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!
 
~五嶋みどり(ヴァイオリン)より

不可抗力により昨日の大阪での活動予定は色々変更が出てしまいましたが、今日はスムーズにいきました。持論ですが、どんなことでも経験してみることです。昨日は25年のミュージック・シェアリングの歴史の中でも初めて天候のためにプレゼンテーションを来期に延期しなくてはならなくなりました。暴風雨で学校が閉鎖になり、残念ながら私たちの訪問はキャンセルとなってしまったからです。午後は何事もなくスケジュール通りに進みましたが、この暴風雨は地球温暖化による事象であり、環境問題はいまや非常に深刻で、誰一人傍観者を装うことはできません。

大阪の視覚支援学校の生徒たちと一緒に演奏したロビーコンサートの後、新大阪から新幹線ひかりに乗って東京へ向かいました(私たちICEPカルテットはJRパスで移動しているのでのぞみには乗れないのですが、東京⇔大阪はのぞみとひかりでは25分しか変わらず、3時間ちょっとで着きます)。ものすごく喉が乾いたので、新幹線に乗り込む前にジュースを買おうと思って一人で行動したのですが、まさか暴風雨の影響を受けて全ての新幹線が大幅に遅れていたなんてことに気づいていませんでした。ジュースを買ってからホームに上がっていくと誰もいません。カルテットのメンバーもどこにもいません。どうなっているのか事態を把握しようとしていると、携帯が鳴り、どうやら他のメンバーたちはたった今出発したひかりに乗車していて、私だけ20分後に出発する次のひかりに乗るように言われました。ホームで私を待って遅くなるよりも少しでも早く東京に戻ってホテルで十分に休んでもらうほうがよいので、一人取り残されたことは全く問題ありません。

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。

あっという間に朝になりましたが、東京の病院の分教室で学ぶ生徒たちに無事プレゼンテーションができてよかったです。そこからICEP活動報告コンサートがある王子ホールに直行し、リハーサルの前の束の間の時間を大好きな控室のソファーでくつろぎました。


-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!

~マイケル(チェロ)より

長く盛りだくさんだった10日間のICEP訪問ツアーを終えて東京に戻り、最後の3日間を過ごします。

この日は、国立成育医療研究センターで始まり、保護者や子どもたち、そして医師のみなさんの熱心な観客の前で演奏しました。

日本のあちらこちらで何日も演奏してきましたが、みなさんの笑顔と笑い声には今もなお元気をもらい、やりがいを感じます!

この後はリハーサルに費やされ、ツアー2回目のICEP報告コンサートを王子ホールで演奏しました。この素晴らしいコンサートホールで演奏するのは3度目ですが、ここに戻ってこられることはいつでも嬉しいです!

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