Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My train smells like ASS!

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!


Soft Otaku said...

If Osaka is #3 in population, what is #2? What did I miss? Enjoying your blog, even though I have been here for years!

Kevin O said...

I'm pretty sure Yokohama is number 2 and Osaka number 3 population wise.

Jackofallhobbies said...

Other observations to make when spending a long time commuting.

1) Just when you think there is no more space left and you can't possibly fit another person on board, another person will board.

2) After a particularly long and hard commute, products that you couldn't possibly care for seem so much more intriguing (this happens on a plane when flying back to North America--the duty free watches seem so much better after sleep deprivation and cramped conditions.

3) (and this applies to my bus commute) Usually a bigger person who should not be sitting next to me will take a seat next to me rather than the petite woman who I would rather sit with.

(just for reference, I comment on your YouTube channel under Mustang Rebus--when I started my blog I thought it would be better to have a separate identity in case I pissed someone off--I am not sure that was the best plan, but so far no unexplained fires in the neighbourhood.
Keep fighting the good fight.

Brad Adams said...

I used to commute by train but not anymore! Now, I ride my bike to work every day and I feel much better, both physically and mentally.

Jasmine T. Blossom said...

I agree.
Just yesterday I took the "shinkaisoku" (special rapid) and noticed that most people will get off and come in at Osaka Station. At least that's when I usually have a chance to get a seat. There's much less going on for Kyoto or Sannomiya.

I hate when trains are so full that you can barely move, on top of that hot and when everybody is coughing and sneezing without wearing masks. Ewww!

Luckily I don't have to deal with this every day. I would go insane!