Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fumikiri Tour

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Hello Sandwiches!

Today I took a three hour community walking tour of Shimokitazawa's 'fumikiri' (train track crossing) which will close down next week when the train lines go underground. I will miss riding above ground and standing at the fumikiri so much.

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Mr Kimura-san who lead our tour.

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And off we went. The tour started from Higashikitazawa station which is about three minutes walk from my apartment.

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We stopped at each fumikiri and Kimura-san gave a history of each fumikiri.

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Times like this I can't believe I live in Japan. I kept thinking to myself...OMG I live in Japan. I. am. on. a. community. walking. tour. where. everyone. is. speaking. Japanese.

I've been here for almost three years but sometimes it still hasn't sunk in. When I was working at VOGUE Living designing away at my Alexandria desk I doubt I could have imagined I'd soon be spending my Saturdays on a community walking tour.




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Translates roughly as 'Please wait a moment'. I'll miss this!

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I wonder just how long I've spent standing with my groceries watching these signs to see which way the train is coming (and how long we have to wait) at the fumikiri.

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The fumikiri just a few minutes from my house.

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Kimura-san used photocopies to show us what each fumikiri used to look like. Seriously, I felt so special to be involved in this community walk. It cost ¥300 and was so informative complete with maps and information booklets.

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I'll miss lovely smiles like this bowing and helping everyone cross the fumikiri.

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It's a bit of a popular photo taking hot spot at the moment as from next week these train tracks will be stopped forever.

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Our walking tour group! Actually the guy in the purple wasn't on our tour - he just turned up and took some photos for us and then we asked him to be in our photo. Kind of hilarious.

I often take the Odakyu-sen train from Higashikitazawa station towards Shinjuku. In between Yoyogi Uehara and Yoyogi Hachiman is one of my favourite views in Tokyo. Without fail, I always keep my eyes peeled to the window watching over the grey residential buildings. It's a pretty ordinary view of Tokyo I think but for me, it's always so beautiful.



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The above image was taken by Maimaiki on instagram (ありがとうまいまいきさん!)and shows a photo-crazed group of passengers at the Shibuya Toyoko-sen ticket gates.  Everyone making memories of the last above ground Toyoko-sen train before it closed and went underground yesterday. Times are really changing here in Tokyo.

If you have any interest, you can also check Hiki-chan's lovely photos of the Toyoko-sen at Shibuya before it moved underground.

Okay, so that's my train post over. Anyone visiting Hello Sandwich for the first time might be surprised - ha ha I don't usually post train tracks! But this one is close to my heart.

Love Love
Hello Sandwich
xoxo

19 comments:

  1. can't believe that the fumikiri will be gone soon :(

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  2. hi there! i live on the Odakyu too (Seijogakuenmae) and am super sad about all the changes that'll be taking place to Shimokita... especially the old market T.T

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    1. Yes, it's sad to watch it change isn't it :( It had such character.

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  3. This is such a shame :( I'm visiting Japan next week and I was looking forward to Shimokitazawa with all its uniqueness

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    1. Shimokitazawa is still very unique, don't worry! Enjoy your trip to Tokyo!

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  4. i feel like my be loved Shimokita is gone. even though,the fumikiri used to make me irritate sometimes LOL. i have many many bitter and sweet memories of the Snimokita station. Things never last forever.but memories.

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    1. Ha ha yes it used to irritate me sometimes too! When my book photographer and Editor and I were all on our way to my book shoot we had to wait at least ten minutes in the taxi. It was one of the longest times I've waited there and we were running late to our rental studio!

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  5. Max really enjoyed looking at the train pictures... he's obsessed by them... he thought they were videos like youtube. I love all of the colours...

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  6. Lovely post - even pics of train crossings, overhead wires and concrete make me yearn to come back!

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    1. Thank you very much! Come back soon please!

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  7. Nice and epic post! I always read your histories, this could be diferent but so lovely too.

    It is not easy for human acept the changes, but sometimes for better.

    From the Caribbean blue island

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    1. Thanks so much Cocco! What a nice comment!

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  8. What a fitting tribute. I live in Canada, and am wondering why so many people in your photos are wearing dust masks over their mouths? Thanks.

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    1. Thanks Tammy. haha I didn't even notice about the masks, I had to go back and look! So many people wear masks here in Japan. If you are sick you can wear a mask and some people also wear them for hayfever which is bad this time of the year. I sometimes wear one too!

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  9. Oh, that fumikiri! Always stuck at the ones in Kitazawa. My fumikiri nemesis is at Yoyogi Hachiman/Yoyogi Koen station. Just when I think there cannot be one more train, and people are carrying their bicycles up the stairs to the elevated walkway, along comes....a Romance Car! That is usually when I pull out a book and try deep breathing.

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  10. wow - big changes! I love the man in purple! thanks for sharing - always love your shares of the wonderful country you are in x

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  11. Will the railroad right-of-way be a building site? a walking path?

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