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Journals from Rikkyo University, Japan

2010-04-28 Trains

Now that school has started up again, it is now time to brave the early morning trains. Last semester, I was very fortunate to have no classes that started until after 2nd period, so I never had to worry about being packed into a train. However, this semester my Japanese classes start during 1st period, which is at 9am, so I have to catch the train earlier in order to get to school on time. Not only are there other students catching the train to get to school, but there are also salarymen and women catching the train to get to work. This makes for a VERY packed train. There is literally no room to move around. Conor once told me that he had lifted up his foot to stretch it and then could not put it back down because there was no room for his foot on the floor of the train. He had to keep his foot up for the duration of the train ride! Luckily it was only about 25 minutes long. I have yet to see this, but I have heard from friends that when it is rush hour in the evening, the station attendants have to use sticks in order to push everyone into the train so that the doors can close. If you do not believe me, just look up Packed trains in Japan on YouTube. It is absolutely amazing how so many people can fit into a train. I think that this might be why Japanese people are so small; so that they can fit more of them into trains. Luckily, though, because I am much taller than many of the people on the train, I can breathe more easily than the shorter people who really do make me feel like a sardine. Tiffany Ross

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