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September 10, 2011 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Slightly Darkened Streets of Tokyo [SLYT] By fading back and forth between scenes of pre- and post-quake Tokyo, this time-lapse video by YouTube user darwinfish105 shows how the metropolitan night-scape has been affected by Japan's ongoing power shortages and conservation efforts.
posted by Fizz (10 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. Excellent.
posted by Freen at 9:29 AM on September 10, 2011


A big chunk of the difference seems to be those huge outdoor advertisements, and I can only say that's a good thing.
posted by easily confused at 9:53 AM on September 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Even with the power conservation, Shinjuku was lit up beyond all belief (at least seemed so to this westerner). Although the Roppongi/Roppongi Hills did seem a bit dark.
posted by sbutler at 9:57 AM on September 10, 2011


That is striking. Can anyone comment on if it's remained the same since April?

A big chunk of the difference seems to be those huge outdoor advertisements, and I can only say that's a good thing.

I agree in principle, but for me those ads were part of the character of downtown Tokyo. I have a hard time coming to terms with Shibuya being...dark. Never thought I'd say it, but the absence of big bright flashing advertisements when you walk out of Shibuya station makes me a bit sad.
posted by Hoopo at 11:03 AM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


That is striking. Can anyone comment on if it's remained the same since April?

I live in Tokyo and the setsuden (energy conservation) is actually due to stop now, as of two days ago. Which is both good and bad. We've all gotten used to the dimly-lighted stations and shops over the last 6 months, but it was mildly depressing at first. Of course, setsuden is a good thing when it comes to the absurd amount of use in the city centers like Shinjuku and Shibuya with their Blade Runner billboards. But it was somewhat problematic in that many (most?) areas at night had selective street lights out at night. Not enough that you couldn't see, but there were fender benders and bike crashes and the like because of it. A lesson I learned: streetlights are important.
posted by zardoz at 1:31 PM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is beautiful. Thank you for posting this, Fizz.
posted by effugas at 1:32 PM on September 10, 2011


Too bad we can't get rid of more light pollution!
posted by BlueHorse at 2:29 PM on September 10, 2011


I'm actually going to miss the more dimly lit stores and stations. Just for an example, the convenience store near me has a line of fluorescent lights over each aisle, and all around the edge of the store, over the magazine racks, the registers, the drink coolers. With all of the lights on, it's insanely bright. During setsuden, they've cut way back, and it's not nearly as harsh inside. Same with supermarkets, most of which have cut lighting back by about fifty percent. The thing is, everything is still perfectly visible, there's no need for all of the extra lighting. I'm sure, though, it's all going to come back, which is a shame.

As zardoz says, streetlights are important. Double rows of fluorescents up and down each row, with additional lights above each shelf of produce, not so much.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:42 PM on September 10, 2011


Part of the vibrancy and energy of big Asian cities is the advertisements. It really does look depressing without all the neon lights. I realize the case for it environmentally, but that doesn't change how I feel.
posted by smorange at 5:04 PM on September 10, 2011


"It really does look depressing without all the neon lights."

I suppose you're right about that. Consider that, before there were neon lights - not so long ago - people weren't depressed by the darkness.

So here's proof that energy conservation IS possible - by necessity, not by rational choice - and, too, that there's a deeper explanation about why we feel -compelled- to consume more energy than we must ... even if it means leaving nothing for future generations.

Maybe deep down we fear that they'll not need energy sources? The alternative explanations are less flattering.
posted by Twang at 9:45 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


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