March 28, 2012

Hankai Tramway from Abeno to Myokokuji-mae, Osaka

One of Japan's three remaining tramways (light rail, street car, etc) is the Hankai. Its Uemachi Line runs south from Tennoji in Osaka and passes within a few blocks of Aya's house in Sakai.

Traveling at street-level gives such a different view of the city and we often go into Osaka this way instead of on the much faster subway line.

These three videos were all shot on an October evening. They are slow and rhythmic and not exactly action-packed, but they offer glimpses of life that seem to float in pools of light, and can be fascinating if you're in the right mood.

We know it's crazy to expect anyone to watch these videos in their entirety, but we love this trip and we wanted to share it.

Part 1 (10 min):

0:01 pedestrian proximity
0:30 departure 
2:10 big turn away from road, into residential area
3:09 two platforms float in the darkness 
3:31 level crossing 
4:25 pass opposite train (one of many) 
7:17 cars on the tracks due to narrow road

A search on Youtube turns up many more videos by people who really take this kind of thing seriously.

We have outlined the three parts of the route we captured on this Google Map:

Here is a link to the real one on Google Maps , where you can activate the amazing Street View.

Part 2 (10 min):

0:07 depart
1:40 big turn
6:50 crossing the Yamato River
9:00 big turn

Part 3 (3 min):

0:20 depart
0:27 Pachinko Enjoy!
0:30 big turn

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