Tag Archives: Shinbashi Station

Japan’s first train station

10 Feb

Outside of the JR新橋駅 (JR Shinbashi train station) in Tokyo there is a steam locomotive.

This is because Shinbashi Station was the first train station in Japan. It was built in 1872 and at that time trains were powered by steam.

The steam locomotive is outside of JR新橋駅 (JR Shinbashi train station) but that’s not where the first station stood. It’s near the same site…but not exactly.

A ukiyoe painting of the first train station in Japan by Hiroshige

In April 2003 a replica of the original Shinbashi Station was built as a monument and also as a small museum of the history of Japan’s rail service.

It’s called 「旧新橋停車場」 (“Former Shinbashi Train Depot”).

We went there last Sunday because the 「旧新橋停車場」 (“Former Shinbashi Train Depot” (or “Old Shinbashi Station”)) is currently exhibiting photos taken of Tokyo decades ago by Koyo Ishibashi.

Click here to read a post that I wrote about that exhibition.

 

「旧新橋停車場」 ("Old Shinbashi Station")

It’s an interesting place to see if you’re in Tokyo. Admission is free and if you go before 2011 March 21 you can see Mr. Ishikawa’s excellent photos there too.

After we left 「旧新橋停車場」 (“Old Shinbashi Station”) we walked around the 新橋 (Shinbashi) area of Tokyo.

Tokyo utilizes all space available...restaurants and shops can often be found under train overpasses. This one has a street sign telling cars that the clearance of this narrow road is 2.1 meters

More restaurants under the train overpass

I've never eaten at the "Budweiser Carnaval", but supposedly the waitresses there wear tight "Budweiser" mini-dresses.

The Sound of Summer in Japan

18 Aug

Are they (Cicadas) in your country?
(Cicadas) are a large insect that spends most of it’s life underground in it’s egg. It spends a few years underground before it hatches, then it digs it’s way to the surface.

(Cicadas) emerge from the ground every summer in Japan. Shortly after emerging from the ground still a “baby” that can’t yet fly, they grow into an adult and shed their hard skin.

As an adult, (Cicadas) can fly but they are harmless. They don’t bite or sting…they feed on tree sap so they spend most of their time on tree trunks.

Once they mature, they have a short life-span. They need to quickly find a mate because they will die in just a few weeks.
In order to find a mate, the male (Cicadas) chirp loudly and continuously during the daytime.

So the sound of (Cicadas) chirping is the “sound of summer” to Japanese people.

Anyways, yesterday I had some errands to run in downtown Tokyo. After I finished, I took a few photos…including photos of (Cicadas) that I saw in 上野公園 (Ueno Park).
I also took a short video of a couple (Cicadas) so you can hear them.

Here are the photos and video I took:

Kasumigaseki Police Station

Kasumigaseki Police Station

The engine of Japan's first train in front of 新橋駅 (Shinbashi Stn (one of Japan's oldest train stations))

The engine of Japan's first train in front of 新橋駅 (Shinbashi Stn (one of Japan's oldest train stations))

In front of 新橋駅 (Shinbashi Station)

In front of 新橋駅 (Shinbashi Station)

不忍池 ("Shinobazu Pond") at 上野公園 (Ueno Park)

不忍池 ("Shinobazu Pond") at 上野公園 (Ueno Park)

A Cicada's skin after shedding.

A Cicada's skin after shedding.

蝉 (A Cicada) on a tree

蝉 (A Cicada) on a tree

A Cicada against Tokyo's skyline

A Cicada against Tokyo's skyline

不忍池 (Shinobazu Pond)

不忍池 (Shinobazu Pond)

Mr. Cicada serenading the ladies.

Mr. Cicada serenading the ladies.

DSCF5241

At Ueno’s Toshogu Shrine, there are monuments in honor of the first pair of eyeglasses in Japan, Japanese instrument called “Biwa“, and blowfish.

「ふぐ供養碑」 ("Monument to the blowfish")

「ふぐ供養碑」 ("Monument to the blowfish")

Cicada in front of Ueno's Toshogu Shrine.

Cicada in front of Ueno's Toshogu Shrine.

And here’s a video I took where you can hear the chirping of the (Cicadas):