Amazing time-lapse video turns Tokyo into a floating, endless metropolis

Two features of Tokyo make an immediate impression on visitors. First is the sheer size of the teeming metropolis, as it seems to envelop you from all sides. Second is the otherworldly atmosphere imparted by its futuristic architecture, intricate network of crisscrossing train lines, and the fields of neon that come to life like blooming flowers after sundown.

These two characteristics have been captured, interpreted, and enhanced in an entrancing new video from Yokohama-based visual artist Darwinfish105 which gives the impression of floating through a Tokyo without borders or end.

Darwinfish105 has caught our attention with his time-lapse videos before, such as when he trained his lens on the giant Patlabor anime robot that made an appearance in Chiba. This time, he’s in Tokyo, and instead of shooting from the ground with a handheld camera, he attached one to the front of a train on the Yurikamome Line.

The Yurikamome runs from Shimbashi in central Tokyo to the island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. The view along the way is unquestionably impressive, but with 100,000 passengers a day using the line, plenty of people have already seen it. Darwinfish105 knew he needed to do something unique in order to show people something they haven’t already seen hundreds of times before, and his first step was setting the exposure time to an extremely slow one second.

As if this didn’t already make you feel like you’re getting ready to warp out of Tokyo, Darwinfish105’s next trick makes it look like you actually did. Using mirrors, he alternately duplicates the image along the horizontal and vertical center lines.

The ethereal aesthetics serve as a poignant reminder that with just a change in perspective, there’s beauty to be discovered in surprising places. So next time you’re on the train, take a moment to look out the window and see if there isn’t some waiting there for you.


A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 – by Isao Hashimoto

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).

Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing “the fear and folly of nuclear weapons.”

It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.