This batch of videos opens with street views of Hamamatsucho, Ginza, and Kichijoji. There are also views of Tachikawa Station; the Saikyo and Musashino lines; Ukimafunado Station (浮間舟渡駅), Ukima-Koen Park (浮間公園); nighttime Kichijoji (including the station under construction); Musashi-Urawa Station (武蔵浦和駅); a couple of Ginza art exhibitions; Takao Station (高尾駅) closing up for the night; evening in Shibakoen (芝公園); Ginza (銀座), the Chuo Line, etc.
I'm not sure how well this concept comes through the screen if you haven't lived the situation, but there's a very positive aspect to living in a train-culture city (although vast areas of Tokyo are buried beneath car-culture bloody asphalt now, and the Godzilla construction industry wants to ruin yet more of the city by burying it under still more lifeless asphalt - never mind the future - nothing is more important than short-term profits) that you miss out on if you go straight to a car in a company parking lot after work. In Tokyo, you walk through the twilight (on the way to the nearest station) with coworkers and often end up going to an izakaya (riding the trains doesn't require driving, so your behavior is [nearly] totally free in that regard) on the way.
I remember some pleasant evening drives from my car-culture days - listening to music with the windows open - watching the road and secondarily perceiving the reflections off the hood, changing light patterns, and wind whipping through the car, etc. There were some wonderful times on the road, but only on open (or mostly open) roads with little traffic, nice scenery, and clean air. On the flip side of car-culture life are financial worries about needing to replace worn parts, frustration with traffic, parking woes, insurance, gasoline bills, party attending limitations, etc. Basically, with a sparse population, cars are nice, but in cities with high-density populations, personal cars should be illegal. They're a hazard to the future of humanity and ruin the quality of life.
There are not so many izakaya places in this section of Kichijoji, but it has a lot of atmosphere nevertheless. The plastic curtains are kind of depressing though. Young people seem to have become really weak to the cold. Being slim is nice, but being so slim that you're anemic means losing the ability to self-heat and these anemic new-generation-people seem to think they'll get frostbite if the temperature is less than about 28C-degrees.
Many (most?) of the train stations in Tokyo are integrated with buildings, typically retail-based, but also office buildings, etc., so when they tear down a building for reconstruction (the Godzilla construction industry must be continually fed), it creates some logistical issues at train stations, requiring temporary tunnels to get people through the construction zone.
A quick note about construction in Tokyo. I suppose, on the whole, it's a good thing - giving the city its constantly new feel and keeping things from going stale, but it would probably be in the city's overall best interests to preserve some structures rather than sticking to the "everything slightly old must be destroyed!" theme that is currently employed.
This clip from 1990 comes from my trip out to the tip of the Boso Peninsula that I posted several clips from recently. My 1990 analog video camera had an f1.8 lens, which is good, but wasn't particularly strong in low-light situations, so the image sensor probably needed a bit more light than the ones more modern cameras have. (The lens barrel says: "10x Variable Zoom 1:1.8 f-8-80mm" - are there any other kind of zoom lenses than "variable"? I've never heard of a "fixed zoom lens"...) In any case, since this was taken at night out on Tokyo Bay, and the camera wasn't very good at recording in the dark, there isn't much to see other than the on-board scenes.
This is a fairly nice park out on the northern edge of Tokyo. I bought food at a local grocery store and had a relaxed lunch here. While sitting on a park bench having lunch, I was visited by pigeons, crows, and a mysterious cat. It's one of those things that don't make much sense in words when you try to explain them to others later, but there was a kind of "we're-all-connected" feeling while I was sitting there - first with the cat, then the crows, and to a very small degree - with the pigeons (I'm not a great fan of pigeons).
This shows the ride from Kokubunji to Nishi-Kokubunji and then the transfer from the Chuo Line to the Musashino Line. (I appear to have inadvertently been blocking the sound with the way I was holding the camera for the first part of this video, but the sound returns to normal for the last half.)
I stumbled upon this small oasis (in the middle of the station) for the first time when taking this video. The sharp contrast with the platform makes it seem all the nicer. I'm not an expert on in-station shopping malls, but this one struck me as one of the nicest such spaces I've yet seen - and with its own fountain no less!
The last batch of outbound trains on the Chuo Line dead-end at Takao Station, and invariably there are several people who fell asleep on the train (one disadvantage of sitting down when you think you are lucky to get a seat!), and then wake up at the end of line - Takao - at a time at night when there are no trains running in the opposite direction, so people who can afford to throw cash at a taxi, go home that way, while people who can't afford that [cough] burn off a few hours and take the first train out in the morning (which is at 4:28 a.m. at this station).
I was just passing by when I realized I wanted to stop and contemplate where to go next, so I bought something to eat at a nearby convenience store and sat for a while in a park that was surprisingly nice, given it's near proximity to a major asphalt fire-breathing machinery pathway. (Sometime in the future, when humanity is finally free of the curse of the internal-combustion engine, people will look back and wonder "How/why in the world did people put up with those horrible machines in the past?".)
The first batch of video clips are from November 17th, 1990 - twenty-two years ago. All of the clips are from a single trip I took out to the tip of the Boso Peninsula. The batch starts with an early morning view of central Tokyo and continues through several train rides out to the end of the peninsula, and then ends after taking more trains to Kanaya, where I board a ferry to ride across Tokyo Bay to Kurihama in Kanagawa.
In 2012 I stumble upon the annual used book fair held in SL Plaza in front of Shinbashi Station. In years past I've bought some great reference books at good prices at this festival, but I have so little space in my apartment now that I'm reluctant to buy books these days, unless I think I really need to read them or have them as reference material. Of course, the Internet is what enables avoiding buying books, since there is so much material available to read on-line.
Incidentally - recently Shinbashi is often being spelled "Shimbashi", but I strongly feel that's a mistake, since "ん" in Japanese most closely corresponds with "n" in English. The theory is that the pronunciation changes to "m" when "ん" precedes certain sounds, but it sure doesn't sound that way to me, so I'm sticking with what I feel is the correct way to write (and pronounce) the name: "Shinbashi" - [新橋 しんばし shi-n-ba-shi].
This was taken around 7:30 a.m. - and so the people running to catch the train are likely aiming for getting to Tokyo offices before 9:00 a.m. This video reminds me of the phrase the railways used a lot at the time urging people not to run for the trains: 駆け込み乗車を止めましょう (Kakekomi-josha-o-yamemasho) which is composed of 1) run to board a train, 2) stop/cease/not, and 3) let's. This could be translated in various ways, but I think a fairly close English equivalent-meaning sentence would basically be: "Don't run for the trains!", although that's a bit more direct than "Let's not run for the trains" which is closer (as a "direct" translation) to the Japanese original, although unnatural in English.
Always remember - when you read the popular lie "a direct translation" - that there is very nearly no such thing as a direct translation, just varying degrees between slavishly following word order and word-by-word (attempted) equivalences on the one hand, and aiming for the same end result/impression/image with free use of whatever words on the other. Both have their advantages and problems. (Once in a while there is something that can be directly translated, but that's usually just nouns.)
This is both further away from Tokyo and later in the morning - beyond the point where people would be able to get to Tokyo offices by 9:00 a.m., so it's a bit more relaxed than the 7:30 a.m. scene at Tsudanuma was.
This reminds me of the pleasures of travel by rail in Japan before - on trains with windows that properly opened, rails in short sections that made the traditional clack-clack - clack-clack-clack sounds, passenger-controlled ceiling air vents, and booth seats. When you went out into the countryside on a train that wasn't crowded, it was a really pleasant ride.
I exited the station at this stop and walked around the town a bit, taking videos. Watching it now, it looks like a different era - which it was, but it looks like it was from some distant time in the past - long-long-ago, etc. Change comes to large cities first, and so I guess this really is from the past in more ways than simply being from twenty-two years ago....
This batch of clips gets started with a look at a train typhoon in Yurakucho - with the trains running in close frequency mode, but before the evening rush really got going, so they're not very crowded. There are also views of Hamamatsucho, Kokubunji, Nakano, Nishi-Ogikubo, Ginza, Shinjuku, etc.
With the fire-breathing engined machines blocked for a festival, you get a sense of a vast amount of land buried under asphalt as you look off towards the horizon and the asphalt goes on and on and on....
Among typical train views from various lines in Tokyo, I visited a few stations on the Saikyo Line out in Kita-ku (Ukimafunado, Kita-Akabane, etc.), as well as (in the opposite direction) Nishi-Oi on the Yokosuka Line. From Nishi-Oi, I was originally intending to take a Yokosuka Line train up to Shinagawa Station, but mistakenly got on a Shonan-Shinjuku Line train and so got off in Osaki instead. In central Tokyo are walking street views of Hamamatsucho and Shinbashi, etc.