Saturday, 12 April 2014

Day 2, part 2: a tale of three, or six, trains

From Ueno we travelled the Yamanote line, the rail line that encircles and runs through Tokyo and links to every other line. And as this is Japan Rail, the JR Pass works, you show it on entry and departure at the information window of each station, it does not work through the turnstyles.

We went first to Okachimachi, one stop on the Yamanote Line from Ueno, to see the fabled market. The market was huge but mainly run-of-the-mill packaged goods and some produce.
Between the north and south entrances to Okachimachi Station, on the market (west side) we found locals queuing to get into a little sushi place as it was opening at 11am. No greater recommendation. We ate very well and sufficiently for total Y1400 , say $15, for two.
So first train movie, a sushi train movie, is here

After lunch we took a longer ride, clockwise from 3 o'clock to 8 o'clock , to Shibuya, to ride the Keoi Line to Shimokitazawa, which we had heard compared to Koenji but which turned out to be at least at first glance more muddled trendoid and uneasy, so we fled back to Koenji , where I got a wonderful therapeutic massage, thanks to Emiko for providing a Japanese language note to the issues in my shoulders. 
The run from Okachimachi to Shibuya is though business centres. Long and tiring. 

This next video shows the ride for one stop from Okachimachi.  See signs and hear announcements in Japanese and English. Easy, get the map, get the Suica card, get on board, like this:

We took a glimpse from the JR station of the Shibuya crossing. 

Koenji seemed home on second visit, the massage practice , a block north from the station, was very good, spotless, courteous, professional. Change to tshirt and loose shorts as provided before being strong armed for an hour. Planning two more visits next week. 

Beginning the ride home at 4pm on the Chuo Line, the crowds thickened, so we chose to change at Shinjuku, the worlds busiest station, for completion of the outside Yamanote, clockwise to Ueno. Called 'outside' on the circle run because trains like cars here run on the left. 

This was the scene on the Chuo Line which we could have ridden onwards across the Yamanote circle, like an omega slash across the circle of the Yamanote Line. 

At the northern end of the circle of the Yamanote line the crowd thinned and I was able to stand at the glass wall of the driver's compartment to record this film. You will see how frequent the Yamanote service is from the green trains running the other way on the inside line. The driver has a cold, has a mask, like others above. If you get a cold, do be civilised and wear a mask, about $5 for a box of sixty masks at the supermarket, 

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