This batch of clips is not in exact chronological order, but includes views from Hachioji, Shinjuku, Ebisu and several train lines - including the Tozai, Seibu, Chuo, and Yamanote lines.
This will likely be the last post of 2010. It's been an interesting year and artistically productive, but a financial disaster. 2011 - from the vantage point of December 31st, 2010 - looks to contain some seriously stormy weather, but even more than that, there are huge questions about what direction things will take. There are good and bad trends in force, so... so... what to say? I'll soldier on and hopefully things will head in a good direction.
After stopping at Oshino-Hakkai on my one-day bus trip to Yamanashi Prefecture via the Club Tourism - "Mt. Fuji & Hot Springs" tour, we went to an outdoor hot spring resort that had a really amazing view of Mt. Fuji. They wouldn't allow cameras in, so I couldn't photograph it, but picture this: Sitting in natural hot spring water looking over and up at towering Mt. Fuji - with misty-looking snow blowing off of places towards the top in the (apparently) strong winds up there. It was really a beautiful thing to behold. All I can do is attempt to describe it, and to show a picture of the mountain I took from the highway on the return trip (it was closer at the hot springs).
The beginning of my one-day trip to Yamanashi Prefecture (Club Tourism - "Mt. Fuji & Hot Springs" tour) got an early morning start in Shinjuku, where the bus departed from a basement parking area in front of the twin-tower Tokyo government building.
This black sign with white lettering (first picture above), saying 中央線 新宿駅 300M (Chuo Line, Shinjuku Station 300M) I like for its simplicity, clarity, unique style, and its link to the past. I suppose this type of sign used to be a standard type? In any case, it's quite rare in 2010 (soon 2011) Tokyo. Old it may be, but it's perfectly clear and useful, so I hope it stays there indefinitely.
This batch begins with a few clips from a recent one-day bus trip I took to Yamanashi Prefecture (Club Tourism - "Mt. Fuji & Hot Springs"). Then there are night scenes looking through the front cab of a Yamanote Line train, and of Shinjuku Station and areas around Shinjuku. After that are some views of Ebisu - including a back street view.
This batch of video clips begins with several of the December 2010 Boroichi Street market in Setagaya-ku. After going to Boroichi, I took a bus to Shibuya Station and a then went over to Ebisu, where I took a look at Ebisu Garden Place.
Another day - I took an early morning Seibu Line train to Shinjuku, and then was busy all day and took some more video clips of Shinjuku in the evening, wrapping up with a clip of a three-piece street jazz band that generated an enthusiastic crowd.
Several clips this time: A couple of views from Seibu Line trains; walking across the plaza in front of Yurakucho Station; Keihin-Tohoku Line train views; more Setagaya Boroichi street market views; the "Yebisu Skywalk" in Ebisu; watching trains in Ebisu; listening to a cool band at What the Dickens in Ebisu; views of Seibu Line and Tozai Line trains; walking through the inside of a Tozai Line train; watching a Tozai Line train depart Nihonbashi; new building construction in Nihonbashi; Tokyo Station views; Kichijoji Station views; Inokashira Line; Meidaimae Station area; Shimotakaido Station area; Setagaya Line front cab views; and finally - more Boroichi Street Market views.
Beginning with another look at the construction project on the Seibu Line between Oyama and Hagiyama Stations, and then looking out the front cab of an Inokashira Line train on the way to the Boroichi street market, where I show a look-around at night as an announcement is made by the police to warn people about fraudsters calling and pretending to be police - asking for their bank account numbers and passwords. Then a short clip of a street musician performing in front of Hachioji Station, and finally a front cab view from a Seibu Line train.
It used to be that people bought land out on the fringes of Tokyo and built individual houses, commuting into the center of town to work. Increasingly people are buying large apartments in residential towers, such as the ones shown in the pictures above. Being near to the center of Tokyo, towers like this have dramatic mega-city views.
This batch of clips begins with an evening view of the area under construction on the Seibu Line between Ogawa and Hagiyama. Then the next clip jumps back in time to May of this year, to a view of a street band performing (under an overhang) in the rain. And then there are various things: waiting for trains, boarding trains, riding trains (involving several train lines), viewing an art exhibition, walking by the construction zone in front of Tokyo Station, watching the world roll by from train windows, walking down the street in Shinjuku, etc.
Local Chuo Line Train - Nakano to Higashi-Nakano The seats in the six-door car (twelve if you count the doors on both sides) are locked in the up position until 10:00 a.m. (I passed through the car just before ten), and then - at 10:00 - a light comes on by the seats, and they are remotely unlocked and can be pulled down. Later I went back and the car was mostly full of sitting people, except one seat left in the up position. (I had thought the light was a button that caused the seat to electrically come down, but is simply a light indicating that the seat can be pulled down. After many years of riding these trains, I got to try that out for the first time on this ride!)
Contemplative views of an autumn sky through tree branches reflected in pools of rainwater. Autumn views of Kodaira Chuo Park and a kind of festival, followed by an outdoor concert in the park with several musicians participating.
Then a sudden jump to the sidewalks of Shibuya - with views of people nonchalantly navigating the walkways of the megacity. Finally some views of the Inokashira Line and the Chuo Line....
Watching and listening to a concert under the trees in the evening in Kodaira Chuo Park. (D) The generator to power the amplifiers was a bit noisy, but the singer has a nice voice and it sounded good from up on the hill.
This is a picture of a large aerial picture printed on a wall near a new construction project in Nihonbashi. This area looks quite different now! For one thing, there's an expressway running over the river - and it looks like there are a lot of two-story buildings in this picture (in the upper right-hand corner) - which are almost completely gone now.
I dropped by Shibuya on Saturday night to meet a couple of people. (Mysterious? Cool! Good reason not to explain it then!) On the way back to the station, I took a few video clips - including of a band that was playing in front of Shibuya Station... until an angry-looking police office (or security person?) started talking to the leader of the band. The music stopped - the police officer talked angrily on - the band leader looked resigned/irritated/disappointed... the camera dude turned and walked under the rail bridge (see clips below).
Boarding an old type JR Express train a few weeks ago in Shinjuku, I was happy to see it was from a few decades back. I haven't actually ridden in the JR limited express trains all that often, but I've been seeing them on the rails for a quarter century now, so they seem like a permanent piece of the world (which they are not of course...), so it's sort of sad to see them disappearing from the rails.
Anyway, I settled into my seat by a left-side window and watched Tokyo roll by as the train headed for the countryside. Reaching the countryside, things looked exotic out the window and there was a slight feeling of a piece of the city (the train) being away from its natural habitat. Not logical of course, but keep in mind that I'm used to seeing them in the city, so it seems like they are a part of the city and the city is a part of them... (which is true in a sense).
Getting off the train up in Nikko, I walked up to the front of the train and contemplated its design - thinking of all the many kilometers it's traveled over the decades and wondering how extensively it's traveled the country. Interesting enough, but feeling the tug of passing time, I turned around and headed off into my Nikko trip, putting the old train out of my mind.
After a couple of days traveling around in Nikko - including to the Kinugawa Onsen area, I boarded a newer type express train for the return trip to Tokyo, and this time, the train seemed to be a part of the countryside - as it might, after watching the express trains on the rails over two days. (Incidentally, I didn't see the old type of express train at all - after the one I took from Shinjuku to Nikko - but saw many of the newer type that I took back to Shinjuku - so that old type train may be even rarer than I thought.)
Homeward-bound and looking forward to more time in a comfortable seat by a window, I went to a store first and bought some food - a little more than I needed actually - and then when I sat down on the train, I began eating and drinking - a luxury all the more luxurious for usually not being able to do it!
The train rolled on through the evening, and then through the night - and as it passed... I think it was Akabane Station (not sure about that though), I looked at all the people on the platforms and felt a bit surprised at there being so many! Since I live in Tokyo, I know only too well how crowded it is, but in two days on the trains in Nikko and the Kinugawa Onsen area, I'd gotten used to a more leisurely pace and a lot fewer people!
Getting off the train in Shinjuku - this time the train seemed like it belonged to the countryside and was out-of-place in the mega-city. But of course... travel devices carry something of the atmosphere they come from when they travel somewhere.
Looking around on in the inside of a Keio bus bound for Fuchu Station. (Notice how the driver turns the engine off while stopped. Also notice a sign of the bad economy - the empty spaces where there could be advertisements.)
During the summer I was looking forward to being out of the heat in the autumn - and that is where I am now, but the temperatures are sliding out of the comfort zone and towards downright cold, at which time I'll be dreaming of spring again....
Earlier in the week, I stopped and listened to a street musician from Osaka perform a song in front of Shinjuku Station:
There was a couple who set up beside her and were about to begin playing as soon as she stopped, but a police officer came around and stopped them before they could begin. I wish they could have played at least one song.
- although the gallery owner irritated me by speaking English at me as though I had just parachuted down into Ginza from another galaxy. Probably he meant it in a friendly way, although it didn't *feel* friendly, so I didn't take it as such and just silently nodded to be civil, while refusing to step into the game. (That "game" reference might not make any sense unless you've lived here since a date that falls before the sudden jump in the yen in the mid-eighties...).