Print Story "More Tokyo Videos - September 1990, 2008, & 2009"
By lylehsaxon (Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 04:59:38 AM EST) (all tags)
Four more videos....  They never quite turn out the way I want them to, but still might be of some slight interest for views of Tokyo & its trains....

"Rainy Day In Tokyo - August 1990"

Taking the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line from Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro in the afternoon, getting on the train at about 4:11 p.m.  After arriving at Ikebukuro Station (the first station on the line, although the last station on the line from the standpoint of this video), there's a view of people getting on the train, with people walking on calmly at first, and then some people rushing for the last open seats before the loading process calms down again (since all the remaining people will be standing, there's no point in rushing).  Walking towards the exit gates, there's a view of the man making platform announcements with a wired microphone from a fixed location (in 1990, most stations hadn't converted to wireless mic systems yet).

From there, a transfer to the Saikyo Line, for a trip to Shinjuku (which was the terminal stop for the Saikyo Line then, this being before it was extended to Ebisu and beyond).

Looking out the right side of the Saikyo Line (which runs parallel to the Yamanote Line tracks here), it's apparent how busy the lines are, as several trains are passed going in both directions.  The Yamanote Line trains seen out the window of the Saikyo Line train are of the previous generation, not the ones currently in use.  There is a long and detailed announcement about connecting trains in Shinjuku (made by a real live human being - not a robot-like bloody recording) as the train zooms along towards its terminal stop in Shinjuku.

Getting off the train in Shinjuku, I walk through the middle passage to the west side of Shinjuku Station, where a man is standing on top of a van ranting about politics at the passersby through very loud horn speakers.

Walking along the area in front of the station, there is a jumbled pile of bicycles.  People most likely parked them one after another until they were blocking part of the area in front of the sidewalk, at which point someone tossed them in a pile to get them out of the way.  What would happen back then in 1990 (and still happens sometimes, although much less frequently now - what with flex time and all), is some people who usually walked to the station would be running late, so they would ride their bicycles to the station, hurriedly park them somewhere (typically where parking is not allowed), and jump on a train, hoping that their bikes would still be there late in the evening when they returned.  If someone came back and discovered that their bike was on the bottom of a pile like this, or had been hauled away, they would give up on it and buy another one.

This may sound strange, but people very rarely buy expensive bikes here, so it's not such a financial burden to replace them from time to time.  Since then, when you buy a bicycle, the stores push you to register it with your name and address, which they explain is so police can help you track it down if it's stolen, but it may be more about stopping people from abandoning bicycles and enabling police to enforce fines against illegal parking (if an abandoned bicycle can have its owner identified by a registration sticker, then that owner can be fined and billed for storage when the bike has been hauled away).

"Weeknight Trip Home - September 1990"

Typical Tokyo Street scenes, walking around in this mega-city of lights, and then the stations and trains encountered on the way home.  On the trains, more actual live human voice announcements (instead of the bloody recordings that are increasingly used these days).  Interesting city this, but with all the constant lights & noise, one ends up dreaming of trees, grass, light breezes, rustling leaves, and a place free of machines and concrete....  (Trains in video: Saikyo Line & Seibu-Ikebukuro Line).

"Seibu Branch Lines - September 2008"

Super boring video.  Late evening views of a few different Seibu Railways branch lines.  The main two Seibu lines are the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line and the Seibu-Shinjuku Line, and then there are several short branch Seibu lines out in the 'burbs.  The trains in this video are mostly 'burbs branch lines.  Taken in September of 2008.

"Yurakucho Evening - September 2009"

A rough look at a couple of areas near Yurakucho Station, taken one evening in September 2009.  A Shinkansen super express passes by on one side of the station, and a Keihin-Tohoku Line train on the other.

I like this video compositionally, but it's distressing in that the resolution is horribly low.  Of all the days, it would have been nice to have been using a proper video camera when I took these images.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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