Photographer's Note

I'm a runner and I run wherever I go. My first days in Tokyo I couldn't because I didn't have my gear, my suitcase was lost on the flight over. Finally I had possession of my things and I planned a nice route for the next morning: along the coast, across the river over the bridge and back. I got up early, put on my gear and left with a subway card and some money to get something to drink. It was December and about 10 degrees Celsius. I wore a sweater and short pants and ran to the station, about 10 min from the place I was staying (close to Ueno). All these office people at the subway station where nicely dressed and they looked at me strange. I got on and was heading to the coast. It became more crowded in the train and finally got of somewhere near the fish market and I ran along the coast heading to the bridge. It was beautiful. I arrived at the foot of the bridge and there was a sign telling me it opened at 10 o'clock. It was 8:30 or something. I wasn't going to wait in the cold but I had to run that bridge!

I walked around the foot of the bridge, looking for stairs going up, there weren't. I jumped over the fence and tried the door. It was open! I got in and it was dark. Nobody there. There was an elevator. I pressed the elevator button and a red light lit up, it worked. The elevator doors opened and I got in, and went up. The doors opened and right when I stepped out, the alarm went off. I panicked, some guy was running toward me from the other side of the hall. I saw the door to the bridge, it opened, I ran. The alarm on the outside, on the bridge itself, went off also. REALLY LOUD! First I thought that wasn't because of me but people in the cars on the bridge were pointing and making signals. The intercom of the bridge screamed all kinds of things in Japanese. I was so scared but kept running. Looking behind, the guy in uniform was chasing me. Still the alarm really loud and the guy on the intercom SCREAMING! It was really hurting my ears. I ran to the other side of the bridge and went back right away, I wasn't trying the door. On the way back, about 200m from the start the guy in uniform grabbed my arm and yelled to me in Japanese. He was breathing heavily and was exhausted, he wasn't in good shape. He kept on talking in Japanese, I tried English but than suddenly he made a cross with his arms, still holding me. "Closed!", he told me, then he made a '1' and a '0' with his fingers. Then I told him: "yes I know, it opens at ten o'clock but I don't have that kind of time, running this bridge is very important to me" and I put my arm around his shoulder and told him: "soemimassen" (thinking at that time that it meant "I'm sorry", but it didn't). He let go of my arm. We walked to the foot of the bridge quietly, took the elevator down. He opened the door and I went thru. He wanted to grab his keys to open the fence but I jumped it again, turned around and said: 'domo arrigato', and bowed. He bowed and I went on.

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Additional Photos by Gilbert Sopakuwa (startacked) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 402 W: 135 N: 359] (1395)
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