2006/12/29

Train Station Illumination Sensation

Recently, the Moody Minstrel's internal photometer was pegged to the limit by the Christmas lighting display at Kashima Station. He thought the light display was overdone. On his blog, Life in the Land of the Rising Sun, he offered as evidence several pics which he snapped from his BLUE RAV 4 as he made tracks away from the glare and toward streets with more subdued lighting. K and I decided to check it out for ourselves. Here's our take on the scene...

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The island turnaround in front of Kashima Train/Bus Station


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Light murals along the taxi stand


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Bicycle atop the information center. I want to light up my bike like that next year and ride it around town!


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Brick lane leading from the station to Kashima Jingu shrine.


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Along the brick road is a statue of one of Japan's most famous swordsmen, barely visible here among the lights.




Here is the statue in daylight. Bokuden Tsukahara (1489-1571), was the founder of "Kashima Shinto-ryu" style of fencing. His father was a Shinto priest at Kashima Jingu. They didn't do Christmas lights. And nobody messed with this guy either.










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Among the lights below the statue I also found this image of Tinkerbell. Oh, wait, that's K.


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Finally, here's a view from across the street. Too much? Maybe a little.

Personally, I didn't think the lights were that bad. One man's holiday illumination is another man's "Photon Torpedo" attack I guess. My idea of overkill is "Candy Cane Lane" in Woodland Hills, California. It's a neighborhood near my high school where people since 1952 have been seeing just how many lights and (sometimes obnoxious) decorations they can fit on their house and yard without bringing the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power to its knees.


Candy Cane Lane - now THAT'S over done.

For some truly great displays, I suggest everyone who hasn't done so go check out the Berlin, Germany Christmas lights and decorations which NZM has posted at M and J Adventures. Oooooh, Aaaaaaah.

8 comments:

nzm said...

Thanks for the plug!

I like the station lights too.

The house in Woodlands Hills is over.the.top, but it would be fun to see!

I just couldn't imagine setting it up and then ripping it down every year!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Okay, after seeing Candy Cane Lane, I don't feel nearly so bad. That is just plain obscene...but not surprising when you consider what state it's in. ;-)

(Hey, as a native Oregonian, I have to get my jabs in!)

Actually, I didn't think the lights at the station were that bad. I was just being my usual sarcastic self. Still, it was definitely worth more than a few shakings of the head, especially considering it went from zero to overload all at once. It seems like since 2004 every city in the Rokko District of Ibaraki has had to pick one location to pile over with lights like some sort of competition. In my home town it's the downtown civic center. When the lighting there first appeared two years ago it was kind of nice, but then it went exponential last year. I thought I was going to be sick when I first saw it, but now it's a nice, familiar sight.

Maybe the fact that I see the lights at Kashima Jingu Station as I'm driving home from work has something to do with the bitterness, too...

Anonymous said...

I like the Christmas lights. OK, so maybe the Candy Cane Lane was a little much, but at least, it wasn't country ghetto. Let me explain. As I was driving to "town" the other day, I noticed a "Christmas tree" in a man's front yard. About 30 feet tall, shaped like an OIL DERRICK. Yes, it was. And the light at the top (in blue)? DEER ANTLERS. OMG!!!

QUASAR9 said...

Hi, Great post, great pics
Tinkerbell et al - lol!
best wishes for the final moments of this year, and much merriment, great joy and great cheer to see in the incoming Year

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Candy Lane - wow! I wonder if they ever think about the reason for the season!
Anyway, have a happy new year. We're going up to Melbourne to a Fijian gig - next to the old Pentridge gaol so a few ghosts might join us.
W.

Pandabonium said...

NZM - The candy cane lane pic is just one house. Imagine four blocks of houses all done in similar fashion. Yipes.

Fire away Moody - I left CA long ago.
I do think Kashima should do something a bit more recognizable with all the white lights. And I left out one thing I think we would both agree has no place in such a display - a big red heart.

Hill - An oil derek with antlers? How Texan! I can hear Jeff Foxworthy now - "If your x-mas tree looks like an oil derek with blue antlers on top....you might be a redneck."

Thanks, Quasar9. All the best for you in 2007 as well.

Wendy - the reason for the season? That would be retail sales?

YD said...

At first glance, I thought I went to Moody's page instead of yours!

Poor warrior hiding among the dazzling lights... You are lucky to find Tinkerbell! I want one too! ;-)

Candy Cane Lane... speechless.

Pandabonium said...

Well, YD, Tink can be a pain. All that pixie dust and flying around when I'm trying to sleep....