A taste of Japan

‘The urban transportation’

A taste of living steam but only seen at the museum, the picture above was taken at the former Kyoto roundhouse with a large collection preserved steel horses and this one is running up and down a separate track along the railway yard beyond the museum’s building. It’s not about which I’ll like to talk, a museum presents the past and more often than not on a statically manner, very useful for any historical knowledge but not for fun. The Japanese kids are patently waiting in line to take a ride and hopefully shall remind how the railways once were running.
What they are especially in the Kansai era can be experienced if you mix with the locals on their way from home to work ore vice versa. The helter skelter of urban transportation but well organized. The hearth of the Kansai district actually is a huge agglomeration: Kobe, Kyoto and in the middle Osaka. In between there’s hardly any greenery; it’s an ongoing cultivated sight resembling Bangkok only in that city no railway systems like they are here. If that was the case the gridlock problems probably would shift from road to rail.
A standstill I did not notice even during rush hours, however, trains filled to the brim are no exception. A list of all the private railway lines presents a rough idea of what’s going on or better spoken rolling. One must admit if all the users of the numerous lines would use a car instead, the municipality was dead in terms of coming forwards. Railway lines and their different type of trains were not created for the fan but mass transportation. And so it takes place for sure in the more urbanised eras.

Eizan Electric Railway
Hankyu Railway
Hansin Railway
Hokushin Rapid Railway
Keihan Electric Railway
Kinki Nippon Railway (Kintetsu)
Kita-Osaka Kyuko Railway
Kobe Electric Railway (Shintetsu)
Kobe Kosoku Railway
Nankai Railway
Nose Railway
Randen (Keifuku Railway)
Sanyo Electric Railway
Semboku Rapid Railway

And of course JR west – one of the new formed subsidiaries of the former Japanese Railways who were in a state of being bankrupt not that long ago – plus the local transport companies with all sorts of modes described in a previous article. With a two or three day rover (Kansai Thru Pass) you’ll see it all exempt JR, they have their own rail rovers.
It’s the Hankyu Railway’s organisation that strikes me most, a private company with an own station next door the JR in Osaka at the Umeda square. Three lines from here and all three on their own alignment with double track till the next station where they go separate ways. An enormous infrastructure with trains running off and on by the minute. It takes a while before the pictures could be captured.
The first sight is an overwhelming experience one must undergo like the travellers only they have no other option. This is railway on its best and shows its capability.
Time for another visit and this time use a camera more often instead of using my eyes only. Too much to see and by the way; a picture is only a reminder.

A Hankyu train arrives at Monodyakujin - a well secured level crossing, see the camera's on both sides.

On the line towards Kobe

The Osaka-Juso station where the lines devide.

Every square meter is cultivated - the same Juso station with a train on arival.


About Robert von Hirschhorn

Author / Performer or in Dutch: schrijver / dichter
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One Response to A taste of Japan

  1. D vd Spek says:

    Ik blif maar even hier, anders weer terug naar Hotmail, ik kabn me voorstellen dat het weer gaat broeien, dat japan, zo’n opname van de trein naar Kobe, en alles gecu;tiveerd, zo wil ik het ook gaan zien. Ik moet nog even geduld oefenen, maar gaan doen we zeker. Ik zal me wel wat voorbereiden, om de keuze wat makkelijk te maken, en alleen trein, dat ziet lek ook niet zitten, hoewel. de eerste keer ga je maar alleen zei ze. Hoe dan ook, ik heb je verhaal geasorbeerd en de opnamen met meer dan normale aandacht bekeken.

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