The only way to describe it is ordered chaos. Let me explain:
Trains in Tokyo are always on time. If the schedule says the train will arrive at 14:02, you can be certain that the train will arrive at 14:02. Coming from Ireland, that took a while to get used to. If a train in Ireland said it was going to arrive at 14:02, you can be sure you'll still be waiting another hour.
|Easy to use subway map right?|
It never seems to matter how many people are on the train, they are always quiet. Phones must be on silent, no talking, only whispering and if you plan on listening to your iPod, it has to be on very low. I found all of this out the hard way - getting told off in Japanese is not fun.
|Moderately busy train.|
Tokyo has a population of over 13,000,000 so of course the trains are busy. However, when I say busy I mean that there are times when you are pushed and squeezed to the point where you cant breathe. The 'men in the white gloves' do such a good job of this. Note my sarcastic tone. On three occasions now I have seen people who have caught their limbs in train doors as only some of their body could fit on.
|They will get on that train, no matter what.|
Groping is apparently an issue on trains because of the issue above, 'being squashed like a sardine'. The solution to this is that there are women only carriages at rush hour times. Interesting concept.
In a nutshell, if you ever find yourself on a train in Tokyo please follow the sign below:
What do you think about the train rules in Japan? Which one is your favourite?