Have you ever experienced rush-hour trains in Japan? If you have experienced them even once, you don’t want to ride trains during the commuting time.
In Japan, when it is the commuting time, the trains are full of people. Rush hours is from 7-9 o’clock in the morning, and 5-8 o’clock in the evening. The most crowded time is between 8:00 and 9:00 in the morning.
According the statistics, rush-hour trains have twice the usual capacity. The people are packed so tightly in the trains that they cannot move at all. It is difficult to get off or get on.
The most crowded places are Ueno Station on the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line and Yamanote Line, Monzen Nakacho Station on the Tozai Line, and Ikebukuro Station on the Saikyo Line. The Musashino Line and Chuo Line are also crowded.
There are people who are called pushers at some stations. At the crowded stations, they push people into the train cars.
Why are rush-hour trains so crowded? In Japan, offices are located in the center of Tokyo because of the convenience, and people live in suburban areas because of the low rent. More than 80 percent of Japanese people are office workers, and they gather in central Tokyo. They use trains at almost the same times, and trains are always crowded during the rush hour.
In the 1970s, trains were more crowded. The number of trains increased, new lines were made, and train shapes and platforms were improved. The government has promoted off-peak commuting, and some companies adopted flex time systems. Various measures were made, and it is better than the old days, but trains are still crowded.
As the commuting trains during rush hour are terrible, Japanese people often use the term the commuting hell (通勤地獄). Yes, it is hell! If you have a large bags or small children, it is better to avoid the rush hour.
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