The Commute

Commuting is a way of  life in Tokyo.  Very few drive to work – they go by bus, subway, and/or train.

Being an old man, I got a Silver Pass for $200 per year, with which I an ride any Tokyo bus and any of four subways free.

I travel to and from my school by one subway and two train rides.  It is just under one hour each way.  Sounds tedious, but it isn’t really bad.  I leave the house at about 7:00, and walk about 10 minutes to the subway station.  I go that early to beat the peak of the rush hour, which can be horrible.  Even so. I wind up standing, but not crushed, for the two train rides.  Coming back at around 1 pm is a breeze.

During the morning, trains run every 3 to 4 minutes, so there is little waiting.  Afternoon, it is more like every 5 to 10 minutes – seldom long waits.  Outside there is a steady stream of black suits, school uniforms, and women in office outfits heading for the station.

A large percentage of the riders are staring at smart phones, a few are reading books or newspapers, and many are semi-sleeping.   No one observes others, except  when friends are traveling together.