trains

View towards Koenji from hallway makes me wonder where are the trees?

nakano_cityscape_hallway
高円寺の方角の景色はきれいだけど、木が見えませんね。

The opposite side of the apartment from our balcony is a hallway with an enormous view of inner west Tokyo, including the Chuo and Sobu line trains. There’s a serious shortage of trees and open space.

Sumida river sparkles at night. Is Tokyo best experienced by dark?

日中より、夜の東京のほうがきれいですね。国技館を出て、橋を渡るときに見える隅田川や神田川やスカイツリーはロマンチックな感じがあります。

Tokyo looks more magical at night. Walking across the Sumida River after seeing a sumo tournament, we admired the retro modern view of the bridges, elevated freeways, railway tracks, and inky black river. Even Sky Tree, the latest addition to this skyline, projects a futuristic image that is oddly familiar.

The green neon marks the Kanda river’s last bridge before joining the Sumida river. This river starts at Inokashira park in Kichijoji, west of where we live and winds for 26 kilometers before joining the Sumida and flowing into Tokyo Bay. A few years ago, I co-wrote an article about the Kanda river’s history and potential for new urbanism in Tokyo. You can download the 6 MB document in PDF form here.

At the bottom, you can see that there are still pleasure boats parked at the bottom of the Kanda for river dining and drinking. I’ve never been on these smaller boats.

Timber dock in Koto-ku, with view of Sky Tree and jumping fish

江東区の貯木場は素敵だと思います。飛び跳ねる魚やスカイツリーが背景に見えます。この橋は電車しか走りません。

This wide stretch of water, between the Tokyo Bay and the Sunamachi canal, was originally used in Edo times as a timber dock. Now it includes a bridge for trains and features fish that spend the summer jumping out of the water. In the distance, you can see Sky Tree. View from Tatsumi International Swimming Center.

A day in Tokyo in 1963

1963年の東京と今日の東京はどう違いますか。面白い昭和の短い映画はそのころの日常を見られます。

This almost 50 year old short firm provides a nostalgic view of daily life in 1963 Tokyo: a family wakes up in the morning, takes the train to work, shops in Ginza, and travels through the metropolis. Showa Tokyo’s trains and sheer density don’t look that different than today. While fashion changes and the city gets even bigger, it is amazing how much remains the same. (Via @rolandkelts).

Hitachi high speed trains begin in UK

Hitachi high speed trains begin in UK

Hitachi’s Javelin train began UK high speed rail’s first domestic service last week. The trains travel at 225 kph between Kent and London using the under-utilized tracks built for the Eurostar Chunnel trains to Paris and Brussels. Travel time will be cut in half.

It is a great first step for Britain’s domestic high speed rail program, and welcome news for my fellowship sponsor Hitachi. Perhaps more Britains will become enthusiastic about high speed rail with this launch. And maybe it will influence its former colonies, including the United States, which is even further behind in high speed rail.

Hitachi’s environmental technologies include high speed rail, smart grids and wind power.