Tokyo-Day 11 / 東京にて-11日目

-From Midori, violin

Today was a good day despite various inevitable changes we had to make for yesterday in Osaka. In my opinion, all experiences are good. Yesterday, for the first time in the 25 years of Music Sharing’s activities in Japan we have had to forego a presentation due to weather. The tropical storm with severe rain and winds warning closed schools in the affected areas for a part of the day, and our morning visit and presentation was, sadly, postponed for another period. The other events scheduled after 12 noon proceeded without any further incidents. However, these storms and the extreme weather conditions reminded me again of what is happening in the world with global warming. Environmental issues are now extremely serious and there is no way that any of us should be allowed to sit idle taking a bystander stance.

After the Lobby Concert in Osaka with the students of the Osaka Special School for the Visually Impaired, we all headed for the Shin-Osaka Train Station to board our Hikari back to Tokyo. (We take Hikari instead of Nozomi trains because of the restrictions on our Train Pass. Between Tokyo and Osaka, it only adds about 25 minutes to take Hikari instead of Nozomi, making the Hikari trip slightly over three hours between the two cities.) I was desperately thirsty so decided to buy juice before going up to the platform, which I did without noticing that all trains had been greatly delayed because of the tropical storm that had affected large portions of the entire mainland (Honshu) Japan during the day. Once I was up on the platform, I figured that something was wrong because it was practically empty, and my group people were nowhere to be seen. As I was trying to figure out what was going on, my cell phone rang, and I was told that my group had happily left on a Hikari that has just departed from the very platform, and that I should just take the next one, which should be leaving in about 20 minutes. Fine. That sounded good. I was glad to learn that the rest of the musicians would get to the Tokyo hotel and get to bed earlier than had they waited for me.

An announcement then came that there had been a power outage on the tracks and the service had to be suspended temporarily until safety measures can be assured and confirmed. OK, so we all waited, and waited, and waited. It ended up being a good two hours before anything happened, and by then, the Station Master told us that we should just take any train (regardless of Hikari or Nozomi regardless of whichever ticket one was holding), so I boarded a train that seemed to be scheduled to depart ahead of others and finally left on a Nozomi at 10:40 pm. I arrived back in Tokyo, and in my bed around 3 am. It took quite a while getting out of the Tokyo Station because many passengers were stranded there for the night with their connecting trains already done for the day. I did have an option of spending the night in one of the train cars that the Station was providing for the stranded passengers for the emergency state the Station was under, but I opted out by waiting for a cab with others. I was so glad that I was in a country that emergency situations are handled adroitly. Taxis were being dispatched continuously, and the long line I was in never stopped moving forward. As stressful as the situation was, everyone behaved cordially to each other, and the line moved smoothly without any breakdowns or upheavals.

This morning came around quickly obviously, and I was glad to be able to make the presentation for the students in a Tokyo hospital. From there, I went straight to Oji Hall, to my beloved dressing room couch and got a very nice, restful nap before our rehearsal for the evening concert!



次のひかりを待っていると、停電が起きて安全が確認できるまで運行を見合わせるというアナウンスが聞こえてきました。まぁ、仕方ないですよね。運転再開を待って、待って、待って、、、 結局2時間何も起こらず、駅員からはひかりでものぞみでも何にでも乗ってよいですよ、と言われ、一番早く出発しそうな新幹線に乗り込み、ようやく動きだしたのが午後10時40分。東京に着いて、ベッドに入るころには3時を回っていました。乗り継ぎのできなかった多くの旅行者のために東京駅には一晩過ごせるように臨時車両が準備されましたが、私はタクシーの列に並びました。長蛇の列で東京駅を後にするまでかなり時間がかかりましたが、タクシーは絶え間なくやってきたので、列は常に前進し、ストレスフルな状況下でも人々は落ち着いて列に並んでいて、緊急時に皆が冷静に対処できる国で起きたということが不幸中の幸いでした。


-From Michael, Cello

We are back in Tokyo for the final three days of ICEP after a long and eventful 10 days on the road.

Our day started at the National Center for Child Health and Development where we played for an enthusiastic audience of parents, children, and doctors.

After so many days of playing for audiences all over Japan it’s still refreshing and rewarding to see smiles and laughter from audiences!

The rest of the day was devoted to rehearsing and then performing at Oji Hall for our 2nd ICEP reporting concert. This is my 3rd time playing in this wonderful concert hall and it’s always wonderful to be back!






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