Shinagawa Station Morning Rush – Director’s Commentary

Director’s Commentary month continues with my second video.

How to Japanese: Underrated Japan Vol. 1 – Shinagawa Morning Rush from Daniel Morales on Vimeo.

00:32 The music here is “Sun King” from Abbey Road.

I took this shot from the elevated pedestrian crosswalk right outside the station. Perfect vantage point, but it was cold!

00:43 This is one of my favorite shots, but it also shows how little I know. I wish I knew how to make those illuminated signs look slightly less washed out.

00:54 Another great shot that was totally serendipitous. I was filming and then the lights in the building came on at 00:58.

01:14 You can hear a guy hock an enormous ball of phlegm in the background. I’m sure he spit it right on the floor of the station. Station floors in Japan are public property in that sense – if you can expel it from your mouth, then it can live on the station floor. The subtitle was a small inside joke about the loogey hock.

01:19 This is the video I took immediately after arriving on the first train. Check the clock. Yeah, that’s right – 5:45am.

01:39 Another guy spitting! Watch as he moves the newspaper from his face and spits at 01:43. Station floors = gross.

02:58 More Beatles. This time “Good Morning.”

03:02 This series of shots is great. I did it all in one day, so I ended up just kind of walking around wasting time being cold until the cafes opened. I want to take a Friday afternoon off some time and do the reverse, film every 15 minutes from like 3pm to 6pm. I bet there would be a similar effect.

03:15 For the first couple of hours, the crowds would flux, I assume based on when the trains arrived (specifically lines like the Tokaido and Yokosuka Lines that run on longer intervals compared to the Yamanote Line).

03:28 But by around 8am, it’s a constant flow of people. I was too scared to try and stand in the middle anymore.

04:36 Dean & Deluca is about 150 yen too expensive across the board, but sometimes it’s worth it – especially because they sell Doughnut Plant doughnuts and cinnamon rolls. Tasty coffee, too.

04:46 Right after I took this shot, I ran into my roommate who was on her way to work. Pretty strange coincidence. I headed off to work at around 9:30 or so and was tired and useless all day.

Original post here.

6 thoughts on “Shinagawa Station Morning Rush – Director’s Commentary

  1. That shot with the people coming towards you as it got busier and busier was epic. I couldn’t help but think it must be intimidating to stand there with the camera facing the crowd, but then only in Japan could you count on everyone to act as if you weren’t there and get away with a shot like that.

    And as aesthetically flawed as Shinagawa station may be, for a Tokyo station its one of the cleanest and most modern, and the ceiling is not right on top of you. Ikebukuro and Shinjuku are basically incomprehensible mazes of tunnels.

  2. I really prefer Ikebukuro and Shinjuku, though. They feel made for (or really, accreted by) humans. Shinagawa feels made for capital.

  3. greatfool: I wish I’d been bold enough to stand in the middle the whole time. It was just way to crowded by 8am. If I’d stood their the whole time I might’ve been able to convince myself that I had “dibs” or something on the spot, but there’s no way I could bust in from the side.

    Matt and greatfool: I heard from roommates that Shinagawa was miserable for a long time while they were doing renovations. It’s definitely pleasant, and I have a free ride whenever I want thanks to my train pass, so my vote goes to Shinagawa. I do wish Ikebukuro wasn’t so far away. I don’t know it well, but there are some really great residential neighborhoods surrounding it, so it must be a cool place.

  4. Hey Adrian, thanks for the comment. Things are going well. That robatayaki place is still there and doing well. I went a few weeks back with some friends. I’m looking forward to taking my brothers when they visit over Christmas and New Years.

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