3 in 30 - 2001.04.09 Monday
Our popular route from home to work/school takes us down this street past the Haijima train station. On the way to work, we are part of the traffic headed toward the camera and returning home, part of the traffic heading away from the camera.
This snapshot was taken in the morning as I was biking to work. I reached this corner, turned around and shot this picture facing mostly east. At 7:30 in the morning, the traffic gets to be bumper to bumper. It doesn't help when a bus is stopped for a while to wait for its departure time as is the case with a bus about 100 meters up the road.
The only sign that is legible in this snapshot is on the near left side. It has vertical black characters on a white background. The name of the shop is Isamiya. It is a stationery store where we often buy envelopes, paper, pencils and other odds and ends.
Turning to the right, you can see that Matsubara-cho is on a slight rise. In the distance, through the haze, you can make out a low line of hills that are on the other side of the Tama River. On a very clear day, usually during the winter or after a typhoon, you can see Mount Fuji from this location. there are intervening mountains in the way, so we only see the top of Fuji-san.
At the bottom of this hill, this street crosses Highway 16, which is a public highway that circles Tokyo at a distance of about 50 kilometers from the center. Between here and the center, it is all city.
When the traffic is really bad, about halfway to Highway 16, there is a shortcut that parallels the highway. It is a much smaller road and still heavy with traffic, but it seems to move along a little more smoothly than trying to get through the bottle neck at the junction ahead.
Also at this corner is a small shrine with a cherry tree in one corner. Honorable cherry blossom viewing is a major event in Japan. Not only do the national television stations track the movement of fall colors moving down from Hokkaido in the fall, but they also track the prime blossoming of cherry trees as that line moves up from the south in the spring.
The tree above this gutter is in prime viewing form. Most of the blossoms have opened and just enough are starting to fall so that it produces the perfect occasional shower of lightly pink petals.
The day before these shots were taken, Beverly, Candy and I were invited to an Ohanami party down by the Tama River. It was a perfect day and while we were not in Matsubara-cho, I thought I would provide a link to some of those pictures.