Underpasses invariably aren’t the nicest of places, so the unusual decision to use blue lighting may have been to give this one some charm, or possibly a sense of serenity of sorts. But whether it was actually a success or not is somewhat debatable to say the least.
This image conjured a lot of feelings for me. Late night walks home from work, drunken stumbles from a late night hashigo, lonely walks after moving to a new city, etc.
Thanks! Very happy to hear it brought back some memories.
Growing up in the north of England, such underpasses were never the best of places to venture down to say the least. Thankfully no such trepidation in Japan. And the blue lighting in this one I really liked. A very welcome surprise.
I love the blue light. It’s a cool idea. But gotta say, I still wouldn’t wanna be there on my own at night………..
It was very cool. A real surprise too.
I know what you mean though. Interestingly lit or not, they aren’t always the nicest of places.
A striking photograph. A little of Tron meets Logans Run. Are the bulbs actually blue? If so there must be a supply of them somehwere to keep the intended effect. Blue light is supposed to suppress sleep, though it would have to be pretty gnarly weather to make me want to try kipping in there.
This underpass looks a lot like a typical UK one (colour excepted) just without the attendant gauntlet of homeless, buskers, beggars, drunks, thugs, addicts and “companions”. I’d still rather risk a dash across a busy road than take the underpass after dark in most cities.
Cheers. Yes, blue bulbs. Made for a very striking sight.
Yeah, thought as much myself. Would have been suitably grim but for the lighting. Apart from in Japan, I’m exactly the same. To be avoided if at all possible.
They use blue lighting in some places in Australia like public toilets to make it difficult for drug users to see their veins. I’m sure that’s done in other parts of the world too but somehow don’t think that is why Japan does it and it does have a cool effect on that underpass. Anyone else seen blue street lights in Japan? I saw them in some places in Aomori prefecture and always wondered why.
Interesting. I didn’t know that.
Like you said, it’s unlikely to be be reason here. But I don’t have another explanation other than that it’s interesting to look at.
I’ve never seen blue street lighting as I recall, but a lot of stations now have a blue light installed at the end of the platform to stop people jumping.
I followed this up and found a published paper on the effectiveness in Japanese subway stations. It’s conclusion was “Our regression analysis shows that the introduction of blue lights resulted in a 84% decrease in the number of suicides”. I also discovered that blue lights in New York subway tunnels are emergency phone location indicators.
I presumed the results were at least slightly positive, as they are now fairly common. And obviously even if just one life is saved, then it was worth it. But those are incredible numbers. Amazing how something so simple can be so wonderfully effective.
d. minnis says
Exactly my kind of arty shot.
Very good to hear. Not the kind of shot I usually take, but I was really pleased the way it came out.
A different kind of blue…
I hate to ask, but would you mind spilling the beans on this one and giving me a clue where this was taken?
Not in Tokyo I’m afraid. It was up in Niigata. I was there recently. But if you want an exact location I can dig through my maps and find it.
No need to dig further, but thanks very much all the same.
You are welcome.
I. Can’t. Stop. Looking. At. It. I just keep staring at all that blue, the forever receding exit, I’m walking, walking, not getting anywhere – but I’m very calm and relaxed. I expect emerging from all that blue – at night, would create a different feeling. Or on a rainy day, or a bug-hot humid one…
Did the blue obscure some of the grottiness? Seems like.
Fascinating, isn’t it? We couldn’t believe our luck when we walked down the steps.
It did have an oddly calm feeling. But that said, we’d been walking for hours in the sun, and so descending into a cool, blue tunnel was total bliss.
It wasn’t that grotty to be honest. Of course without the blue it would have looked worse, but it wasn’t in bad shape at all.
Hans ter Horst says
As we learned that blue light keeps us awake, my hunch is that it is again homeless people taking shelter although the homeless always appear to be camping in those tents made out of blue tarp, so that probably isn’t it either. 🙂
At least it makes the underpass appear a bit less dank and maybe there were just waiting for you to take that photograph. Love it! 😀
The idea of it all being planned for me to turn up one hot, May day and take a photograph is a wonderful one. I like that fantasy — a lot!
In reality though I honestly don’t know. Where it was up in Niigata, I didn’t see any homeless at all. Certainly didn’t seem like it’s a big problem. Or at least not a problem that warranted such efforts. So maybe just to make it that little bit more welcoming.