Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Web cams are old news. I remember how excited I was when I first played with slow scan TV and then with CUSeeMe. I stopped looking at web cams lately, because staring at a coffee pot got boring after awhile.

Kenji Eno just sent me a link to the Aizu Wakamatsu station web cam. Again, the content is not that interesting. It is just a train platform. However, the speed and the resolution are so high that you can see people walking and things flapping in the wind. You can hear the announcements and listen to the trains come and go. It's amazing how far we've come. I'm sorry if this "wow" is out of sync, but this web cam made me realize how far we've come.

UPDATE: I think it's getting a bit choppy as people hop on the stream. Be nice to their bandwidth please.

UPDATE 2: There is a steam locomotive (SL) that shows up sometimes.


> I think it's getting a bit choppy as people hop on the stream. Be nice to their bandwidth please.
One more fear for the operators of smallish websites, in addition to being slashdotted: being joiblogged :-P

Nice, but it is actually too choppy now, or at least I couldn't get it to run smoothly...

Wondering where Aizu Wakamatsu is? Just type the follwing into Google Earth and fly there!

37 d 29' 22" N, 139 d 55'32" E

just: wow!!

Can someone direct me to a source that would tell me exactly what kind of hardware / software I would need to set up a webcam of this quality? This is great.

I wish there were more of these webcams around the world. Does anyone know any other links to live (good quality) webcams?

You know, it's only Fukushima... hahahah. Just a traditional JR station. I'm hoping someone puts one in my former home of Arashiyama, Kyoto. FAR MORE BEAUTIFUL!

I love trains. I miss that 390 yen, 40 min trip from Kawaramachi in Kyoto to Umeda in Osaka.

Joi, thank you for sharing. My friends and I have spent more time watching this than is healthy. Especially since we live on the East Coast of the USA.

Nagoya's Meitetsu.

Japanese salon, Nakagawa, that I have passed many a time in Joyo City, Kyoto pref. A good friend of mine lives very close by.

Have fun.

Be sure to watch Kyoto's sending off of the dead by lighting 5 mountains on fire, early morning on August 16th.

Ah the memories.

Whoa, this is brill... I wonder if there are any good hotel or airport cams along the same theme? I'd like to watch those! Transport... sooo fascinating.

this is a stunning webcam, thank you for the link Joi!

Incredible. It's fascinating to watch such mundane events unfold so smoothly, from a half-a-world away. In the background, I even overheard a couple of students playfully arguing about what whether they would bring their lunch or eat in at school the next day.

Heh, I'll bet they never suspected that some dude behind a computer in the US was pondering the content of their conversation.

Thanks for this, not a lot happening there right now but I sat and waited for the train to pull off last visit. Very natsukashii, lots of good memories of Fukushima ken, thanks for sharing.

Hey, read your post. Check out Alivebroadcast Snapshot website. The coolest thing is that it allows anybody to take a picture with their web-cam and save it directly to the server.


I was able to view the web cam at Aizu Wakamatsu last year, unitl about October, but since then I haven't been able to. I keep getting "Source filter for this file could not be loaded" error message.
How are you getting to the web cam????? Are you running Windows Media Player??? If so which release????


I was also getting the webcam until Oct, and get the same error. The Filter cannot be found. When reporting to MS, it says that they are "working on the problem" I don't know if anyone here is still receiving the camera. I hope it comes back online soon. Does anyone know who hosted the camera , or who controls it? We may be able to write and ask someone in charge what is happening.
Bye for now,

Hi Neil,
THANKS for the new location. I clicked on the link, but that brought up the Real Player, and was unable to play. However, I put the URL you gave in the Windows Media Player (open URL)and the webcam came up.

Many thanks to you for this update on this great webcam!
Best regards,
Gary Rabbitt

i'm downloading it again fine now. Thanks for the updated address.

Its changed again a more reliable link can be found here:

It's moved again!

If you're using flip4mac and you get error -19112, which even google does not know, go into the flip4mac prefs, check Movie>Create Streaming Movie and reload.

There's also a timetable for the station at

Hi all,
Thanks for the Latest link to the train station. It is always great to show visitors the video from this station.
Please update us if the link changes again.

Question, if the link changes again, how do you find the new one? IS there a website for the station itself?

Take care and thanks!

Hi Gary Yes, here's the link for the main site. Click on the map for different cams around Fukushima Prefecture.


I found these photos a while back of the station. You can see the camera in one of them!

URL changed on 1st October 2008, with addition of ../ to address. Current url is

What happened to the Aizu,Japan train cam?
Robert Johnstone

Its changed again (may 2009), after weeks of intermittancy, streaming has stopped, but silverlight embedded picture can be found at
but no full screen !!

Sucks. I always used an external media player to watch the Aizu-Wakamatsu cam. I'm unable (and somewhat unwilling) to install Silverlight due to system limitations. Is it possible that there's still a Windows Media URL embedded in the Silverlight application?

Well, there goes a great webcam, and the others that NTT used to have up. I will not install Silverlight. I don't know much about it, and for now don't want it.
Why can't NTT just use the WIndows Media Player as it did before?

I recall seeing some messages on NTT about the webcam service and some issues with either managment, or partners of their services.
I will watch this site from time to time, as it seems to have the latest news about our favorite webcams.
Take care,

I accidentally found a way to see the station WITHOUT Silverlight! Install the Chrome browser then point to

You can even double-click to get full screen!

MACB in Malaysia

Link changed again where even the wwitv site seems to be silverlight now, but with a full screen option. However if you enter into the open url box of your windows media player, normal service is resumed. Till the next time!
I also found this by entering - - into a search engine box, and clicking the logo wakamatsu result. this can open in winamp if present.

please focus web cam and clean spider webs from spider liveing in web cam
thank you watch rail station every day sincerely P.O.S.

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懐かしい from Dan and Angi have something to say
August 9, 2005 11:53 AM

Pronounced "natsukashii," it means something like "dearly missed." I miss Japan - mostly the people, but also the things that are so hard to quantify - the experiences that only together make the Japanese experience. I&ap...

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