Tokyo may well be ridiculously busy, but just like in other cities around the world, Sunday mornings can be quite different. In fact so different that one could even call them serene.
Earlier in the summer, a machine wielding mannequin head scarecrow made a solitary appearance. But now, with Tokyo grown rice almost ready to harvest, the main crew have moved in. A somewhat disheveled rabble it has to be said, but their realistic features and vacant stares are as striking as they are unsettling.
Tokyo’s many large, concrete structures, mean there are always at least some shadows to briefly escape the sweltering summer sun. A genuine blessing, particularly so once utterly boiling August begins. But that said, those same buildings only increase the temperatures further, making the shade nowhere near as restorative as it should be.
Living and working in Tokyo, the city’s immense train network is both an incredible convenience and a horrible necessity. You can reliably get almost anywhere in the capital, but the major problem is you have to do so with countless millions of other passengers. And it regularly gets so busy that individual stations feel like they are actually filled with each and every one of those many travellers.
In Hokkaido, however, it’s a very different story.
The trains are hours apart, rather than minutes, and even then there are few, if indeed any, passengers. So local stations are invariably deserted, which makes visiting them a slightly odd experience. A world where the lights are still on, but the inhabitants have all inexplicably disappeared.