Monday, April 8, 2013

SALUS, the magazine

SALUS is a free magazine put out at the end of each month in racks in stations along the Toyoko Line, the Den-en-toshi Line, and the Oimachi Line. SALUS is something like a relaxed neighborhood news sheet, except it is produced with considerable flair and well printed on good paper by the Tokyu Corporation. Some people collect SALUS.

Each month a particular station is featured, with a map for strollers and news about new construction and up-coming festivals and other events. There may be a feature about an interesting person who lives along the line - an opera singer, say, or a world traveller, or a collector of vintage sports cars.

There will be a loving look at new restaurants which have opened up along the lines (it seems with a focus on Italian and French places and new cafes) and maybe one or two of their recipes, and a look at the architecture of some new homes. Stores along the lines will advertise new offerings and museums will give tantalizing glimpses of new exhibitions - Vermeer, say, or Paris in the 20s. There will be ads showing what is on the stage in theaters in Shibuya, the end of the Toyoko Line in Tokyo. There may be a one-page short story.

Each month, tens of thousands of copies of SALUS are distributed free. What's in this for the Tokyu Corporation Line, you ask? Well, the Tokyu Corporation is concerned to present the lines it operates as first-class railroad lines well worth living along. The Tokyu Corporation owns a lot of real estate along these lines, as well as  supermarkets, department stores, and apartment buildings and a chain of posh movie theaters which shows the latest films from around the world as well as high-definition presentations of the current offerings of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The value of this real estate is enhanced to the extent the these lines are seen to be classy lines, and it is true that Den-en-chofu on the Toyoko Line is recognized as one of Tokyo's most desirable (and expensive) areas to live in and Jiyugaoka is a young person's fashion showcase.

Other railway lines are hard at work trying to compete with the Toyoko Line, the Den-en-toshi Line, and the Oimachi Line.

- Patricia Avocado

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