Packed Tokyo Trains


Do not go to Tokyo if you hate crowds and people.

I got crushed in rush hour.

Rides to Tokyo can be exhausting tests of endurance. It’s not just the standing in one place for an hour, it’s the masses of commuters, their smells and noises. It’s everything.

I try to avoid rush hour if I can, or crush rush.

Ever want to know what a sardine feels like?

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 11.55.10 AM

Hell’s Waiting Room

I got caught in rush on one of the most packed train lines in Tokyo. The staff came out and pushed people onto the train until the doors shut — it was that packed! I could’ve passed out and never hit the floor because of how dense it was inside. I couldn’t move. Not even an inch.

Did I mention I’m slightly claustrophobic?  Yeah, so not being able to move causes anxiety and panic. I had to focus hard on staying calm. I counted down the stops, praying it would be over soon. Every stop was a jostling of people squeezing out like worms wiggling out of the dirt. There would be apologies and angry words. Just as you had enough space to breathe, new people pushed on.

I shared eye contact with another foreigner who spent half an our rammed against the door windows.

It only got worse when a mother with very young infant entered into this disaster. The baby was strapped to her chest and pushed against by all the other passengers who could not help it. The mob forced them against the infant who started to bawl as all these strangers pressed against it. The mother got thrown more than a few looks of “Really?  At rush hour?!”

I was right next to her and could not hear easily out of my right ear after twenty minutes of that screeching. If I ever succeed in having a baby, there is no way I am putting them through that hell unless it’s one heck of an emergency. The baby was unhappy like all of us, but vocalized that displeasure and made our hell into a living nightmare.

I don’t know want discourage a mother from getting out there and exploring the world, but… RUSH HOUR?!

Everyone looked so happy and relieved when the mother got off. I think they were all attempted to hi-five and be like “Yay! It’s over!”

I’ve heard the trains in Beijing are worse. My friends have shown me footage. I can’t understand how anyone could bear worse than that. My own blessing was my height that let me have access to the good air.

If you ride the Tokyo trains at rush hour, heaven help you!


8 thoughts on “Packed Tokyo Trains

  1. This happened to me once when I was living in Shin-Yokohama. A mother boarded the train with her baby strapped to her, and everyone was pushing to get in. A salaryman near her actually started shouting, “There’s a baby here! Stop pushing!” It worked somewhat. It would have been much safer for the baby if she got on at the priority seats or caught the next train.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so too. After what I witness, I understand why the baby was crying so hard. I felt bad seeing what was happening. Everyone tried to give space, but they were forced against it. It felt really danger for such a young child.

      Their immune system is also weak at that age and it seems easy to catch something in that bad air of sneezing and coughing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wondered to. It looked so hard on the baby being pressed in on by strangers. And the passengers were upset to because it took all their strength to not crush against the baby as the mob crushed against them.


    1. No, taxis are usually easy to get in Japan (unless there is a disaster, bad weather, or the trains shut down).

      I hope it was for a very good reason that she put her baby through that and the passengers who were forced to crush against the baby and listen to its screams.


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