Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nambu line to Kawasaki, part 1

Time for more travel photos. Well, travel by bicycle photos, actually. Or, what I really mean is, this is what you get when you go from point A to point B on a bike and you stop to take "flavor shots" at the various train stations along the way. I did this last year with the Odaku train line from Noborito to Shinjuku, but I didn't post the photos online (I just put them on a photo album CD for a few friends to look at).

Noborito station acts as a transfer point for people wanting to switch from the Nambu line, which runs SW-NE along the Tamagawa rive roughly from Kawasaki City to Tachikawa City, to the E-W running Odakyu line going in to Shinjuku or out towards Mt. Fuji. I occasionally ride along the Tamagawa towards Kawasaki, which can take me to the Kawasaki museum in Todoroki in about 45 minutes. This time, I decided to follow the train line more closely where possible (it doesn't always parallel major streets) to go an hour out and an hour back. Because I sometimes had to take winding roads, and then get off to take photos, I didn't really cover that much distance. Eventually, I may decide to go back and take up the second half of the trip.

My journey begins in Nakanoshima, a small station about 1.5 miles before Noborito. Not a lot here to talk about. Mostly, it's a residential community with a small bookstore, a glasses shop, a McDonalds and MOS burger, and some other stores and restaurants a few blocks up at the major through street.

Next is Noborito. This is a larger area, more commercial with some karaoke and pachinko parlors. The station people really don't like it when you bring your bike up to the second floor to take pictures.

About 1.5 miles past is Kuji. Another small station with little to recommend it. Some of the smaller stations just consist of a ticket bank, the entry gates, and steps right up to the platforms.

Kevin's bar. It could have just been called "Kevin's Bar" and that would have been fine. But apparently Kevin wanted everyone to know that Schwantz is his bar.

Followed by Tsudayama. The distinguishing feature here is that there's a long line of Buddhist funeral sites in the hills along both sides of the tracks. Below, we have a shop that sells burial plot statues.

A little ways away is a Christian church that advertises itself as a wedding chapel.

A local shrine.

Not all shrines have meditation gardens. This one does.

This one is also advertising a movie, "Zen".

Finally we get to Mizunoguchi, one of the largest cities in the immediate area. It's just before Todoroki. Lots and lots of department stores, restaurants, game parlors, karaoke boxes, and stuff. At this point, I'm about a mile in from the Tamagawa.

The Kanagawa Science Park is a research collective where R&D centers bring in people from around the world to do work on various plastics and industrial lubricants. Inside one building is a small museum that showcases the products from the various R&D labs in the park, but it's almost as if it was never intended to have visitors. In any case, the woman tending the counter at the museum was very friendly and willing to talk about the museum, and to print up maps to help me get back to the river. When we ran into a language barrier (that and the fact that she doesn't live in the area and didn't know the streets very well), she called an Indian researcher who came down and rode his bike with me to get me back to known territory. Very nice people. Once I got to the river, I knew exactly where I was, and waited for the researcher to head back so I could go "the wrong way" to find out what the nearby Kawasaki museum was showing that week.

The stone tower with the diamond window in it is apparently just a facade for the exhaust vents for the underground air system for the science complex.


Bunny said...

Mizonokuchi has changed since I lived near there. And yet its still the same. Maybe it needs more than 15 years.

If you go a bit south of the station near the tracks, with a bit of luck, you can find Fujishima's house. Though I don't know if he still lives there.

TSOTE said...

If you had an actual address, I'd try it...

jaydeejapan said...

Looks interesting so far. I'm looking forward to more.

This week, I'll be doing something similar, but on foot. I'll be walking about 25km to the end of the Miura peninsula while taking some interesting photos.

TSOTE said...

jaydeejapan - how much time are you allowing for the trip, and are you planning on taking the trains back? Will this be a solo trip? Hope you remember to bring enough water and band aids for blisters.

jaydeejapan said...

I'm expecting it to take about 6 hours. However, I'll be leaving early in the morning after eating breakfast. I'll have plenty to drink, and I'll stop for lunch at a restaurant on the way there. I've never had problems with blisters, actually. I'm going by myself, but I'm sticking to the main roads most of the way. I will be taking the train back. There's no way I'll walk back.

jaydeejapan said...

Well, I've done my walk. I underestimated both the distance and the time. It was between 30 and 35km and took me 8 hours to walk. It was great weather, though I did get a sunburn. My reward when I arrived at the bridge to Jogashima was the sun setting behind Mt Fuji. It's now the header image of my blog :)

TSOTE said...

8 hours is a long time to be walking. I hope that the next time you plan to spend more than 30 minutes outside that you 'screen up first.

Today, I decided that I'd go in to Yokohama to visit a maid cafe there, then follow it up with a Gundam-themed coffee shop named Jaburo. Spent 4 hours wandering the soap land district trying to find Jaburo and never did see it. Didn't get sunburn (wore a baseball cap) but my backpack got so heavy that I got blisters along my right shoulder and the side of my neck...

No comments re soap land. This is a family blog.

jaydeejapan said...

Unfortunately, I didn't have sunscreen until I got some at the convenience store. I just didn't apply it enough times.

You found the maid cafe ok?

TSOTE said...

Actually, I found two. Honey Honey was the one I was looking for, and after I got there I was told about Dear Cafe, which was only a block or so away. Both were nice places, and I'll write them up in Maid Runner.