Views from the Shinkansen

I recently went to Japan visiting several cities, mostly using their wonderful high speed rail system, the Shinkansen.

Major cities around the world are tediously homogenous with streets populated by the worlds major brands. The unique character of a country never seems far away and for me, in cities like Hiroshima and Tokyo, it was in the environment of side streets and the food culture. Outside the cities the countryside reflected Japan’s high population and demands for energy. I was fascinated with the acres of crops growing on the flat land between craggy, steep hillsides and the towns, the contrasting architectural styles between the traditional look of domestic and religious buildings and modern tower blocks. Above all I was struck by the overhead power supply. Not only the main power grid carrying electricity from the source of generation to distribution centres but right down to the domestic supply along streets to individual homes with a hierarchy of pylons and posts.

On one of my train journeys (Kyoto to Fuji) I pointed my iPhone camera out of the window and snatched scenes as we passed. From the 50 or so shots, which I took fairly randomly, I selected this collection based on the interest to me of the subject of the image and the detail added by photographing from a train like the effects of speed the colour cast from the tinted windows.

The video below animates the collection of scenes which can be seen at my ‘Projects’ website.


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