Tokyo Train System

October 31, 2008

As a child living in a remote part of Vancouver Island called Bowser, i would wave at the VR Dayliner that ran from Victoria to Courtenay in the morning and, if i got the chance, i would wave at it again when it returned to Victoria in the evening. If i was a child living in Tokyo i would have a sore arm.

Taking the train in Japan can be a bit strange at first, especially when there are few signs in English. The train system also gives you a sense of the enormity of Tokyo. Here’s some information about the trains.

Train Categories

普通 Local (kakueki-teisha or futsuu-densha)
Local trains stop at every station.

快速 Rapid (kaisoku)
Rapid trains skip some stations. There is no difference in the ticket price between local and rapid trains.

急行 Express (kyuukou)
Express trains stop at even fewer stations than rapid trains. Japan Railways (JR) charges an express fee in addition to the base fare.

特急 Limited Express (tokkyu)
Limited express trains stop only at major stations. A limited express fee usually has to be paid in addition to the base fare. It is typically between 500 and 4000 yen. JR railway companies always charge this fee, but some other private railway companies do not.

新幹線 Super Express (shinkansen)
Shinkansen are only operated by JR. Shinkansen run along separate tracks and platforms. A limited express fee has to be paid in addition to the base fare. It is typically between 800 and 8000 yen.

Tokyo Trains

There is little difference between train and metro, as most metro lines are connected to private railways and use the same trains. There are numerous other private companies serving the suburbs.

Traveling by train can be very expensive because you get charge for each train company. For example, if you change train companies three times on route to your destination it could cost you 450 yen for the complete trip. Where as the same distance with one train company may cost you only 160 yen.

Why don’t you stay with one company you ask? Because if you have to transfer twice it could be three different train lines. Here’s the train line breakdown:

The Japan Railway (JR)

East Japan Railway Company

Shinkansen 新幹線

Akita Shinkansen (秋田新幹線)(Morioka – Akita)
Hokuriku Shinkansen (北陸新幹線)(Tokyo – Nagano)
Jōetsu Shinkansen (上越新幹線)(Tokyo – Niigata)
Tōhoku Shinkansen (東北新幹線)(Tokyo – Sendai – Hachinohe)
Yamagata Shinkansen (山形新幹線)(Fukushima – Shinjō)

Tokyo Suburban Area (東京近郊区間)

赤羽線 Akabane Line (Ikebukuro – Akabane)
中央本線 Chūō Main Line (Tokyo – Shiojiri – Nagoya)
中央快速線 Chūō Rapid Line (Tokyo – Takao – Ōtsuki)
中央・総武緩行線 Chūō-Sōbu Line (Mitaka – Shinjuku – Chiba)
八高線 Hachikō Line (Hachiōji – Takasaki)
五日市線 Itsukaichi Line (Haijima – Musashi Itsukaichi)
常磐線 Jōban Line (Ueno – Hitachi)
川越線 Kawagoe Line (Ōmiya – Kawagoe – Komagawa)
京浜東北線 Keihin-Tōhoku Line () (Ōmiya – Tokyo – Yokohama)
京葉線 Keiyō Line (Tokyo – Soga)
水戸線 Mito Line (Oyama – Tomobe)
武蔵野線 Musashino Line (Fuchū Hommachi – Nishi Funabashi) (Tokyo outer loop)
南武線 Nambu Line (Kawasaki – Tachikawa; Shitte – Hamakawasaki)
成田線 Narita Line (Sakura – Chōshi; Abiko – Narita; Narita – Narita Airport)
根岸線 Negishi Line (Yokohama – Ōfuna)
青梅線 Ōme Line (Tachikawa – Ōme – Okutama)
両毛線 Ryōmō Line (Oyama – Shin Maebashi)
相模線 Sagami Line (Hashimoto – Chigasaki)
埼京線 Saikyō Line (Ōsaki – Ōmiya)
湘南新宿ライン Shōnan-Shinjuku Line (Ōmiya – Shinjuku – Ōfuna)
総武本線 Sōbu Main Line (Tokyo – Chōshi)
外房線 Sotobō Line (Chiba – Mobara – Awa Kamogawa)
高崎線 Takasaki Line (Ōmiya – Takasaki)
東金線 Tōgane Line (Narutō – Ōami)
東北本線 Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line) ((宇都宮線)) (Ueno – Kuroiso)
東海道本線 Tōkaidō Main Line (Tōkyō – Yokohama – Atami)
鶴見線 Tsurumi Line (Tsurumi – Ōgimachi; Anzen – Ōkawa; Asano – Umishibaura)
内房線 Uchibō Line (Soga – Kisarazu – Awa Kamogawa)
宇都宮線 Utsunomiya Line () (Ueno – Utsunomiya)
山手線 Yamanote Line (Ōsaki – Shinjuku – Tabata – Tōkyō – Osaki. Tokyo inner loop)
横浜線 Yokohama Line (Higashi Kanagawa – Hachiōji)
横須賀線 Yokosuka Line (Tokyo – Kurihama)

Tokyo Metro Subway 東京メトロ (Eidan Chikatetsu) 9 Lines

銀座線 Ginza Line
丸ノ内線  Marunouchi Line
日比谷線  Hibiya Line
千代田線 Chiyoda Line
半蔵門線 Hanzomon Line
東西線 Tozai Line
南北線 Namboku Line
有楽町線 Yurakucho Line
新有楽町線New Yurakucho Line
副都心 Fukutoshin Line

Toei Subway (Tokyo Metropolitan Goverment) 4 lines

新宿線 Shinjuku Line
三田線 Mita Line
浅草線 Asakusa Line
大江戸線 Oedo Line

Smaller Private Train Companies

京急 Keikyu: Short for Keihin-Kyuko (京浜急行) Tokyo (東京) – Yokohama (横浜) Express
京王 Keio: Tokyo (東京) – Hachioji (八王子)
京成 Keisei: Tokyo (東京) – Narita (成田)
小田急 Odakyu: Odawara (小田原) Express (急行)
西武 Seibu: West (西) Musashi (武). Musashi is old name of the region North and West of Tokyo.
東武 Tobu: East (東) Musashi (武).
東急 Tokyu: Tokyo (東京) Express (急行), which has 9 lines connecting various places in the Kanagawa prefecture and Southern Tokyo (Shibuya, Meguro, Gotanda, Oimachi).

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Surgical Flatulence Accident

October 30, 2008

This has got to be one of the craziest surgical accidents ever.


Meiko Kaji – 修羅の花 (Shura no Hana) The Flower of Carnage

October 30, 2008

The Flower of Carnage: Romanji Lyrics

Shindeita Asa ni Tomorai no Yuki ga furu
Hagure inu no Touboe Geta no Otokishimu
Iin na naomosa Mitsumete aruku
Yami wo dakishimeru Janomeno kasa hitotsu
Inochi no michi wo Yuku onna Namida wa tooni Sutemashita

Furimuita Kawa ni Toozakaru Tabinohima
Itteta tsuru wa Ugokasu Naita Ame to kaze
Kieta mizu mo ni Hotsure ga miutsushi
Namida sae misenai Janomeno kasa hitotsu
Urami no michi wo Yuku onna Kokoro wa tooni Sutemashita

Giri mo nasake mo Namida mo yume no
Kinou mo ashita mo Henno nai kotoba
Urami no kawa ni Mi wo yudanete
Honma wa tooni Sutemashita

Translation: The Flower of Carnage

Begrieving snow falls in the dead morning
Stray dog’s howls and the footsteops of Geta pierce the air
I walk with the weight of the Milky Way on my shoulders
but an umbrella that holds onto the darkness is all there is.
I’m a woman who walks at the brink of life and death
who’s emptied my tears many moons ago.

All the compassion tears and dreams
The snowy nights and tomorrow hold no meaning
I’ve immersed my body in the river of venegance
and thrown away my womanhood many moons ago
On the behalf of heaven, they’re our soldiers, the loyal, invincible and brave.
Now it’s time for them to leave the country of their
parents their hearts buoyed by encouraging voices.
They are solemnly resolved not to return alive, without victory.

Here at home, the citizens wait for you.
In foreign lands, the brave troops
Instead of kindness from someone
I do not care about
I rather prefer selifshness from you

Kanji Lyrics

死んでいた朝に とむらいの雪が降る
はぐれ犬の遠吠え 下駄の音きしむ
いんがなおもさ みつめて歩く
闇を抱きしめる 蛇の目の傘一つ
いのちの道を行く女 涙はとうに捨てました

ふりむいた川に 遠ざかる旅の灯が
凍てた鶴は動かず 哭いた雨と風
冷えた水面に ほつれ髪映し
涙さえ見せない 蛇の目の傘一つ
怨みの道を行く女 心はとうに捨てました

義理も情も 涙も夢も
昨日も明日も 縁のない言葉
怨みの川に身をゆだね
女はとうに捨てました


Meiko Kaji – Onna no Jyumon (Charm of a woman)

October 29, 2008

Meiko Kaji (梶 芽衣子)is famous singer from the 1970s. Her hit songs are Urami Bushi 怨み節 (Grudge Blues) and Shura no hana 修羅の花 (The Flower of Carnage). Both songs are in the Kill Bill films. I really like her Onna no Jyumon (女の呪文) song.

Here’s the romanji for the song. I’m going to work on a translation when i get the chance. I’m trying to find the song in Kanji because it makes it easier to translate but no leads so far.

Onna no Jyumon: Romanji Lyrics

Naite nagashita onna no namida wo
Sotto kawa ni ukasebasa
Kawa wa afurete oka ni afurete
Afure afurete
Otoko wo oboresasu

Jitto koraeta onna no namida wo
Sotto kiri ni tokasebasa
Kiri wa nagarete yoru ni nagarete
Nagare nagarete
Otoko wo mayowaseru

Karete kawaita onna no namida wo
Sotto kaze ni fukasebasa
Kaze wa unatte machi ni unatte
Unari unatte
Otoko wo kuruwaseru

Kanji Lyrics thanks to Midori!

泣いて流した 女の涙を
そっと川に 浮かせばさ
川は溢れて おかに溢れて
溢れ 溢れて
男を溺れさす

じっとこらえた 女の涙を
そっと霧に とかせばさ
霧は流れて 夜に流れて
流れ 流れて
男を迷わせる

涸れて乾いた 女の涙を
そっと風に 吹かせばさ
風は唸って 街に唸って
唸り 唸って
男を狂わせる

Zenkyouku Shu Album

These are all Kaji Meiko’s songs on her Zenkyoku Shu album(梶芽衣子全曲集). This is more for my reference than anything else. 😉

  • 1. 怨み節 歌詞を見る
    作詞:伊藤俊也 作曲:菊池俊輔
    東映配給映画「さそり」シリーズ主題歌
  • 2. 女の呪文
    作詞:伊藤俊也 作曲:菊池俊輔
    東映配給映画「さそり」シリーズ主題歌
  • 3. 修羅の花 歌詞を見る
    作詞:小池一雄 作曲:平尾昌晃
    東映配給映画「修羅雪姫」主題歌
  • 4. やどかり
    作詞:阿久悠 作曲:中村泰士
  • 5. ジーンズぶるうす
    作詞:吉田旺 作曲:井上忠夫
    東映配給映画「明日なき無頼派」テーマ
  • 6. 因果花
    作詞:吉田旺 作曲:井上忠夫
  • 7. 銀蝶渡り鳥
    作詞:川内康範 作曲:曽根幸明
    東映配給映画「銀蝶渡り鳥」主題歌
  • 8. おんな願い唄
    作詞:重延浩 作曲:渡辺岳夫
  • 9. 別にどうって事でもないし
    作詞:ちあき哲也 作曲:鈴木淳
  • 10. 酒季の歌 歌詞を見る
    作詞:菅野さほ子 作曲:新井利昌
  • 11. あかね雲
    作詞:浅木しゅん 作曲:新井利昌
  • 12. 残り火
    作詞:阿木燿子 作曲:宇崎竜童
  • 13. 命日
    作詞:浅木しゅん 作曲:新井利昌
  • 14. 海ほおずき
    作詞:喜多條忠 作曲:市川善光
  • 15. 舟にゆられて
    作詞:片桐和子 作曲:矢野誠
  • 16. 別れ話なんか
    作詞:なかにし礼 作曲:かまやつひろし
  • 17. 雨の夜あなたは
    作詞:なかにし礼 作曲:かまやつひろし
  • 18. 南風
    作詞:浅木しゅん 作曲:下田逸郎
  • 19. 晩夏
    作詞:吉田旺 作曲:杉本眞人
  • 20. 芽衣子の夢は夜ひらく
    作詞:吉田旺 作曲:曽根幸明

Ballroom Dance Shoes

October 29, 2008

My sensei at the ballroom dojo has requested (mandatory request) that i buy some proper dance shoes. So i’ve been on the hunt. Like everything in life, dance shoes are not cheap and I just found out i need two pairs to really call myself a ballroom samurai.

Modern Ballroom Dance Shoes

These modern dance shoes have a small heal and look like work shoes or golf shoes. The one to the right is on sale for only $200.00 to $80.00. A bargain! The only disadvantage to these shoes, the clerk told me, was that they stand out. No kidding!

Latin Ballroom Dance Shoes

Check out the heal on those puppies! There is just something wrong about this type of shoe. It looks like something Liberachi would wear. I think i’ll just be avoiding the Latin style dance for a while until i get good enough to be able to pull off a style of shoe like this. The lady at the store also told me that Japanese men prefer these types of shoes with high heals because the women wear super high heals when they dance which make the men feel short. Luckily i don’t have this problem. These ones are also on sale from $200.00 to $80.00.

I’m going ballroom dancing tomorrow night and then out for a nomihodai (all you can drink party) afterwards. So far i’ve met a bunch of interesting people. For example, a pilot for JFORCE, an immigration lawyer and foreign start up company lawyer, a veterinarian, and a graphic designer. No one speaks English so it’s a good chance for me to brush up on my Japanese. So far I’ve been studying the Tango, Waltz, Blues, Jitterbug, Samba, Salsa, and the Mambo. It’s great fun and awesome exercise.

Dance Shoes Stores in Tokyo

http://www.dansusyu-zu.com/
http://www.shoetree.jp/


Kate Bush – Army Dreamers

October 29, 2008

Carly Simon – You’re so vain

October 29, 2008

Needs more cow bell!