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Metro Tokyo/ Osaka

Tokyo is a city of roughly 20 million inhabitants with all the suburbs included. Yet the city is not dying of car-pollution and noise-explosion, hence 80 percent of all traffic is done by public transport, which is generally breaking down to buses, JR (some sort of city train) and metro.

Tokyo is a city of roughly 20 million inhabitants with all the suburbs included. Yet the city is not dying of car-pollution and noise-explosion, hence 80 percent of all traffic is done by public transport, which is generally breaking down to buses, JR (some sort of city train) and metro.

So everyday, especially in the morning and in rush-hour at night, hundreds of thousands and millions pour into the various stations of the Japanese megapolis and try to reach their destinations.

I was told by my father, who was in an East-German delegation (that is how they called it) to Japan in 1987, that back in the days, there were even officers hand-devalidating ticket after ticket with a little clamper. Just imagine the great effort of such an army of conductors controlling 3 million tickets a day.

This makes Labour Unions very happy, but undoubtedly this is insane. Maybe that is why Japan was such an engine in the digital revolution and invented machines for everything. Now you have electronic gates and no single pence of you fare will be lost. If your ticket does not carry the whole distance, which you went by train, you will have to repay at another machine. Only then the electronic gates will open for the poorer traveler, who you are now. But fares are pretty fair. I never witnessed any of the famous rumble in the metro-scenes, where passengers get stuffed into the cars by train-officers. I was told, that this only takes place, when the last train is leaving to the suburbs. Which makes total sense. Japanese workers are really busy and honorable. They would never miss work or come too late, because that would make them loose their pride. If they miss the last train home this would have at least as a result, that they would have to stay in a capsule-hotel or even in more expensive lodges in town, to be ready for work the next day. Of course, this is bad. Therefore you better try to make it.

There is another thing mentioning, which I have also witnessed in the planes: people wear face-masks. This is mainly a habit, which evolved out of the SARS-epidemic a few years back. People are still so frightened of the good morning breath of their fellow co-travellers that they pull over white masks when entering the tube. This looks a bit silly, but I guess, they have their reason.

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Metro

http://www.tokyometro.jp/global/en/index.html

written by wil6ka

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