Since the introduction of aluminium-bodied 205 series trains on the Yamanote Line, full-body "paint jobs" have become a bit of a rarity. A couple of years back, one of the E231 trains was rolled out in an all-brown livery to celebrate the line's 100th aniversary. Most recently, another E231 set has been wrapped in the line's traditional green colour (ウグイス色, uguisu-iro - translated as "Japanese Bush Warbler green") to mark the 50th anniversary of the line colour's introduction.
Youtube user ISO8 captured this train set running northwards from Shinagawa station:
One of the more fascinating, if less well known aspects of Shinkansen travel, is watching the cleaners at Tokyo station clean and make ready an entire 16-car train for turnaround in just a few minutes. The Japan Times' excellent Yen For Living blog has an interesting article on these cleaners (together with a bit of postulation on the role of cleaners in Japan compared to other societies).
The previous generation of 205 seriesYamanote Line trains may be already history, but their memory lingers on here and there around the loop, such as here at Yoyogi Station where their visage still graces the car door position indicators-cum-advertising posters:
The company being advertised is Vecs, a large-ish real estate agency.
The TokyuIkegami Line emerges from the low hills of southwestern Tokyo onto a reinforced concrete viaduct which crosses the (quite unspectacular) Meguro River valley before ending at Gotanda Station, straddling the Yamanote Line. Originally it was planned to extend the line towards the centre of Tokyo, where it would meet the rise to the east of the station, but ever since 1928 it has remained a terminus four storeys up and will presumably remain so until the end of time.
This presupposes that the supporting viaduct will stand the test of time, and by the looks of it, it is still the original structure and in dire need of repair - which it is getting as part of what seems to be a very long drawn-out project to strengthen the entire stretch between Gotanda and the neighbouring Osaki Hirokoji station.
Construction on the middle section appears to be mainly complete, and most of the supporting pillars have been surrounded with a collar of reinforced concrete. For whatever reasons this has not yet been extended to the angled part of the arches, and there is still a lot of rebar sticking out. The picture below gives an idea of the general situation:
This is looking east, from close to the bridge over the Meguro River towards Osaki Hirokoji station. Further towards that station, just before the bridge over Yamanote Dori, there is a section still pretty much in original condition, which looks pretty dilapidated. (I'll post pictures in a later entry).