I have another great video here I`ve been wanting to share with you for some time and it is, ” [HD] YAMANOTE LINE / TOKYO”.  It is made by the  the guys at TVShinjuku, who make some really good stuff.  You have to be warned though, for a YouTube video it is really long, coming in at just over forty minutes.  I think most people watch YouTube clips for about five minutes on average, so make sure you have your popcorn and soda ready when you watch this one!! What`s it about?

It`s about Tokyo`s Yamanote line.  For those of you that don`t know the Yamanote is a loopline that joins all of the city`s major stations (e.g. Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shingawa etc.).  It is 34.5 kilometers in length has 29 stations (with maybe another one being added in the near future), with all but two of those stations connecting to other lines.  It takes about an hour to do the complete loop and on average you only have to wait about two to three minutes for the next train.  And well over 3.5 million people ride per DAY!

The title contains, “Yamanote Line”, which is a misnomer in my opinion.  It`s really focuses on the stations of the Yamanote line and around them.  The video is fantastic and for anyone who has an interest in Tokyo, they need to watch this!


What are the highlights of [HD] YAMANOTE LINE / TOKYO?

There are so many great things about this clip, a few of them are:

  • another side of Japan.  I often get the feeling that many people think that Japan and in particular Tokyo, is an ultra-modern, shining, pristine, technologically advanced place, but that is not always true.  Many of the stations along the Yamanote line are really quite old and haven`t been updated or renovated in many, many years (these are the stations I enjoy visiting the most);
  • life and work in the alleys under the tracks (the short scenes from around Ameyoko are great);
  • so many scenes from around the city (Yoyogoi park, Takeshita dori just to name two) give you a great idea as to what life is like in Tokyo along the Yamanote and how varied it can be;
  • Tokyo isn`t just about Akihabara, Shinjuku, Harajuku and Shibuya there are many lesser-known areas on the Yamanote like Uguisudani, Komagome and Ootsuka. This video gives you some idea what they are like;
  • TVShinjuku also mixes in some time-lapse which gives the video a sense of drama;
  • the video gives a few glimpses into places which the average visitor won`t know such as Toden Arakwa line which is a streetcar that travels from Waseda to Mowabashi (which is very close to the old Yoshiwara red-light district), and;
  • the easily noticeable differences between areas of the Yamanote. Shibuya, Harajuku and Shibuya could be said to have some similar charateristics, but if you compare them to Nippori, Komagome and Sugamo, they are completely different.  And the areas around Tokyo station, Yurakucho and Akihabara are different again.

And those are just a few (don`t get us started on station tunes).  Watch the video and make up your own mind as to what the best parts are.  “[HD] YAMANOTE LINE / TOKYO” is very enjoyable and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  If possible I would recommend that you watch it in high-defintion (1080p) on wide screen as it takes the viewing experience to another level.  You can see TVShinjuku`s website here.

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