Tokyo Subway

A highly populated country as Japan must give plenty of public transportation options to its inhabitants, and in my opinion trains are the biggest success! You can go by train/subway/shinkansen (I’ll talk about the last one later!) to nearly everywhere in Japan, it’s really amazing!

You might be surprised at the complexity of the Tokyo Subway Network, as I show bellow.

Make no mistake, it is not so complex as it seems. Don’t forget we’re talking about Tokyo, which is a huge city! Being used to Lisbon’s 4-line and 46-station subway didn’t become a problem when facing Tokyo’s 13-line and 274-station subway, at all. There are signs everywhere, in kanji, hiragana (I’ll talk about them later!) and even romaji (the latin alphabet)! Moreover, every station has its own security guards, so when lost, knowing a little bit of Japanese will get you to your destination with no problem!
Also, every station is really clean, well lighted, and safe.

The main problem is crowd. But once again, make no mistake. Those videos showing security guards pushing people inside the trains are not common at all! Also, obviously only the most center-located stations and at the most critic times, may get overcrowded. But once again, with a network with so many options, you have plenty to choose.

The above picture is from the security gates which most of the subway stations I used have. I found them interesting because there are none in Lisbon subway. The train always stops at the exact same spot! (I feel kinda ridiculous being surprised with this though xD)

Also it was very good to see the people politeness lining up near each gate (at the sides of it), letting passengers get out from the middle, and then entering. For a society like this to work, there must be this kind of “rules” or “common sense”. And the fact is that it works.

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