Over a year since I first got the idea for this project, I’ve finally finished making all four episodes. Yes, that’s right! The fourth and final episode of Cycling Japan’s Abandoned Rail can be found right over here:
Per request I also made a trailer for the CJAR series as a whole. Not everyone wants to make time to watch an hour and twenty minute series without having an idea of what it is, so hopefully the trailer helps people know what they’re getting into:
And lastly, my friends Mark and Yumi finished up the Japanese subtitles for the third video from a few months ago. Many thanks to their assistance. The YouTube version has soft subs, or you may watch the version on Vimeo with embedded subs:
I ended up taking the exam the Saturday before last. It was a stressful day in Tokyo, but luckily I passed with room to spare. I’ve since started studying for SWITCH, the second of the three exams you have to take to get the certification (ROUTE, SWITCH, and TSHOOT).
Anyway, that’s why CJAR: Episode 2 (Tempoku Line) is taking more time than I would have liked, however I’m hoping to have it finished within the next week or so. In the meantime, here’s CJAR: Episode 1 yet again, but this time with Japanese subs!
Many thanks to my friend, Mark, and his girlfriend, Yumi, for translating the Japanese subs. I was thinking about doing them myself, but I was afraid my Japanese would come out way too mechanical. I’m extremely grateful for their assistance.
I plan on adding the subs to the CC track on the YouTube video that’s already up, but for now here’s the Vimeo hardsubbed version.
A few months ago I posted video of the Fukushima Kotsu Iizaka Line. That video, while a cinematic masterpiece in its own right, was actually just a way for me to test out my equipment and get comfortable back in my video creation chair. I had a bigger project in mind the whole time.
This past summer Beth and I spent a month in Hokkaido on a bicycle tour, but it was no ordinary month-long bicycle tour of Hokkaido! We (I) decided to take it a step further and use the trip as an excuse to explore a few of the many abandoned rail lines up there. I first became intrigued with those lines when I did a shorter 10-day bicycle tour up there last year, and it had been lingering in my head since then.
Actually, here’s a photo I took in Hokkaido last year of the train that started all this. I took that photo in the city of Yūbari, a city that used to have an economy based on the local coal mines, of which the train played an integral role. Unfortunately for them, the mines shut down, the economy collapsed, and the city is now somewhat well-known because it’s one of the few attendees at the City Governments That Went Bankrupt party.
Far more detailed info about Yūbari and the decline of rural Japan can be found at the excellent Spike Japan blog, if that’s your sort of thing.
Anyway, Beth and I spent a month following the broken railway remains of Hokkaido’s more prosperous times, and I’m in the process of making the trip into a four-part video series. With all that said, here’s episode 1 of 北海道廃線巡り: Cycling Japan’s Abandoned Rail (羽幌線・The Haboro Line).