Greenpoint, October, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Slow Bullet Train

Japan is rightly celebrated for its passenger railway system: subways, commuter lines, and shinkansen (bullet trains), whisk millions of people to their destination with order and precision. In the midst of all the high-speed and high-tech, it was nice to find a couple memorials to earlier train times. Above is just part of the massive and beautiful Tokyo Station, opened in 1914. If you've got 700,000 yen (about $700), you can spend a night in the luxurious station hotel that occupies one wing of the building.
On a smaller scale, this car from a suburban line is open daily as a tiny museum, set alongside the platform for the spiffy modern trains. It also dates from early 20th century. The bench seats are hard, and there's no AC, but the day we looked in, a couple of twelve year old boys were happily using it as a place to hang out and, what else?, play video games on their smartphone.

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