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Old July 27th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #281
quashlo
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Perch Tsuchiura opens
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/kant...0301000-n1.htm

Quote:
On July 24, the Tsuchiura Station Building, Perch Tsuchiura, reopened to the public after a renovation project undertaken by JR East and Aeon Mall. The station building was temporarily closed for the renovation, but is now open to the public again, with the hope that it will put a stop to the decline of the central city area.

Perch Tsuchiura consists of five aboveground floors and one underground floor, with approximately 60 tenants. The first floor houses a 24-hour Mini-Stop convenience store, while the second floor is home to a food court that opens at 7:00 am to increase convenience for passengers commuting to work and school.

The third through fifth floors house fashion shops, general stores, and bookstores. Realizing that high school students comprise a substantial proportion of station ridership, the tenants also include fashion and accessory shops to attract teenage girls.

In a private tour conducted on July 23, General Manager Fujiki Mitsuhiro said, “With JR’s experience in station buildings and Aeon’s experience with suburban-style shopping centers, we hope residents of the area will come to love Perch Tsuchiura.”

The station building first opened in 1983 as WING, but as customers and businesses began to abandon the central city, sales began to plummet, and the facility closed in July of last year.
Website: http://perch-tsuchiura.com/

Tsuchiura Station is on JR East’s Jōban Line, and is about 66 km from Ueno. Average daily station entries are 17,300 (2008).


Source: Wikipedia
Tsuchiura Station, West Exit (March 2007). At the time, the building was still known as WING.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #282
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Hachikenya Water Terminal complete
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/enviro...2217007-n1.htm

Quote:
Construction of a new water terminal on the Ōkawa River in Chūō Ward, Ōsaka City has been completed. On July 23, Ōsaka Governor Hashimoto Tōru and Ōsaka Mayor Hiramatsu Kunio made an appearance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The terminal will open to the public August 1.

“This will become a symbol of Ōsaka as a water capital, and I hope to continue making our city a city of water and light,” says Governor Hashimoto. Afterwards, the honorary attendees cut the ribbon.

Immediately before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a ceremony marking the start of the River Care campaign—sponsored by the prefectural and municipal governments—was also held at the nearby Hachikenyahama Landing.

As the first water terminal in Ōsaka, Hachikenya Water Terminal consists of one floor aboveground and one floor belowground, with a gross area of 1,350 sq. m. The building will sell tickets for tourist boats, as well as provide informational displays on the history of the Hachikenyahama area. A restaurant inside the building has space to hold weddings as well.


Hachikenyahama Landing, with Tenmabashi Station (Keihan Main Line, Keihan Nakanoshima Line, Ōsaka Municipal Subway Tanimachi Line) building in the background.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:03 AM   #283
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Kōbe Electric Railway Arima Line / Ao Line: History abounds
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/e...906220066.html

Quote:
Kōbe, a city of land and ocean, is only twelve minutes away. Minatogawa Station, the starting point of the Kōbe Electric Railway, is an underground station. The local train rose to the surface and with a loud hum that resounded inside my body, began to climb the grade.

The Arima Line and Ao Line combined are approximately 52 km in length, but about 84 percent of the route is on a grade. A drop in altitude of 50 meters across a 1-km section equates to a 27.4 percent grade. Slipping past houses built across the face of the mountain, I look back to see the Port of Kōbe beneath me.

The area around Hiyodorigoe Station is deep into mountain territory. The scene of the Hiyodorigoe Plunge, where Minamoto no Yoshitsune and his cavalry plunged down the precipice to ambush the Heike forces, is just north of the station. After a long stint through tunnels, the train reemerges among residential areas, arriving at Suzurandai Station, 278 m above sea level.

The Arima Line opened in 1928. Ten years later, the section all the way to Miki Station on the current Ao Line opened. Overcoming the mountains, however, wasn’t without problems.

Geum Bong-du, Lee Myeong-bok, An Ryong-dal… In an article from the Ōsaka Asahi Shimbun about the November 1936 Aina Tunnel collapse were the names of six Koreans who died in the accident. The construction of the project rested in the hands of over 1,000 Korean laborers.

Hida Yūichi (57yo) of the Kōbe Student Youth Center, together with second- and third-generation Zainichi Koreans, scoured newspapers of the time, and discovered that between 1927 and 1936, a total of 13 victims died over a total of five separate incidents. “I want people to remember that behind the history of Japan’s development was harsh labor,” says Hida.

When the railway finally opened, the agricultural communities on the north side of Mt. Rokkō became residential neighborhoods on the rise. What connected the old residents and the new residents was kabuki theatre.

=====================

When the actor, dressed in a colorful costume of yellow, blue, and purple, entered the stage, the dimly-lit stage immediately began to shine.

On a Sunday in December 2006, just days from the start of the new year, a kabuki stage is laid out inside the grounds of Amatsuhikone Shrine in Yamadachō Shimo-Tanigami, Kita Ward, Kōbe. Members from Kōbe Suzuran Kabuki and young children from Kōryoku Ko Takara Kabuki acted out the scene of “Inasegawa Seizoroi no Ba” from the kabuki “Shiranami Gonin Otoko.”

“From beneath the snows, over the mountains…” A bandit named Benten Kozō, played by Okazaki Miyako (65yo), rattles off dialogue, while the schoolchildren, in the roles of policemen, waved branches of flowers meant to represent batons.

“The beauty in kabuki is that it’s so completely different from the real world,” says kabuki instructor and former actor Ichikawa Hakotora (77yo).

=====================

After the opening of the port during the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate, the area north of the Rokkō Mountains remained the domain of rural villages even into the beginning of the Shōwa Era. After Kōbe Electric Railway opened the rail line, they marketed Suzurandai as a summer resort town, complete with villas and dance halls. After the end of World War II, the area became a booming bedtown. Kōbe’s Kita Ward, which surrounds the rail line, grew from a population of 37,000 people in 1960 to 117,000 people in 1973 and 227,000 people in 2007, a remarkable transformation.

But when compared to the rest of Japan, Hyōgo Prefecture has preserved many of its rural theaters, most of which are located inside Shintō shrines. “Even if the authorities, who despised unnecessary luxuries, prohibited theaters, they survived as religious ceremonies in offering to the Shintō gods. These theaters are a symbol of the stalwart rural culture,” says Professor Tanabe Makoto (60yo) of Sonoda Women’s University.

The stage at Amatsuhikone Shrine uses thick beams running through the thatched roof. Turning over the special catwalk upside down also reveals an arch bridge. It’s unclear when the stage was constructed, but records indicate it was reconstructed in 1840. Tanaka Shōji (78yo), director of the theater’s preservation committee and member of a farming family that has continued for 230 years, says, “In a village without any entertainment other than the theatre, our ancestors must have taken great pleasure in temporarily forgetting the harsh realities of rural life.”

After the war ended, most of the theaters were no longer used. In the 1960s, Tanabe’s mentor and local historian, Myōjō Akio successfully petitioned the government to designate the theaters as Important Tangible Cultural Properties. The burden on the local residents was high, however, and maintaining the theaters proved difficult.

The people who saw a new “hometown” in this area were families who moved in within the last several decades.

“Nowadays, most of us don’t have a place we can really call our hometown or our village, but through the theater, we can experience a special type of bond,” says Katō Naoko (60yo), promotional chief of Kōryoku Ko Takara Kabuki, which was established in 1998. In 2000, Kōbe Suzuran Kabuki was born. With help from the ward government office, the two groups perform kabuki every spring at one of the four theaters inside Kita Ward.

=====================

In 2001, Obara Harumi (57yo) from Kōbe Electric Railway’s Operations Department proposed including the theaters as part of the company’s exclusive hiking course events. Obara regularly visits a shrine in Kizu, Oshibedanichō, Nishi Ward, which has its own theater stage built in 1877. “It’s a win-win for both the company and the area.” For the hiking courses opened every spring in conjunction with the kabuki performances, the goal is always the theater, and participants can watch the show as the finale to their hike.

Time passes, but people are always looking for that place to call home, away from it all. Next spring, I hope I get another chance to see that stage.

For the railfans

In between Hiyodorigoe Station and Suzurandai Station are the platforms of the former Kikusuiyama Station built in 1945, approximately 4.6 km from Minatogawa Station. The station was unmanned, and primarily used by visitors going hiking on Kikusuiyama (elevation 458.9 meters). The station earned the title of being the closest “secluded station” to a city. In 2005, the station was abandoned because ridership was extremely low.

According to Kōbe Electric Railway: A Sixty-Year History, this section was “the most difficult section in the line to construct,” but there’s no explanation of the rationale behind the opening of Kikusuiyama Station. The tracks to Suzurandai were moved to their current location after construction of a dam between 1986 and 1994.

Kikusuiyama itself was originally called Ōtsunugi and several other names, but after the Ōkusukō 600th Anniversary Festival in 1935—where a pine tree was planted in the shape of Kusunoki Masashige’s family crest of a chrysanthemum on water—the mountain became known as Kikusuiyama. “The year 1940 is the year 2600 in the Japanese calendar. Perhaps the station was built to handle the increase in people who climbed the mountain to show their respects to Ōkusukō, the model of a loyal retainer,” suggests Professor Tanabe.


At dusk, a Kōbe Electric Railway train climbs the mountain, surrounded by dense residential neighborhoods. In central Kōbe in the distance, ships ply the waters.


The rural kabuki stage in Shimo-tanigami, designated as an Important Tangible Cultural Property by the national government. Members of a local kabuki group strike poses from the kabuki Shiranami Gonin Otoko.


A Kōbe Electric Railway train ascends a steep 50 permil grade (50 meter rise for every 1000 meters horizontally).


Suzurandai Station, the junction for the Arima branch and Miki branch. Passengers wait at the platform for a train bound for Kōbe.

Source: Wikipedia
Taken at the platform of the now abandoned Kikusuiyama Station. Just looking at this picture, it’s easy to see how this earned the title of “secluded station,” as it could be almost anywhere in rural Japan. The old tunnel is on the left, the new tunnel is on the right.


Source: Wikipedia
Hiyodorigoe Station.


Source: Wikipedia
Suzurandai Station, East Exit.


Source: bagel1955 on YouTube
Cab view from Hidorigoe to Suzurandai. At 1:30, the abandoned Kikusuiyama also makes an appearance.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #284
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Seibu 30000 series wins Kids Design Award
http://www.seibu-group.co.jp/railway...009/0722_2.pdf

Quote:
The 30000 series Smile Train, produced by Seibu Railway (HQ: Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture; President: Gotō Takashi) and put into revenue service starting in April 2008, has been awarded the third Kids Design Award (administered by the Kids Design Association).

The Kids Design Award recognizes designs that improve the safety or comfort of children, designs that are creative and forward-thinking, and designs that make it easier to raise children. The award is not limited to items for children, such as toys, but is also awarded to high-quality goods and facilities that are geared to adults but incorporate elements for children as well.

As a commuter train, the 30000 series Smile Train was designed with two goals: to provide passengers with as much physical and mental relaxation as possible to put smiles on passengers’ faces. The train was designed while bearing in mind kindness and friendliness.

In an effort to expand kindness and affection among young children and women, as well as all passengers, the exterior of the train features a soft, round end shaped like an egg, and is designed to look like a smiling face.

To reduce the feeling of being trapped, the inside of the train features a high domed roof and white body designed to increase the interior area, as well as large transparent glass doors between cars. Because of their transparency, the doors also help prevent criminal activities.

For children, the glass doors also feature playful “egg” prints to prevent passengers from accidentally bumping into them, while long poles that are easy for children to grasp are provided on the sides of each set of main doors. In addition, the sill of the window behind the operator’s cab has been lowered to afford children a better view as the train moves, and the gap between the floor of the train and the platforms has been significantly reduced. The floor area near side doors and the edges of the door leaves use a contrasting bright yellow color to draw attention, improving safety for all passengers, including infants and the elderly. To increase visibility of priority seating areas, the seat fabric makes use of a bright contrasting color and is imprinted with a playful heart motif to encourage passengers to give up their seats to the elderly and disabled.
I’ve posted images of this series before… It’s definitely one of the better looking series among the newest commuter / subway EMUs in Japan.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
The standee straps feature egg-shaped rings. You can also see the longer poles that stretch almost to the floor at the sides of each set of doors.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
The domed roof.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Priority-seating area, with bright orange seats and heart motif.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Operator’s cab.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Glass doors on the gangway, with the egg print.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Wheelchair space.


Source: Wikipedia
Door area.


Source: Wikipedia
Two 15-inch LCDs are provided above each set of doors.


Source: newkiyose on YouTube
In 8+2 configuration, departing Kiyose Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.


Source: newkiyose on YouTube
Same, but another train.


Source: sho205531 on YouTube
Inside a train, from Motokaji to Hannō on the Ikebukuro Line.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:34 AM   #285
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Tōkyō: Part 6

I head for the Toei Nerima Station, served by the Ōedo Line. The line first opened (partially) in 1991, only reaching its current state in 2000, but there are extensions proposed for the western end of the line into Saitama Prefecture. The eastern end is actually a loop, so the entire route looks like a sideways number “6.” The line is powered by linear motor technology, using rolling stock that is smaller than typical rolling stock in Tōkyō, and has some of the deepest stations in the network, making it somewhat of a hassle to use. Despite the smaller than typical capacity, the Ōedo Line is the busiest in the Toei Subway network, with about 780,000 passengers a day (2007), which speaks to its usefulness as a loop line with plenty of connections to the existing network.

Above is the elevated structure for Seibu Nerima Station. A bus operated by Kokusai Kōgyō, a private bus operator, passes us by.

image hosted on flickr


On the platform, as a train for Hikarigaoka waits beside us.

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We get off at Higashi-Nakano Station, four stations from Nerima. This is the transfer station for the JR Chūō Line local trains (JR Chūō Local Line).

image hosted on flickr


Yamate-dōri, a critical north-south road in this area. To give an idea of the complexity in this area, immediately below the surface of Yamate-dōri is the first underground level (B1) of the station, which houses the bicycle parking for the station. Below that is B2, which houses the station concourse. Below that is actually is the Yamate Tunnel portion of the Central Circular Route, part of the Capitol Expressway network. Although it already opened in December 2007, they are still doing some other construction here and on other unfinished parts of the route. Below the tunnel on level B4 is the Ōedo Line. In addition, the JR lines cross beneath Yamate-dōri in a trench, at approximately B1/B2 of the station.

image hosted on flickr


On the JR platforms. A Chūō Line local train waits at the platform, bound for Mitaka.

image hosted on flickr


The JR station consists of a single island platform with two stopping tracks. To the left are the separate set of tracks for the Chūō Rapid Line, which doesn’t stop at this station. The Chūō Line itself is actually a mainline that connects Tōkyō (Tōkyō Station) and Nagoya (Nagoya Station), but east of Takao Station in Hachiōji City (approx. 53 km from Tōkyō Station), the line becomes a key commuter line in the Tōkyō rail network, with over 3.12 million entries and exits at stations between Takao and Tōkyō. The rapid service runs between Takao and Tōkyō, while the local service runs between Mitaka and Ochanomizu, after which it runs through-service with its counterpart on the east side of central Tōkyō, the Sōbu Line local service. There are only a handful of local trains that terminate at Ochanomizu, and most run across both lines and are typically simply called Chūō-Sōbu Line local trains. However, a substantial portion of Chūō Line local trains actually use the Tōkyō Metro Tōzai Line through central Tōkyō to reach the Sōbu Line, so the Chūō Line local service is best thought of as two forks through central Tōkyō.

This is the outbound local platform for Nakano and Mitaka.

image hosted on flickr


Businesses and alleys abut the tracks.

image hosted on flickr


We arrive at Nakano, an impressive hub just outside of the Yamanote Line loop served by the Chūō Line rapid, Chūō Line local, and Tōkyō Metro Tōzai Line. This station is the official terminus of the Tōzai Line, but some trains travel beyond onto the Chūō Line local to its terminus at Mitaka Station. Here, an Eidan 05 series waits at the platform, bound for Nishi-Funabashi. Eidan (i.e., Teito Rapid Transit Authority) was the predecessor of today’s Tōkyō Metro, which only took over in 2004. This view is in the direction of Mitaka.

image hosted on flickr


Facing east towards Shinjuku.

image hosted on flickr


A look at Nakano-dōri and the South Exit of the station. A pair of Keiō buses approach the south bus plaza.

image hosted on flickr


From the platform, another look at the South Exit plaza area.

image hosted on flickr


The outbound Chūō Line local track for Mitaka, facing west towards Mitaka. To the left are the tracks connecting the line with the adjacent Nakano Yard.

image hosted on flickr


Facing west towards Shinjuku. Nakano Yard is at center.

image hosted on flickr


Another view from the local platform for Shinjuku, facing northeast. There are four island platforms (eight tracks) total at the station. The tracks at center dive down to enter the Tōzai Line tunnel.

image hosted on flickr


A limited express train passes the station, bound for Shinjuku. These intercity trains actually use the rapid tracks. This arrangement is quite common and a byproduct of trying to handle both commuter and intercity traffic with limited facilities. JR’s five mainlines into central Tōkyō (Tōkaidō Main Line, Chūō Main Line, Tōhoku Main Line, Jōban Line, and Sōbu Main Line) have all received some form of quadruple-tracking starting in the 60s as a means of increasing capacity on these vital commuter routes.

image hosted on flickr


A Chūō Line local arrives at Platform 2 and discharges passengers. Although the Chūō Line local is interlined with the Sōbu Line local, the rapid services on both lines aren’t. The Chūō Line rapid operates mostly independently, but there are some through-trains from the JR Ōme Line, JR Itsukaichi Line, and other JR lines, and even as far as Kawaguchi-ko Station on the Fuji Kyūkō Railway, over 110 km from Tōkyō). The Sōbu Line rapid runs through-service with the Yokosuka Line on the west end, various JR lines on its east end).

image hosted on flickr


Because of headway constraints, some Chūō Line local trains terminate here instead of at Mitaka. Since a large proportion of the trains west of Nakano run through-service onto the Tōzai Line, these trains can “fill in” the gaps in the schedule opened up by through-servicing trains. This train’s destination sign shows Chiba, in preparation for departure back the way it came. Chiba, on the Sōbu Line is a good 50 km away on the other side, through central Tōkyō.

image hosted on flickr


Another Eidan 05 series, a fifth-order train featuring wider 1.8 m doors (the typical is 1.3 m), waits at Platform 5. This was done to reduce dwell times at stations, and is being included in the next series of trains for the Tōzai Line, the Tōkyō Metro 15000 series trains.

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


On Platform 3, a Tōzai Line rapid for Tōyō Katsutadai on the Tōyō Rapid Railway waits at the platform. In addition to running through-service with the JR Chūō Line local on its west end, the Tōzai Line runs a separate through-service on its east end with the Tōyō Rapid Railway. So although the official eastern terminal for the Tōzai Line is Nishi-Funabashi, some trains continue onto one of two forks to Tōyō Katsutadai or Tsudanuma on the JR Sōbu Line.

image hosted on flickr


There is a stark difference between a wide door and a typical door.

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I board the rapid on Platform 3 to head back to central Tōkyō.

image hosted on flickr


The Tōzai Line is one of the more crowded lines in Tōkyō, with a daily ridership of 1.325 million.

image hosted on flickr


We get off at Kudanshita Station to transfer to the Hanzōmon Line.

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On Platform 4, the Hanzōmon Line platform for Oshiage. A detailed line map for the Hanzōmon Line, showing the Tōkyō Metro portion in the center (Z01 through Z14) and the through-service sections on the left (Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line) and right (Tōbū Isesaki Line).

image hosted on flickr


Station map. Kudanshita is also a station on the Toei Subway Shinjuku Line.

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Map showing travel times, as well as locations of stairwells / elevators / escalators for transferring lines and other station facilities relative to car position in each train. Trains on the Hanzōmon Line are ten cars (200 m).

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Oshiage Station, a respectable hub just outside of the Yamanote Line loop in Sumida Ward. The station is the official terminus for both the Tōkyō Metro Hanzōmon Line and Toei Subway Asakusa Line, but both lines run through-service at this station onto the Tōbu Isesaki Line and Keisei Oshiage Line, respectively. Both the Hanzōmon Line / Isesaki Line and Asakusa Line / Oshiage Line stations consist of two island platforms (four tracks).

Here, a Hanzōmon Line train arrives at Oshiage Station Platform 3 from Shibuya. A local, the train will discharge its passengers before heading back the other way for Chūō Rinkan on the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line.

image hosted on flickr


The train, an Eidan 8000 series, departs.

image hosted on flickr


Making our way to the exit…

image hosted on flickr


To be continued…
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Old July 28th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #286
ISO25600
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nice work! How many more parts do you have going?
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Old July 28th, 2009, 07:47 AM   #287
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Thanks.
I've only posted about a day's worth of my Tōkyō pictures, but I still have two days left, so there's still plenty more to come.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:21 AM   #288
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Event celebrates North Station Building at Higashi-Kurume
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/tok...OYT8T01142.htm

Quote:
With renovation work set to start next January, an event by locals to draw support for preserving the history of the North Station Building at Higashi-Kurume Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line will take place on August 1. Some fans argue the station has historical value as the model for the fictional Tokeizaka Station, which makes an appearance in Takahashi Rumiko’s popular manga Maison Ikkoku. The event is sponsored by the Higashi-Kurume Station Commercial Association. Takeuchi Nobuo (48yo), president of the association, hopes that the area can revitalize itself by drawing on the connection with the popular manga.

The North Station Building is a one-story wooden structure completed in 1949. Before 1994, when the station concourse was elevated above the tracks and a new East Exit and West Exit constructed, the only access was through the North Exit. The North Station Building earned a following among users by retaining its Shōwa Era atmosphere. The renovation is being undertaken due to the structure’s age, with the new two-story building to house a cafe and drugstore.

Takeuchi, together with his elementary school classmate, web designer and local resident Han’ya Satsuki (49yo), brainstormed the idea of somehow getting fans of the Maison Ikkoku series to visit the area. In the hopes of getting as many people to come as possible, the event was timed with the annual Summer Festival sponsored by the commercial association. The two arranged to have publisher Shōgakukan visit and obtained permission to use goods related to the series. The organizing committee that manages the event includes local residents who learned about the efforts, as well as fans of the manga from as far as Chiba Prefecture.

On the day of the event, the signs on the station building will be replaced with “Tokeizaka Station.” Pamphlets will be distributed marking out the location of famous scenes in the series, such as public bathhouses and hills, as well as other real-world landmarks that are popular among fans for having similarities to locations in the manga. Using the pamphlet, visitors can participate in a stamp rally, walking to each of the locations and filling in each stamp as they go. A special “photomosaic” will also make an appearance, featuring an image of the North Station Building constructed by piecing together small portraits of visitors to the event.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:23 AM   #289
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Hanshin Namba Line’s revenue benefit 16 percent above estimates
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...907310043.html

Quote:
On July 30, Hankyū-Hanshin Holdings announced that the revenue increase for April through June as a result of the March 20 opening of the Hanshin Namba Line was approximately ¥890 million, exceeding the expected total by 16 percent. Daily ridership is 57,000 a day. While it still hasn’t reached the first-year goal of 67,000 passengers daily, the company reports that a substantial portion of the trips are longer-distance journeys by tourists and visitors.

The biggest factor in the less-than-expected ridership is a smaller shift in commuters from competing JR and the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line. The company predicted that 50 percent of riders would be regular users with commuter passes, but that figure has stalled at 38 percent. Traffic on mutual through-services with Kintetsu Corporation, however, is high, with entries and exits at Sannomiya Station for April up by 11 percent over the previous year.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:25 AM   #290
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Edy, Suica, other electronic money reaches 100 million cards
http://www.asahi.com/business/update...907250233.html

Quote:
The circulation of electronic money cards, including Edy, has topped 100 million cards in Japan. Although still only one-third of the number of credit cards, use of electronic money for small purchases is increasing rapidly.

According to a report by the Bank of Japan, the total circulation of eight types of electronic money cards, including bitWallet’s Edy, Aeon’s WAON, and railway-related Suica and PASMO, has reached 105,030,000 cards at the end of March. The figure is a 30 percent increase over the 80 million previous year, which was said to be mark the true start of electronic money in Japan. Use of Osaifu Keitai, an electronic money system for mobile phones, represented approximately 10 percent of the total.

Card readers at shop registers and vending machines increased by 30 percent over the last year to 480,000 units, increasing the usefulness of the system. As a result, the value of all purchases via electronic money for 2008 increased by 40 percent to ¥817.2 billion. While still a far cry from the 300 million circulation and the ¥35 trillion in purchases for credit cards, electronic money has been expanding rapidly.

The number of small-denomination coins (¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50) in circulation has decreased by one percent compared to the previous year and continuing to trend down even further. The Bank of Japan’s Payment Settlement Bureau says, “Typically a decrease in the number of small-denomination coins in circulation is a result of decreased consumer spending, but it’s possible that the spread of electronic money is also a contributing factor.”
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:28 AM   #291
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Shinjuku and Tōkyō Stations get first-class taxis
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...102000053.html

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“First-class taxi zones,” where passengers can wait for taxi drivers who have no accident or violation histories and have good reputations for customer service, will open outside Tōkyō and Shinjuku Stations on August 5. This marks the second and third installments following the opening of the first such zone at the East Exit of Shimbashi Station in March 2008. The effectiveness of the idea will finally be tested at two of the largest terminals in the Capital Region, and two of the most famous in all of Japan.

The new locations are adjacent to the Marunouchi North Exit of Tōkyō Station and the JR Exit and Keiō Exit beneath the West Exit of Shinjuku Station. The existing taxi waiting zones will be converted to first-class zones as part of the project.

“First-class taxis” are restricted to drivers who have received a recognition of excellence from the Tōkyō Taxi Center, which establishes taxi waiting zones, or to drivers recommended by taxi companies that have received recognitions from the Center. Of the approximately 50,000 taxis in the 23 wards, Musashino City, and Mitaka City under the control of the Center, approximately 8,000 are designated as “first-class taxis.”

Use of the first-class zone at Shimbashi has increased, reaching approximately the same levels as the general zone at the station. Because the number of first-class taxis is small, the drawback is not being able to find a taxi right away.

“I can’t help thinking how ridiculous it is when I get a taxi driver that doesn’t know anything about the area… If I have to show them exactly where to go, they should be paying me. I’m glad the industry is providing an option for ‘excellence,’” approved a male office worker (39yo) from Nerima Ward who was waiting for a taxi at Shinjuku Station.

On the other hand, a male office worker (25yo) from Nakano Ward responded, “I get on a taxi when I’m in a rush, so I’m not as concerned about customer service. They can be a little curt, but they just need to get me to my destination by the shortest route.”
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:38 AM   #292
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Railway operators put renewed efforts into station melodies
http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/news/20090727-OYO1T00726.htm

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An increasing number of railway companies are devoting their attention to station melodies used when trains depart platforms or arrive at stations. Some have hired popular musicians to produce songs for them, while others have melodies that have connections with the neighborhoods or cities where the stations are located. The most common are “soothing sounds” pleasant to passengers’ ears, and some companies have even begun distributing the songs for use as mobile phone ringtones. “We hope that it becomes an opportunity for passengers to feel a little bit closer to the railway,” say operators.

Providing a bit of pleasure
Tambabashi Station in Fushimi Ward, Kyōto City on the Keihan Main Line. As a limited express bound for Yodoyabashi departs the station, a playful waltz melody echoes through the station. “The melody is supposed to conjure up images of the bustle of Ōsaka for passengers on the limited express,” says Keihan.

Starting in June 2007, Keihan began using different melodies at approximately 20 of its main stations. The melodies are produced by keyboard artist Mukaiya Minoru of the fusion band Cassiopeia. The melodies are a 180-degree turn from the typical prolonged beeps that hurry passengers onto the train. After releasing a CD of the songs (Keihan Electric Railway: Departure Melody Collection, ¥2,000) in November 2008, sales reached 2,000 copies within half a year.

“The days of building residential neighborhoods, extending rail lines out, and cramming passengers onto the trains are over. The station melodies are a tool to provide passengers with a bit of lifestyle comfort and pleasure when traveling by train,” says Mukaiya, who is an avid railfan who has also produced work for the Kyūshū Shinkansen.

In preparation for opening the Hanshin Namba Line in March, Hanshin Electric Railway rolled out a new set of melodies based partially on Mukaiya’s arrangements of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” After the railway began distributing the melodies to its paid mobile site targeted towards fans of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team in April, the songs recorded over 10,000 downloads.

Songs with connections
JR West is placing its efforts behind songs that have strong local connections. For the opening of Shimamoto Station (Shimamotochō, Ōsaka Prefecture) on the Tōkaidō Line in March 2008, JR West used the theme song from Suntory Whisky commercials for station melodies since Suntory has a distillery nearby. For the March 2007 opening of Sakura Shukugawa Station (Nishinomiya City, Hyōgo Prefecture), also on the Tōkaidō Line, JR West used the song “Sakura” by folk duo Kobukuro. According to JR West, locals requested the song.

In the Kantō region, Keihin Electric Express Railway has begun using melodies selected by the public at 17 stations. The melodies signal when trains are about to approach the platforms. The melodies are from songs which are about areas surrounding the line or by famous artists from the areas and include “Misaki Meguri” (Misakiguchi Station) and “Yume de Aetara” (Keikyū Kamata Station). A compilation CD featuring the melodies was released in March and has sold over 14,000 copies.

“In the past, relieving congestion during the rush hours was a big issue for railway operators, but with population declining, the companies now have some leeway to make ‘soft’ improvements that improve the pleasure and comfort of riding the trains. As stations become more unique and use unique melodies, it should help improve the image of railways as a whole,” says Kansai University professor Abe Seiji, who specializes in public utilities.
Sakura Shukugawa Station arrival melody
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irOUBPFu0Kw Source: noritetsu on YouTube

Departure melody at Tambabashi Station
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRfUtQW1KYc Source: keihine233ura106 on YouTube

Each station on the Keihan Line has a unique melody, but if you string them together, you get a song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81McF1CKSks Source: Ecthel5324 onYouTube
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:42 AM   #293
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Sakai City LRT revised plan in the works
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/osa...OYT8T00099.htm

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Regarding Sakai City’s plan to build a light rail line through the city center, the original proposal to convert some streets to a one-lane, one-way configuration in order to free up right-of-way for the tracks has been revised. Instead, the City is now proposing to retain the current configuration of two-way flow with a total of two traffic lanes. The unusual side-running configuration proposed under the original plan is also being reconsidered. Locals along the proposed alignment objected to the configuration as it would present an obstacle to cars passing each other or parking.

In the original plan released to the public at the end of last year, Phase 1 of the project would run 1.7 km from Sakai Higashi Station on the Nankai Kōya Line to Sakai Station on the Nankai Main Line and open by the end of 2010. Two-lane city roads along the alignment would be reduced to one lane in order to accommodate the two light rail tracks.

In February and June of this year, however, citizens expressed their doubts and opposition to the plan at public workshops at the municipal elementary school district in Sakai Ward. Public commenters cited concerns about one-way streets and the inability to take deliveries or load and unload goods on the street. As a result, the City is revising the plan and construction schedule.

There are multiple alternatives being considered at the moment, including one proposal that keeps two-way roadways and provides room for two tracks by narrowing sidewalks and relocating street trees. Another alternative preserves sidewalk width, but would make the line single-track, leaving questions about whether or not the line would be able to maintain the basic capacity needed.

The city plans to present the merits and demerits of each alternative to the public, and will finalize the revised plan after receiving comment. Mayoral aide Matsui Toshiharu says, “It’s unlikely we’ll gain a consensus on making streets one-way, but if we can preserve two-way traffic flow, I think we can make headway. We will consider all alternatives while keeping an open ear to comments from the public.”
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:46 AM   #294
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Progress in proposed Hokusō Line fare reductions
http://mytown.asahi.com/chiba/news.p...00000907280003

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In regards to the proposed fare reductions for the Hokusō Line to kick in with the opening of the Narita New Rapid Railway next year, Chiba Prefecture has finalized its intention to cover ¥100 million of the total cost annually over a period of five years. The prefectural government is proposing a five percent reduction in fares and is requesting an annual contribution of ¥300 million from six villages and two towns along the line. The prefecture and local jurisdictions would shoulder ¥400 million of the financial burden, with an additional ¥400 million contribution from the railway operator to bring the total to the required ¥800 million. After the proposal gains a general consensus of support from the public, the prefecture will present the plan to the railway operator.

Initially, the prefecture offered to convert ¥5.3 billion in interest-free loans to Hokusō Line operator Hokusō Railway into ¥1.5 billion in shares in the company to strengthen the financial state of the railway. After local jurisdictions repeatedly requested an additional contribution from the prefectural government to the costs of implementing the fare reduction, it began considering several alternative proposals, including one that would have doubled the converted shares in the railway operator to ¥3.0 billion.

Since the beginning, the local jurisdictions have requested fare reductions of 15 percent or higher as well as contributions not in the form of financial aid, but in investment that would help stabilize the railway’s financial situation. After a financial analysis indicated that the local contribution could be covered by increased fixed-asset tax revenue from higher land values (due to reduced fares along the line), consensus for the prefecture’s compromise plan spread.

Hokusō Railway, however, is burdened with a ¥30 billion accumulated deficit and is requesting that any proposed fare reductions be covered by financial aid from the local governments. Executives from Keisei Electric Railway, which will operate the Narita New Rapid Railway as a through-service onto the Hokusō Line, have also said they intend to pay an appropriate contribution as part of the track-sharing agreement, but has stressed that their total contribution should be less than that of the local governments.

The prefectural government, however, has emphasized that approximately half of the cost of constructing the Narita New Rapid Railway is being covered by the national, prefectural, and local governments, and has been trying to reach a compromise with Hokusō and Keisei, who would reap the benefits of increased ridership from the new line. The prefectural government is attempting to reach a consensus among the involved parties mid-August, which the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has set as the deadline for fare approvals.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:51 AM   #295
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Hiroshima trams: rolling museums and city landmarks
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/tabi/data/r...htm?from=yolsp

Quote:
“Hiroshima’s trams are a museum.” Hiroshima Electric Railway’s (Hiroden) catchphrase caught my attention. “Survivor trams” that bore the brunt of the atomic bomb, trams that switched owners from Kōbe and Ōsaka, and the newest super low-floor trams all mingle on the same tracks.

After arriving at Hiroden Hiroshima Station at the South Exit of JR Hiroshima Station, a round-faced tram, featuring green lines on a white base, caught my attention. Known as the “Green Mover MAX,” it began operations four years ago as the first domestically-produced super low-floor tram.

Ten years ago, Hiroden began putting its efforts behind next-generation light-rail vehicles, which produce fewer carbon emissions than cars and are user-friendly thanks to their low floors. According to Yamamoto Ryūta (37yo), a member of Hiroden's administrative team, local elementary schoolchildren now learn about those efforts during lessons on the environment.

I quickly boarded the Green Mover MAX. The seats were a deep green and featured an “autumn leaves” motif that exuded “Hiroshima.” The train was destined for Miyajimaguchi. The line serves two World Heritage Sites, including the Atomic Bomb Dome and Itsukushima Shrine, located nearby the terminal.

With the Atomic Bomb Dome on the left, the train proceeds down a street lined with buildings. It’s easy to see how it has become the lifeline of Hiroshima’s citizens, with the largest ridership of any tram network in Japan. The tram was crowded with men and women going to work and shopping, as well as tourists from overseas.

After departing Nishi-Hiroshima Station and entering the Miyajima Line, the train’s speed jumped noticeably. From here on, the train was no longer on tram right-of-way but on a heavy rail line. The train went head-to-head with a JR San’yō Line train on the adjacent track for a while. If my five-year-old son was with me, he would have enjoyed the battle as well.

Rumbling through the city on the trams feels like being in a museum. We crossed paths with an old-fashioned beige and dark brown tram, a 750 series car purchased from the Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau in 1965. The 3000 series trams, with a livery of beige with pink accents, are former trams from Fukuoka City. I remembered the story of a friend who said he used to take the tram to the ocean as a child. These trams carry the memories of many different people from many different places.

But the older cars still have narrow entrances and exits and large platform gaps. On a 1900 series tram manufactured in 1957 and purchased from the Kyōto Municipal Transportation Bureau, I asked one woman (34yo) with a one-year-old child what she thought: “They’re difficult with strollers.”

Next was a beige and deep-green tram built in 1942, a survivor of the atomic bomb. Hiroden lost many of its employees in the blast. Running a mere three days after the bomb was dropped, No. 652 gave citizens hope. The floor of No. 652 is composed of wooden slats, and the window frames are also wood. I felt a profound sense of history as I rode it.

The only two trams to have survived the blast that are still in revenue service are No. 652 and No. 651. There are some schools that charter the tram for fieldtrips and invite survivors of the bomb to tell their stories.

Urban design that is friendly to both the environment and users, the atomic bomb… This was one tram journey that really made me think.

Hiroshima Electric Railway
Total length of 35.1 km, comprised of street-running portions (19.0 km) and the Miyajima Line (16.1 km). For tourists and visitors, a convenient pass allows unlimited travel in one day (¥600 for adults, ¥300 for children). Between April and October, the railway operates a retro-tram decorated in Taishō Era livery. The Hiroshima Municipal Transportation Bureau’s Science Museum also displays now-retired cars that survived the bomb. Coinciding with the LRT Urban Summit in Hiroshima City in October, the railway will hold a tram festival on November 1.


Green Mover MAX (left) passing by a former Ōsaka tram.
Hiroshima Electric Railway tram map

Source: Wikipedia

Some videos:

The controlled chaos outside Eba Carbarn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W75_x9IXnJ8 Source: nimo5 on YouTube

Nishi-Hiroshima Station:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEOFGHGSQdY Source: Niipura on YouTube

Line 1 cab view (Kamiyachō-Higashi to Kanayamachō)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QreBiiVP9j4 Source: daisukesakajo on YouTube
(This user also has a lot of other Hiroden cab views on his channel)
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:54 AM   #296
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JR Kichijōji Station to undergo renovation starting in fall
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...102000053.html

Quote:
Beginning this autumn, JR East will begin renovation work on Kichijōji Station (Musashino City). The project involves widening the public passageway running north-south through the station and installing elevators, with completion scheduled in five years.

As part of the renovation work, the city, JR East, and Keiō Electric Railway, which also serves the station, signed off on a memorandum of understanding.

According to the plan, the public passageway connecting the North Exit and South Exit will be doubled in width from the current eight meters to sixteen meters, with the hope of relieving congestion inside the station and increasing convenience. There are currently no elevators at the station, but the project will install a total of three elevators located both inside and outside of the faregates. In addition, the project will install a multi-use washroom inside the faregates, improving accessibility for all passengers.

After hearing complaints that the faregates were difficult to find, the project will consolidate the three faregates onto the second floor and make it easier for passengers to move around. The project marks the first major renovation since the opening of station building Kichijōji LONLON. The stores inside the building will also be renovated and the structure retrofitted as part of the project.
Kichijōji Station is a major station on the JR Chūō Line (rapid) and Chūō-Sōbu Line (local) and Keiō Inokashira Line. Daily station entries are 143,178 for the JR station (2008). Daily station entries and exits are 147,424 for the Keiō station. Kichijōji itself is a very popular neighborhood and consistenly ranks high among places that people in Tōkyō want to live.

Platform 2 at JR Kichijōji, the Chūō-Sōbu Line (local) for Shinjuku, Tōkyō, and Chiba.

image hosted on flickr

Source: shuhei kagawa on Flickr

Platform 3 at JR Kichijōji, the Chūō Line (rapid) for Tachikawa, Hachiōji, and Takao.

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Source: koyhoge on Flickr

JR Kichijōji Station

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Source: Daniel Shi on Flickr
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:06 AM   #297
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Tōkyō: Part 7

Tōkyō Sky Tree, being built on the site of a former cargo yard owned by Tōbu Railway. The project is being undertaken by a company that is 100 percent financed by Tōbu, and it is one of the more prominent examples of development adjacent to stations (i.e., what we love to call “TOD,” at least in America). The 610-m tower will house offices, an observatory, and other public facilities, in addition to serving as a broadcast tower replacement for Tōkyō Tower.

image hosted on flickr


A six-car Tōbu Isesaki Line local train bound for Kita-Senju arrives at Narihirabashi Station, which partially extends over the roadway on this elevated structure. The Hanzōmon Line through-service actually connects with the Isesaki Line at Hikifune (the third station in), so there are a few “shuttle” trains that run the 7 km between Asakusa and Kita-Senju.

image hosted on flickr


The back alley adjacent to the station.

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After entering the station, I walk up to the platforms, just as a train leaves, bound for the terminal Asakusa about 1 km away.

image hosted on flickr


The inbound platform, facing east, with a bit of Tōkyō Sky Tree construction. The station consists of a single island platform. There used to be ground platforms at this station as well where Tōkyō Sky Tree is being constructed. Once the Hanzōmon Line was extended to Oshiage to connect with the Isesaki Line—a mere six years ago in 2003, actually—the ground platforms were demolished.

image hosted on flickr


Outbound platform, facing east. The east end of the platform has quite a bit of slope and would likely not be acceptable if designed today. The platform island itself makes a gentle s-curve. The terminal, Asakusa Station, is similarly an unusual configuration because of space constraints and sharp curves, so some trains that are too long make use of door cuts—i.e., locking certain doors / cars due to safety reasons.

image hosted on flickr


Closer towards the edge. Here, a couple of trains sit on the storage tracks on the northeast corner of the station, including a 200 series or 250 series limited express train. The Isesaki Line is one of the more important radial lines in the Tōkyō rail network, and extends 115 km from Asakusa in Tōkyō to Isesaki in Gunma Prefecture. The line is quadruple-tracked for about 19 km between Kita-Senju and Kita-Koshigaya, the longest quadruple-track section in Japan outside of JR. It’s a bit unusual in that it doesn’t connect with the Yamanote Line at all, but it makes up for it by running through-service onto two Tōkyō Metro lines. Hibiya Line through-services are local trains from the Isesaki Line, running as far as Naka-Meguro on the Hibiya Line. The Hanzōmon Line through-services are express trains from the Isesaki Line.

image hosted on flickr


A section semi-express for Kuki Station, an 8000 series train, arrives at the station. This is from the west end, facing the direction of Asakusa. This end of the station sits above the roadway.

image hosted on flickr


At the very end of the platform, looking south. The small bridge at center spans a canal, and Oshiage Station is about 1 km to the left. Oshiage used to be connected to Narihirabashi via an underground walkway, but after the Hanzōmon Line was extended, the walkway was closed. The nondescript building on the immediate left is actually the headquarters of Tōbu Railway.

image hosted on flickr


Conductor steps out. Narihirabashi has about 71,000 daily entries and exits.

image hosted on flickr


West end of the platform, facing towards Asakusa. In the distance is the headquarters of Asahi Beer.

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Space constraints mean houses are right up against the tracks. In older apartments, both sound and vibration are prominent issues… The whole building may vibrate as trains pass by.

image hosted on flickr


I take a local train to Asakusa Station, which is also served by the Tōkyō Metro Ginza Line and Toei Subway Asakusa Line in addition to the Tōbu Isesaki Line. These are the Asakusa Line platforms at the station. On the opposite side, a Keihin Electric Express Railway (Keikyū) train boards at the platform. This is the terminus of the Asakusa Line, which runs through-service on both ends of the line: on the west end with Keikyū (at Sengakuji) and on the east end with a combination of Keisei Electric Railway and Hokusō Railway (at Kuramae / Oshiage). Coincidentally, the Tsukuba Express has its own Asakusa Station located about a 10- to 15-minute walk west of the main Asakusa Station.

image hosted on flickr


After boarding a train, I get off at one station down the line (Kuramae) to transfer to a train heading out to Oshiage and the Keisei network. The Asakusa Line is another subway line where the through-service doesn’t start at the official end of the line, but instead branches off earlier in the line. At Kuramae, I board a Keisei through-service and get off at Keisei Takasago Station.

Keisei Takasago is a major junction in the Keisei network, and is the nexus of three lines: the Main Line between Keisei Ueno and Narita Airport; the short, neighborhood Kanamachi Line; and the Hokusō Line operated by Hokusō Railway. The station itself has four tracks and two island platforms. This is from the north (outbound) island platform. Peeking in from the top left corner, you can see part of the three-head signal for the three branches leaving the station.

image hosted on flickr


An out-of-service Toei 5300 series train waits at Platform 3. Although Keisei Electric Railway and Hokusō Railway are officially separate companies, they are both part of the Keisei Group, as is the Shin-Keisei Electric Railway.

image hosted on flickr


A four-car local (a 3500 series) for Tsudanuma arrives at Platform 4. Asakusa Line trains are designed as 18 m cars with three doors per side, so through-servicing Keikyū, Keisei, and Hokusō stock also conforms to these requirements.

image hosted on flickr


The 3500 series trains were first introduced in 1972 and are slowly being phased out.

image hosted on flickr


On Platform 3, facing west towards Oshiage and Ueno. One station to the west is Aoto, which is another junction, connecting the Keisei Main Line and Keisei Oshiage Line. The Keisei Main Line goes to the Keisei’s Tōkyō terminal at Ueno Station, while the Oshiage Line is a short, 5 km line that connects the Main Line with the Toei Asakusa Line and allows for through-service. However, the Oshiage Line actually carries a larger number of trains than the Main Line because of the convenience of through-service.

Here, two station attendants wait at the platform, a common sight at stations where there is heavy passenger activity or where the platform curves obstruct vision along the entire length of the train, as is the case here.

image hosted on flickr


Platform 4, facing northeast. The Keisei lines pass through some modest working-class neighborhoods in the eastern wards of Tōkyō. Keisei Takasago has daily entries and exits of 90,000.

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On Platform 1, a rapid bound for Haneda Airport on the Keikyū Airport Line boards passengers. Both the international airport (Narita) and domestic airport (Haneda) are connected to each other by rail, but only a handful of trains actually run from one airport to the other. Owing partially to the location of Narita Airport far from central Tōkyō, the distance between the two airports is quite large (90 km), and it can take as much as two hours to do the trip. There are also no passing tracks on the Asakusa Line, so all trains run local within the subway. There is a proposal to build a new bypass subway that would actually stop at Tōkyō Station, making it more convenient to transfer between Shinkansen and airport, as well as decrease travel time between the two airports. The current Asakusa Line alignment runs by Tōkyō Station, but isn’t connected to it.

image hosted on flickr


The rapid train departs the station.

image hosted on flickr


A Chiba New Town Railway 9100 series train boards at Platform 1, a local for Haneda Airport. These units are owned by Chiba New Town Railway, but operated and maintained by Hokusō Railway. Chiba New Town Railway is a full subsidiary of Keisei Electric Railway and owns the eastern end of the Hokusō Line, from Komuro to the terminal at Imba Nihon Idai (12.5 km). It contracts the operation of the Hokusō Line on that segment to Hokusō Railway. The rest of the Hokusō Line west of Komuro is owned by Hokusō Railway. The line is being extended east from Imba Nihon Idai to connect with Narita Airport, and this route will become part of the Narita New Rapid Railway, which will reduce travel time between Narita and central Tōkyō.

image hosted on flickr


The nickname for the series is “C-Flyer,” which is painted on the sides of the car. Also displayed on the outside is the Keisei Group logo.

image hosted on flickr


We switch over to Platforms 1 and 2. Here, a Toei train bound for Nishi-Magome Station waits at the platform. Nishi-Magome is the official western terminus of the Asakusa Line, but only a limited number of trains actually go that far. Most switch over to the Keikyū Line at Sengakuji and run through-service. Instead of being the “main line,” the section between Sengakuji and Nishi-Magome is really more of a branch line, and a lot of the trains on that section simply run as shuttles to connect to other trains at Sengakuji.

image hosted on flickr


I got off at Aoto to transfer to a Keikyū through-service train. Aoto is an impressive bi-level, completely elevated station. The second and third levels of the station contain two tracks and one island platform each. The second floor is for inbound trains towards Oshiage, Shinagawa, Haneda Airport, and Ueno, while the third floor is for outbound trains towards Funabashi, Tsudanuma, Narita Airport, and Imba Nihon Idai.

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To be continued…
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:45 AM   #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Beginning this autumn, JR East will begin renovation work on Kichijōji Station (Musashino City). The project involves widening the public passageway running north-south through the station and installing elevators, with completion scheduled in five years.
I know it's hard to renovate the exsiting station, maybe even harder than building new station, but I think 5 years are too long.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:50 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Tōkyō: Part 7


To be continued…
Great posts as always. I enjoyed reading your trip every time. Thanks.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:40 PM   #300
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Aoto and Takasago stations are very impressive for me

front view (Takasago -> Aoto 2nd floor)

Train on the right is for Ueno, and train on here is for Oshiage

20x high speed video on Aoto 3rd floor
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