Sometimes when I'm travelling, I like to simply sit on a train and watch people near me, places passing by. And what better way to do this than on a circular, loop line.
I like to think that a circular line brings you a 360° view of a place (it's not always the case, but it's a nice idea).
This is the first in a semi-regular series of posts on circular travelling -so if there's a circular loop line where I am, I'll get on board!
Years ago when I visited Tokyo, I spent a few hours travelling around on the Yamanote line.
It's a circular line travelling through most of the major stations in Tokyo, including Ginza, Shibuya and Shinjuku.
As I sat on the train, I took notes of sights I saw and sounds I heard and revelled in the people-watching.
- Green stripes on platform to show where to stand
- A girl with purple and gold bag and gold shoes
- The five people opposite me lined up, all asleep
- A chorus of polyphonic music greeted us at every station
- Outside offices, and lots of them
- Huge concrete faceless skyscraper structures at Akihabara
- A MUJI warehouse
- A pyramid covered in sparkling lights at Yurakucho
- Passengers reading books with non-descriptmd plain covers: beige or plain white, some with very simple patterns.
- The station Mamamatsucho pronunced differently in English and Japanese
- The monorail to Haneda airport flying over the metro line
- A tiny dog in a woman's handbag. She's been on the train for 6 stops ago, before I had noticed
- Nobody else seems to noticed the dog
- A grown man reading a comic, showing the words "Here's the world War 1 flying ace returning to the aerodrome"
- Lots of snorting and sniffing sounds
- At Ebisu station, the man next to me sleeps and slumps against me
- A guy whispering into his phone
- As the train continues around, the dog starts to bark lightly. The woman holds its mouth.
- The man next to me then notices the dog and pets it
- A poster in station declares: "Never stop the explaining!"
- At Osuka station, a man tucks his (dry) umbrella into his trousers. It's half genius, half weird.