We take the train almost every day to get to and from work, at least one of the campus’s. It costs 150 yen each way. Some times the experience is very serene and the stations are empty.
We live on the Denentoshi Line which is the turquoise line below. You can see Fujigaoka which where we live. One school is located at Aobadai (we can walk there) The other is at TamaPlaza which is 4 stops towards Tokyo. If you catch the express train, you can be in Shibuya Tokyo in about 30 minutes. The non express takes about 45-50.
The problem with the express train, or the local at certain times of the day, are the amounts of people that are in the train with you. The other day, I had a little chuckle even though I tried so hard not too. I was waiting for the local to head home and the express stopped at the platform in which I was waiting. It was packed, coming to the suburbs after a busy day in Tokyo. (the picture isn’t the actual train, I didn’t have my camera). But, do you see the space between the mans briefcase to the left and the woman’s khaki pants? Well a 10 year old or there abouts boy in his school uniform in is hard backpack (will explain in another blog) squeezed into that space. Yes, that very little space. The doors to the train closed and he was still half hanging out. It was like in a movie. All of the people were trying to pull him into the train. Just when you think no one else can fit, you are fooled.
The picture to the right was our view as the express emptied out one night
So, here’s where things get good. Last week we were heading back from Azamino, a pretty big station and we took this video. So, not only is it packed…it is absolutely silent. You can seriously hear a pin drop.
Today was the kicker. Those of you who know me, know I have a bit of a claustrophobic nut job thing in me. (Me debating on whether to get on the crowded train or not…and this one isn’t even that bad!) and Adam once we were inside
We were on our way to Kawasaki on a JR line (which seems busier to me) and the train kept filling up with people. I refused to be in the center of the car, so I stuck myself next to the wall, held on tight and watched as the people pushed Adam farther and farther away from me to get on the train. This is what I felt like…but thank goodness no one here would dare show off their armpits (Brandon, you know how I feel about Armpit hair)
So, anyway, we were seriously packed in, I was staring out the window and counting my inhales and exhales in hopes of not starting to scream at each stop. After 2 stops of people seriously loading in, I was debating whether or not to just scream to Adam I had to get off at the next stop. But, I guess we made it to the big junction at the next stop and the train emptied out. I just can’t imagine going through that every day…my nut-job-ness would just never allow me to survive.
Here is the kicker. Before all the people got off…I heard a sneeze…which later I found out came from the woman in front of Adam. She was not wearing a mask…(which everyone is due to Hayfever Allergies…) and all I could picture was this:
Hense, me totally freaking out!
Just for fun, below is a subway map of Tokyo. We have traveled to such a small amount of the huge city!