Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Tunnels of Tokyo

TenguLife has been travelling for the last ten days and hence has been somewhat below the blog event horizon. It is hard to understand why, in the modern world of jet planes and fast cars it took a little over twenty four hours to travel from the east coast of America to the east coast of Japan. But that is what it is, and much as I admire Washington Dulles Airport for having no additional security checks (I took my shoes off once, do I really need to do it again?)  I would have enjoyed the 11.00AM Bloody Mary in the lounge. But it was not to be, ANA sharing with Lufthansa and apparently these Germans don't drink in the morning, though these must be the first in history; my old company actually included in the work rules that beer must be available at all times of day, and many enjoyed the pleasure.

But upon arrival, Japan has now built something quite remarkable. Narita is in the wrong place. Few would argue with that, including the small population of the town of Narita itself who were fairly solidly against the idea of an airport in the first place. Travelling into Tokyo though used to be a choice of over the Rainbow Bridge (or taking the slow) (or slower) train designed to match the speed of the bus routes. The tunnel under the bay was good for Yokohama but deposited the intrepid driver into the back streets of Oimachi if brave enough to try the route.

And then they built a second tunnel. Coming out from underground after crossing the water between downtown and the airport, there is now a new way to come into central Tokyo. And it is fast. C1 is the old circular roadway around the centre of the capital but now C2, the outer ring, is slowly opening in sections. And last night it brought me home. Depositing cars some 10k's from the entrance, we no longer need to travel through backstreets, roadworks and traffic lights. Circumnavigating Tokyo just got a little bit easier. Now if they could just move Narita some 60k's closer life would be perfect. Or use Haneda of course.

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