Wednesday, 24 April 2013

World-Cruise: Atmospheric and Beautiful Videos of Everyday Japan

I first discovered these videos on YouTube a few months ago but as my trip to Japan grows ever, tantalisingly closer I'm becoming more obsessed with them.

Made by free-lance filmmaker Yuki Eikawa, known as Egawauemon on YouTube and Twitter, the World-Cruise videos are filmed in various locations all around the world including Japan. Many are shot from various vantage points; street corners, quiet alleyways or busy crossings where the everyday is recorded as it passes by the camera. Shoppers bustle past in Akihabara, a postman delivers mail along the backstreets of Gion, stallholders set up early in the morning on Ueno's Ameyoko and workers tout for business for nearby bars on Osaka's Dotonbori. Others are filmed as Eikawa walks along the streets and back alleys himself where in Tokyo he records a wedding procession at Meiji Jingu, fishermen at Tsukiji Market and and the bright neon of Kabukicho at night. A cruise around Osaka takes us along a quiet early morning Dotonbori populated by commuters and deliverymen, through old-school shopping streets and modern shopping malls and along the famous nearby canal before returning to Dotonbori after dark to see it thronged with revellers. This is another wonderful feature of these videos, each location is filmed throughout the day allowing you to observe how they change from morning to night.

The quality of the videos is out-standing with crystal clear images and bright colours. You almost feel like you're there amongst the passersby exploring the locations for yourself. But it's not all about the beautiful visuals of these films, the soundtrack of everyday Japan is also recorded. The cacophony of sounds familiar to anyone who has spent time in Japan from the echoing call of a crow to the distinctive blip of a pedestrian crossing, the irrashimase of a trader selling yakisoba and okonomiyakipachinko parlour jingles, the persistant buzz of summer cicada and trains rattling past overhead all add to the extremely atmospheric feel of these films. To say that they make me feel nostalgic would be an understatement!

There are many documentaries and TV programmes out there about Japan offering insight into all aspects of life and culture (my article 'Documentaries & Programmes About Japan' lists many of them) but if you want a little slice of the everyday then please check out Yuki Eikawa's videos. Whether you're planning your first trip to Japan or you're a regular visitor you're sure to enjoy them. I can't explain to you how much I enjoy watching them and immersing myself back into the sights and sounds of Japan just for a little while. 

This 'cruise' around Tokyo is one of my favourites ...

For more videos visit the World-Cruise YouTube channel, the World-Cruise website or the Itsumo Japan YouTube channel where I've collected together some of my favourite World-Cruise Japan videos. Enjoy!


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