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July 10th, 2007

One thing about the new apartment’s view is that you get a look at city life from a height. Earlier this morning, I heard a crunch that most people with driving experience would unmistakably identify as the sound of a vehicular collision. I went to the balcony and saw this scene:


It was actually more dramatic when I first saw it, as the scooter driver (in a light blue t-shirt, wearing the white helmet) was laying prone on the ground about where he is in the photo above. I also felt a little guilty getting my camera, but as the taxi driver was clearly on his keitai calling for emergency vehicles, it wouldn’t make much difference what I did.


The scooter was crunched a little, but not apparently too badly; nothing was broken off in the collision. That’s not necessarily a good thing for the driver, though; he still could have been thrown down to the asphalt pretty hard.

A few minutes later, an ambulance could be heard. Pretty fast reaction, one would think, until you realized two things: one, there’s a fire station around the corner, and two… the ambulance sped by without stopping, apparently on its way to a bigger emergency somewhere else.


A few minutes later, though, another ambulance came and stopped for this accident.


Just yet another incident in the city. It is of note, perhaps, that the accident was between a scooter and a taxi. One can only guess who was at fault. The position of the scooter does not help, as it could have twisted and fallen any which way.

And that’s one of the problems of views like this: you usually don’t get to find out what happened. Like this shot I took the day before:


What the heck is that? Looks like a pretty big fire somewhere, as it’s pretty far off in the distance… but I didn’t see anything on the news on the web about a fire in Tokyo that day.

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  1. Andy
    July 10th, 2007 at 19:34 | #1


    I’d hate to be the guy riding the scooter. Just out of curiosity, have you seen any cellphone antennas from base stations around your building? What do they usually look like in Tokyo?

  2. July 10th, 2007 at 21:21 | #2

    Cell phone antennas are not something I really look for. Are they the plain, straight red-and-white towers like you see in the last photo above? Or are they the clusters of satellite dishes with convex covers? Or both?

    In any case, I haven’t spotted either except for the photo above, though I have not been looking for them either.

  3. Andy
    July 10th, 2007 at 23:18 | #3

    Hi Luis-

    Not much of a cell radio expert myself. I don’t think the red white tower seen above is for cell. It’s most likely for a radio station. You probably know already cell coverage are divided into zones. Base stations are likely in a fixed distance away from each other. Since its a metro area they are usually mounted on the roof of buildings. Most often on a building that is visibly taller than others to minimize interference. It usually has a cluster of small antennas. You can see an example at the linke below. In metro area it will probably be just the top cluster stuff without the long pole. They might be tricky with it and hide them inside billboard or some obscure roof architecture. But, rest assured, they are all over the place if you look for them.


    Anyways, just curious. There might be a website where locations can be checked. Not sure where to look tho.

  4. ykw
    July 11th, 2007 at 04:40 | #4

    There is a new 8 oz camera (canon tx1) w/ a 10x optical zoom, with optical stabilization, that might be nice for taking photos of the city, however the haze might be the limiting factor w/ photos from the new apt building. Perhaps there is software that helps refine photos and reduce haze. Perhaps one might be able to take multiple photos and have the software combine them into one photo, that has better quality. I don’t know much about this, yet would not be surprised if there are some neat things that one might be able to do.

    for more info on this new camera, one can see:

    www dot dpreview dot com/reviews/canontx1/

  5. K. Engels
    July 12th, 2007 at 08:59 | #5

    What the heck is that? Looks like a pretty big fire somewhere, as it’s pretty far off in the distance… but I didn’t see anything on the news on the web about a fire in Tokyo that day.

    Gojira attack… Obviously.

  6. Pat
    July 15th, 2007 at 19:40 | #6

    Good photos. On the accident – my understanding in Japan is that the larger vehicle is, if not at fault, then at least the onus is on that larger vehicle driver to prove that they could have avoided the accident.

    As for cell phone attennas – not an expert either but I do recall hearing that as they get smaller and more are needed to improve coverage, that NTT was using its ever-present (if no longer so widely used) phone boxes to mount smaller antennas on top of.

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