1.10.2008

High Above Shibuya


Tokyo is a stimulating place to live because new buildings go up all the time, while others sometimes come down before you even knew they were there in the first place. The city is constantly morphing towards its future self, but never quite gets there. I am drawn to old maps and photos of Tokyo simply because I find it hard to believe that the city once had water taxis in its canals and even an area of red brick buildings called London Town. Apparently, even the busy shopping district of Shibuya once had a gondola lift over the street near the train station. Although this photo looks like the passenger car was full-size, only children were allowed to ride it. The gondala was called "Hibari-go," and according to Coneta, it only traveled a distance of 75 meters to the top of the Tokyu department store. Even in the U.S., I am fascinated by stories of things that used to be somewhere, and now only exist in photos and memories. The Sutro Baths in San Francisco, the Steeplechase in Coney Island, etc.