station

Pedestrian overpass also passes under freeway in Shiodome

pedestrian_overpass_underpass_shiodome

汐留の歩道橋です。高速道路のせいで、階段を登って、階段を下って、階段を登って、階段を下りなければなりません。なぜそんな道があるでしょうか。

This pedestrian overpass, which dips below the freeway in Shiodome, is a hot mess. I often wonder why city planners value pedestrians and bicyclists so much less than private vehicles and trucks. This is not how I’d like to walk to work from the station.

Forest house and Nakano Twin Towers on my walk to the station

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中野駅までの静かな路地は、歩きやすいです。

The house with the orange vine, aka forest house, is where I think Totoro is hanging out with tanuki. This quiet alley rarely has cars, and it makes for a calm walk to the station.

Is it safe to go into the ocean? Probably not, but . . .

onjuku_beach_hills

日本の海は危険でしょうか。暑い日に、海はまだ楽しいです。千葉の御宿で。

In the heat of August, who can resist a visit to the ocean? Despite the on-going revelations about nuclear leaks, the ocean is irresistible. This is Onjuku in lower Chiba. Below is the river that passes near the station. The tall skinny palms remind me of California.

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This lovely shiso plant is growing in a small crack in the sidewalk

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駅の途中にある小さな庭はいつの季節でも楽しいですが、そばの舗装の亀裂からシソが育っています。おいしそうです。

The four seasons micro garden I often pass on the way to the station has a new summer addition. Shiso is growing from a crack. Almost all the other plants are in pots, so I wonder if this was planted or just sprung up naturally. It looks delicious!

Simple sidewalk flower shop near Nakano station

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この中野の昭和的な花屋で、花や植物をよく買います。歩道にお店がはみ出しているところが大好きです。

I get many of my cut and potted flowers at this old-fashioned florist near Nakano station. I love how the shop casually spills out onto the sidewalk.

School kids in a gaming trance on a station platform. Is this a “still city”?

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昨年末から、オランダの「Still City」という東京についての研究とアートのプロジェクトに参加しています。「Still City」の主題は成長後の都市です。中学生たちが電車のホームでDSで遊んでいる写真は、静かな都市のイメージの一つだと思います。東京は巨大なのに、公共の場所は平穏です。安全なので、包括的です。

Since late last year, I’ve been involved with a research and art project called Still City, based in Amsterdam. Over 25 Dutch urbanists, designers, and artists came to Tokyo to create a guide book exploring the idea of Tokyo as a Still City. The main meaning of “still city” is post-growth.

This image of two school kids lost in a daze of handheld gaming on a train station platform also make me think of a still city. Tokyo is a “still” mega-city that is remarkably quiet despite the crowds of people, and with few exceptions, disarmingly safe. Tokyo is also a place where public functions, from transit and streets to bathing and swimming, are clean, efficient, and open to everyone.

City fishing next to Ichigaya station

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釣り堀でのんびりやっている人が市ヶ谷ホームから見えます。釣りと電車の対照がきれいですね。

Day and night you can see people fishing in these stocked ponds on the Outer Moat, across from Ichigaya station. The contrast between the busy transit corridor, the beautiful moat, and the leisurely city fishers is enchanting.

Outer moat viewed from the Ichigaya JR station platform

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市ヶ谷ホームから、素敵な外濠が見えます。

In a city with surprisingly few water views, this JR station at Ichigaya looks out onto the Outer Moat (Soto Bori). It’s a beautiful site from the station platform, a wide river and natural bank lined with cherry trees.

Small fox shrine survives between coin parking, an empty lot, and a 6 lane road

新宿駅の近くで、この小さな稲荷神社と成長した木が生き残りました。
I love that this fox shrine has survived the construction of a 6 lane road decades ago, and the demolition of its neighboring buildings. Now it’s surrounded by coin parking and a weedy lot, a stone’s throw from Shinjuku station.

Tanuki arrives in Azabujuban and stores his bike in his scrotum

麻布十番に来たときに、タヌキは自分の大きな睾丸の中に自転車を保管しています。駅の辺りをきれいにしています。

Tanuki doesn’t clutter the Azabujuban station area with his bike. He stores his bike in his giant scrotum.

Kita Kamakura looks elegant, even from inside the train

電車から、きれいな北鎌倉の自宅の写真をとりました。駅の仕切りの格子は自宅の木の塀と調和しています。木の塀の下に、夏の草がたくさん生えています。

I spotted this lovely Kita Kamakura house from inside the train. I like how the station uses a simple screen that echoes the house’s wood fence. I also love how the summer weeds are running rampant at the bottom of the fence.