Two-tone in Tokyo

In the five days that my family and I spent in Tokyo last year, it’s the soothingly foreign sounds – of birds chirping at the pedestrian crossing, of jingles unique in each train station, of that complete silence (in itself a sound, or its lack so pure it’s a sound in itself) inside their museums that brings to mind that notion that museums are temples for art, that equates art with the divine – that I miss the most. Yesterday I caught a bug that made my mind long for a certain two-tone melody that you hear in JR train stations in Tokyo – specifically it’s the sound that plays when someone passes through a turnstile.

I know it’s an oddly specific request, and it took me about twenty minutes searching on YouTube to realize that it’s not “train sounds” I’m looking for, but “train station sounds” – and even then, the results are still in the hundreds, as there’s train station jingles – an equally noble genre that is just as arresting – to trudge through, uploaded by a mix of sound aficionados, Japanophiles, or people afflicted with this kind of bug. Imagine craving for a certain brand of chips to snack on, only in my case it’s a certain sound – a sound that’s frustratingly difficult to describe, aside from and only because the sound I’m looking for only has two tones. I found this first-person ASMR that archives the moment one enters a station up to waiting for the trains, and yes, the two-tone is all across the first three minutes – such as in 02:49! I can feel the handle of my luggage towing behind me, and that rush of looking for the right gate, and that anticipation of going to another place and the countless possibilities.

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