Nasty, Nasty Trains in Japan
So here's the deal. April 1st marked the new fiscal year in Japan. I live in Japan and recently changed jobs. I used to work relatively close to my house in Kobe and my commute was relatively painless. With the new fiscal year and the new job came a new commute. My new commute is a long one to the middle of Osaka and three train lines and about 90 minutes each way, I get from my house to work.
I've been spending a lot of time on a very crowded train this week and I've come to realize a few things:
1. The direction a train goes in can mean a lot to a poor ole commuter. I'm taking the same train I have for the last few years, but this time it's heading in a different direction. Last year, it was heading towards some small cities and wasn't very crowded. This year it's heading the Japan's third largest city, Osaka and its a freakin cattle call! Bloody packed with commuters.
2. The second thing I've come to notice had to do with number one. The trains are bloody packed with "salarymen" ( non-descript, black suit wearing office workers). They are so crowded that they lead to the next few observations I've had.
3. They stink! The trains simply smell bad. Pack a small metal box with hundreds of people and there is a very dynamic array of aromas. You can smell body odour, last night's (or this morning's) alcohol, garlic, pickles, farts and more!
4. They are HOT! Too many people combined with no understanding of climate control cause excessive suffering. Japanese trains kick the heat on near the end of winter and don't turn it off til spring has ended and summer has arrived. It really makes no sense and my advice is to not even attempt to figure it out. There is no answer!
My conclusion is:
Trains used to commute in the city are not fun. It's not a deep conclusion, but it's all I got!