Jokyo（上京）...heading up to the capital, namely Tokyo. I don't think it has quite the feelings now that it had some 40~70 years ago (Bullet Trains and planes decreased the feeling of distance and time, and then later on, things such as Skype). Back then, it was all about young people, even teenagers, going to Tokyo from all parts of the nation to find work and start making a life of their own while helping to get Japan onto its feet again. All sorts of wistful scenes come to mind: getting onto the trains, mothers waving tearfully to their now-independent children, arriving at Ueno Station, and perhaps looking wide-eyed at their new urban surroundings.
Although jokyo is more of a within-Japan thing, I can understand the feeling as well. In my case, it wasn't so much a train ride of hundreds of kilometres to Ueno Station, though; it was more a plane ride of thousands of kilometres to Narita Airport, shortly after (barely) graduating from University of Toronto. It was quite the thing to enter Tokyo on that steamy summer day in July 1989 on a limousine bus with the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku all around us as we approached the Keio Plaza Hotel.
Tonight's theme on "Uta Kon"（うたコン）was, as you guessed it, jokyo. It's a topic that was so beloved in kayo kyoku that I'm surprised that the expression jokyo kayo wasn't really coined in the language. Of course, the big representative of that little corner of old Showa Era pop music is "Ahh, Ueno Eki"（あゝ上野駅）by Hachiro Izawa（井沢八郎）, and indeed that song was performed.
However, I also encountered another song that perked my memory engrams due to the familiarity of its melody although I wasn't able to peg the singer or the title until both were revealed to me tonight. Veteran enka singer Masao Sen（千昌夫）released his 24th single in March 1976, "Yuuyake Gumo" (Clouds in the Afterglow), an encouraging song of keeping at the new life in Tokyo and not heading back home until you succeed. Hiroshi Yokoi and Noboru Ichidai（横井弘・一代のぼる）took care of words and music respectively. Hearing Sen sing out "Kaere~nai~"（帰れない...I can't go home）in that anthemic way is one of the aural memories I have of kayo kyoku in general.
Sen released a new version of "Yuuyake Gumo" in May 1983 as his 35th single although I don't think the arrangement was all that different from the 1976 original. The singer performed this song for the first time on NHK's Kohaku Utagassen in 1983 during his 11th appearance on the New Year's Eve program.