternoon Platform View 北千住午後ホームの様子 (130419hdc)

Kita-Senju Station - Top to Bottom 北千住駅 - 上から下まで (130419hdc)

Nishi-Ogikubo - Walking to Station 西荻南三丁目から西荻窪駅まで (130419)

Nishi-Ogikubo Vending Machine Kiosk 西荻窪駅無人自動販売機キオスク (130419)

It used to be that the only place to buy anything once you were within the ticket gates of many stations, was at the ubiquitous kiosks, but as they convert train stations into half-station, half shopping mall designs, and steadily cut the number of railway employees, it stands to reason they would cut the number of people working at the kiosks and go for vending machines instead.  You hear people worrying about Japan's falling birth rate - saying "Who will be of working age in the future?", I think of all the automation and think "It's a good thing people in developed countries aren't breeding like rabbits - not only is the worsening food situation in the world such that increasing the population isn't really a very good idea, but how many jobs will there even be, as automated machines are doing ever more of the work that used to be done by humans."

Nishi-Ogikubo Station - Watching Trains 西荻窪駅 - 電車を見ている (130419hd)

Ochanomizu to Tokyo - Old Manseibashi Rails Etc 御茶ノ水駅-東京駅 - 左側 (130419)

It looks like this old train yard at the former terminus of the Chuo Line is about to be ripped up.  By the time they finish with the construction they're doing here, I think there will be very little left of the former Manseibashi Station (元万世橋駅).

Tokyo Station - North Concourse (130419hdc)

Waiting for Train on North End of Platform at Tokyo Station (130419hdc)

Ginza to JR Transfer at Ueno Station - 銀座線からJR線までの乗り換え (130419)

Keisei to Ginza to Hibiya Underground Passage - 京成線-日比谷線の地下通路 (130419)

Hibiya to Ginza Transfer at Ueno - 上野駅の日比谷線-銀座線乗り換え (130419)

Construction Recordings at Yurakucho Station 有楽町駅の工事注意録音 (130419)

Yurakucho Station - Pre-Barrier Platform View 有楽町駅ホームバリアー前 (130419hd)

Kobayashi Kiyomi 小林清美作品展 - Flowers Exhibition - Art Space Rondo (130419)

This exhibition/installation at Art Space Rondo was pretty cool.  The only problem was that the light placement was such that as you went about the room checking out the exhibition, it was a little difficult to keep from interfering with the lighting by accidentally blocking the light and momentarily wiping out some of the cool shadows.

Kobayashi Kiyomi 小林清美作品展 - Ceiling Shadows at Flowers Exhibition (130419)

Yurakucho Izakaya Tunnel 有楽町居酒屋トンネル - 春が来ました (130419)

Tokyo to Ochanomizu - Night Chuo Line - 東京駅-御茶ノ水駅 - 夜の中央線 (130419)

御茶ノ水夜散策散歩 (A) Night Stroll in Ochanomizu (130419)

Ochanomizu Night Streets (B) 夜の春御茶ノ水道 (130419)

Ochanomizu Station - Ticket Gates to Platform - 御茶ノ水駅の御茶ノ水橋口 (130419)

Tokyo to Ueno - Keihin-Tohoku Kaisoku 東京駅-上野駅 - 京浜東北線快速 (130419)

Ueno Station - Upper North Concourse to Joban Line 上野駅 - 北上通路と常磐線 (130419)

Boarding Afternoon Joban Line at Ueno Station 上野駅で午後常磐線を乗る (130419)

Joban Kaisoku to Joban Local Transfer - Kita-Senju 北千住駅乗換え (130419hdc)

Kita-Senju to Kameari - Joban Local Line 北千住駅-亀有駅 - 常磐線各駅 (130419hdc)

Kameari Station - Platform to Exit 亀有駅 - ホームから出口まで (130419hdc)

Kameari - North Side Walk (A) 亀有五丁目散策散歩 (130419)

亀有五丁目散策散歩 Kameari - North Side Walk-B (130419)

Kameari - South Side Walk (A) 亀有三丁目散策散歩 (130419)

亀有三丁目散策散歩 Kameari - South Side Walk-B (130419)

Kita-Senju Station - Local to Kaisoku Transfer 北千住駅各駅-快速乗り換え (130419hdc)

Joban Line - Arriving at Ueno Station 常磐線で上野駅に到着 (130419)

Ueno Station - Central Exit 上野駅中央口 (130419)

Ueno Station - Main 1932 Building to Yamanote Platform - 上野駅-山手線 (130419g)

Okachimachi to Yurakucho - Keihin-Tohoku Line 御徒町駅-有楽町駅 - 京浜東北線 (130419g)

Yurakucho Train Typhoon - 有楽町駅の夕方の電車台風 (130419g)

Taken in the early evening - watching as one train after another passed by - including the Yamanote Line, the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the Tokaido Line, Shinkansen trains, etc.



“1991 Tateishi, Tokyo Station, Etc.; 2013 Train Views, Etc.”

The first several videos in this batch are from 1991 - starting with views of Tateishi, and also a fairly good look at Nippori Station.  One video that I spent a bit of time editing, is a nearly one-hour video focusing on the many platform and train views at Tokyo Station - taken on March 30th, 1991.  Actually, the platform and train views are mostly in-camera editing, but what I ended up spending time on was including a number of short views of other things I saw *around* Tokyo Station that day, including the Central Post Office and the Marunouchi Building (the previous version of the current building with the same name).

For current views from 2013, there are a series of wide format videos taken out a left-side window of an inbound Chuo Line train, and other views mostly taken either in trains or around train stations.  I'm commenting on some of the videos, but many have pretty self-explanatory titles, so I won't comment on those.

1991 - Tateishi Night Stroll 立石駅夜散策散歩  (910324g)

Starting with when I get off a train at Tateishi Station, I walk through the manually run (by humans, not machines) ticket gates, and then walk around the area.  There's a major (roofed) shopping arcade, and interesting side streets.... I went there not knowing what to expect, and it turned out to be a pretty interesting area.  It was kind of late, so things were just winding down with the stores closing up.  The atmospheric narrow side streets appeared to have a bit of history behind them, but of course the action was (presumably) inside and I stayed out on the street, walking around, so the streets also have a bit of that late-night lonely feel to them.  Also, it was late March, with still cold weather affecting the feel of the streets as well.  The approximately fifteen minute video ends after I return to Tateishi Station and board the first of several trains for home.

1991年の立石駅 Tateishi Station in 1991 (910324)

1991 - Tateishi to Nippori 立石駅-日暮里駅 (910324)

The multi-train night trip from Tateishi Station to Nippori Station, including station and platform views, transfers, etc.

1991年の日暮里駅 Nippori Station in 1991 (910324)

Arriving at Nippori Station on a Keisei Line train, looking around the station for a while, and then leaving on a Yamanote Line train.

1991 - Hibarigaoka to Tokyo - ひばりヶ丘駅-東京駅 (910330)

There are a fair amount of scenes of a busy Saturday at Tokyo station at the end of this one.

1991年東京駅新幹線探検 Tokyo Station Shinkansen Views (910330)

About eight minutes of checking out Shinkansen trains at Tokyo Station.  As a terminal station, the trains were all stopped for several minutes after arriving, allowing for cleaning and whatnot, so I had time to walk through some of them and have a look inside.

1991 - Keiyo Line Passageway Etc at Tokyo Station (910330)

The extension of the Keiyo Line to Tokyo Station was still new (beginning in 1990), so it was a new area to explore rather than an established one with a long history. In this video, I mention that I'm really tired - I had been walking around Tokyo Station all day recording video, and it was getting pretty late... I think I had been taking video almost non-stop for about twelve hours at this point.

1991 - Tokyo to Hibarigaoka 東京駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 (910330)

1991年東京駅の裏ミステリーゾーン 91-Tokyo Station Mystery Zone (910330)

As this area is now completely gone, I edited this part to show as much of it as I could.  I explain some about the history of the mysterious brick tunnel/passageway, and have several pictures (taken from the video) in this blog post:

1991 Tokyo Station - Yaesu Side - 東京駅八重洲口 (910330)

This is a short video, at less than two minutes, but I wanted to show the footage I took on this side of 1991 Tokyo Station, because there have been a lot of changes on this side since this was taken.

1991年の丸ノ内散策散歩 - Marunouchi 1-Chome Stroll (910330)

A lot of attention has been focused on the many changes on the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station, but there have been a lot of changes on the Yaesu side as well.  In this video, I start on the Yaesu side and walk over to the Marunouchi side.

1991年の東京駅電車など - Tokyo Station Trains (910330)

At a little over 56 minutes, this is a long one.  The focus of this particular edit are platform and train scenes, but I also put in a little from the surrounding area, including quick looks at the Central Post Office and the Marunouchi Building, as well as views of the Tokyo Station Art Gallery and the Tokyo Station Hotel.

Ginza-Kyobashi Art Cards 2012-001 (April) 銀座京橋展示会DM絵葉書 (130404)

Ginza-Kyobashi Art Cards 2012-002 (April) 銀座京橋展示会DM絵葉書 (130404)

Ginza-Kyobashi Art Cards 2012-003 (April) 銀座京橋展示会DM絵葉書 (130404)

Shinjuku - Evening Inbound Chuo Line Platform 夕方新宿駅上り中央線ホーム (130402)

A quick look around on the inbound Chuo Line platform - which seems surprisingly empty, but since it was the evening, the flow of people was in the outbound direction, which is a completely different platform (not just the other side of the same one, as is typically the case for one train line).

Shinjuku - Night Outbound Chuo Line Platform 夜新宿駅下り中央線ホーム (130402)

A bit late in the evening, middle of the week, and ahead of the last trains, the platform scene is pretty relaxed.

Nishi-Shinjuku Evening Rain Walk 夕方西新宿 (元淀橋) 雨散策散歩 (130402)

The next several videos are a wide-format look out a left-side window of an inbound Chuo Line train.

Kokubunji to Musashi-Koganei (Chuo Line) 国分寺駅-武蔵小金井駅 - 中央線 130409hdc

Musashi-Koganei to Higashi-Koganei (Chuo Line) 武蔵小金井駅-東小金井駅 - 中央線 (130409hdc)

Higashi-Koganei to Musashi-Sakai (Chuo Line) 東小金井駅-武蔵境駅 - 中央線 (130409hdc)

Musashi-Sakai to Mitaka (Chuo Line) 武蔵境駅-三鷹駅 - 中央線 (130409hdc)

Mitaka to Kichijoji (Chuo Line) 三鷹駅-吉祥寺駅 - 中央線 (130409hdc)

Kichijoji to Nishi-Ogikubo (Chuo Line) 吉祥寺駅-西荻窪駅 - 中央線 (130409hdc)

Nishi-Ogikubo Station Platform Lookaround - Announcements Etc - 西荻窪駅 (130409hdc)

The faster versions of the Chuo Line don't stop at Nishi-Ogikubo, which is why they go zooming past in this view.  Then the automatic recorded platform announcements (male voice for one direction, and female voice for the other) unusually match up almost perfectly and for a few seconds they are speaking in unison.

Nishi-Ogikubo to Ogikubo (Chuo Line) 西荻窪駅-荻窪駅 - 中央線 (130409hdc)

Ginza-Kyobashi Art Cards - April 9th 2013 銀座京橋展示会絵葉書 (130410)

Kitagawa Kenji (北川健展) Exhibition: 「廻廊にてー午前四時のシメールの肖像」 (130409)

A quick look at the latest exhibition at Gallery Kazuki (画廊香月) in the Ginza Okuno Building (奥野ビル).

東京駅-神田駅 - 中央線 Tokyo to Kanda - Chuo Line (130409)

Tanker Train at Tachikawa Station (130410)

Everyone once-in-a-while, a freight train will stop at a platform like this.  Standing right next to one, it's always sort of tempting to climb on, but I don't think I ever will!

Tachikawa Station Late Night Platform Walk - Tanker Cars (130410)

Tachikawa to Kunitachi - Chuo Line 立川駅-国立駅 - 中央線 (130410)

Mitaka to Nishi-Ogikubo - Chuo Line 三鷹駅-西荻窪駅 - 中央線 (130405)

Nakano to Shinjuku - Chuo Line 中野駅-新宿駅 - 中央線 (130405)

中央線の右側窓眺め - 中央東京 Chuo Line - Right Side Window View (130405)

Alone on the Rampart (130405)

Yotsuya Platform Walk 四ッ谷駅ホームの様子 (130405)

Ochanomizu to Kanda - Chuo Line 御茶ノ水駅-神田駅 - 中央線 (130405)

Kanda Station Under Construction - New Escalator 工事中神田駅 (130405)

Kanda to Yurakucho - Yamanote Line 神田駅-有楽町駅 - 山手線 (130405)

Ginza Harumi-Dori Afternoon Stroll 銀座晴海どおり散策散歩 (130405)

Art Exhibition at Art Space Rondo (130405)

Busy Evening at Yurakucho-YSB (130405)

Waiting for Late Night Chuo Line - Tokyo Station (130405)

Afternoon Sakura Trees in Ginza 夕方銀座桜木の様子 (130405g)

Tokyo to Kanda - Chuo Line 東京駅-神田駅 - 中央線 (130405g)

Late Night Nishi-Kokubunji Station 夜遅く西国分寺駅 (130406)

Afternoon Kokubunji Station Platform 午後国分寺駅ホーム見回り (130409)

Ochanomizu to Kanda - Front Cab View 御茶ノ水駅-神田駅 - 中央線 (130409g)

工事中神田駅 Kanda Station Under Construction (130409)

神田駅-有楽町駅 - 山手線 Kanda to Yurakucho - Yamanote Line (130409)

Yurakucho Light and Shadow 有楽町光と影 (130409)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon


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