Monday, 7 May 2007

Tokyo Metro.. Flying underground...

To be honest, talking about Tokyo metro needs a separate blog spot, not a single blog post. Tokyo Metro is the main transportation method used in Tokyo. As you can see in the map below (which is actually a portion of the original map of the Metro), it is spread all over the city with some very complex lines to cover most of the areas.

I live within the area on the left, marked with the dark blue circle. My lab is in Nezu, marked with a red circle while my Japanese language class is in Yushima that has a light blue circle, one station before Nezu.

The trains
The trains move in a very organized way all over Tokyo. It has a precise timing and it never misses except in some very rare cases. As a result, you can check on this website, the time you need from a station to another & the ticket price. This incredible feature of calculating the shortest distance has made things easier on me! eh! and people ask me how I adapted so fast on life in Tokyo! They are so organized that it makes the transition from anywhere in the world to here much easier.

From Komaba-todaimae station, marked with the dark blue circle, I need about 23 minutes to arrive to my lab, in Nezu. As an experiment, I calculated my timings using my mobile's stop watch in this trip over one week (5 days). The results were (in minutes): 22 23 22 22 24!!!!! Ofcourse this is considering only the time travel for the train and waiting is not included.

Waiting?! They should remove this word from the metro's dictionary! Sometimes I wished I had to wait for the train. Everything goes so fast. The time between one train and another is about 1 minute in the morning and about 3 minutes afternoon. 3 minutes max people!!!! Sometimes I need to feel the "joy" of waiting for the train, but i just cant!

Getting in
Before getting into the train, you have to stand in a line. Oh what a line that is: It is so neat and organized. Each line is usually divided into two lines, just like how we used to stand in the elementary school before we go in to class. When the train arrives, the two lines standing infront of a train door are divided such that one line takes the right side of the door, and another takes the left side. Why? to give a chance for those who want to exit the train. After making sure nobody else is going out, people start going in quietly and in an organized fashion.

Inside the train
Once inside, if you find a seat, ull sit. Else, you can stand up which not very annoying. The train has air conditioning and actually standing up makes the trip more enjoyable. Each time I am inside the train I actually find it getting cleaner & being even newer! I cannot believe how they take care of such a public thing this clean! Before reaching each station, the train alerts you that you are about to arrive 2 minutes before. It calls the name of the station twice and thanks you for using Tokyo Metro. Each time I hear that I wish for ME to thank them even if for once and only once.

Getting out
Getting out is as organized as getting in. You have to prepare your magnetic card so that the reader reads it and charges you for the trip. Which is shown in the picture.

Each day the same story, each day the same road. But I never get bored of watching people in the train. Some are sleeping, some are reading, some are looking at me and some are looking at their feet!


Tokyo Metro is a story by itself, Ill keep posting about it from time to time :)


Sami said...

Yes , so great

This is Japan

This is why my TQC teacher told me We need to be organized first

Great Clean Trains ( what is this , Believe me looks better than Restaurants here at Jordan )

not only buses have no timing schedule here , even if you wait for a Taxi you need to wait and sometimes taxi driver refuses to send you place you want or change it as he want

I WISH I CAN FLY to skip these stupid stuff

and it is a Dream to use these trains here at Jordan

Thanks Sanad


Qwaider قويدر said...

Man, you're going to suffer so much when you return :)
Make sure you don't get used to the organization there. Throw some trash in the train. Push people around ... just to get a taste of the good old days of Amman :) Don't get too acclimated, you're going to hate yourself when you come back.... IF you come back!

Globalorama said...

once I jumped into a bus through the window in Zarqa during Ramadan. yo know how sometimes it gets around sunset time.

Saqf said...

I share the exact feelings and admiration for the great network of trains in Tokyo.

In addition to that, the whole transportation system -and most of the vital areas- are suitable for blind people.

The floors are marked with continuous embossed yellow plates that direct blind people wherever they go. Special plates for the direction of the road, others for turning right or left, and more to alert you when to stop.

For the same reason, you would hear recorded directions in all trains and most elevators.

Even blind people can admire Tokyo.

subzero said...

saqf-san thank you for your important addition.

This only shows there is nothing called a tiny unimportant detail. A detail is a details and this is what is making Tokyo as perfect.

Kanji_chan said...

:D :D i like this post so much!
so informative, and makes me more and more attached 2 Japan.
btw, i think what u mentioned wasnt the only reason why u like the metro netwrok!i believe its similarity to the organization of metal paths and connectors in ICs has something to do with it! :p

Anonymous said...

I heard Chinese company won the tender for the new railway between Amman and Zarqa. I hope Jordan will have the same level of train in the future using Chinese technology!

Anonymous said...

More precisely,
"Infrastructure Development Company PVT Ltd. (IDC)", a Pakistani-Chinese-Jordanian consortium won the project of JD160-180 million the other day.
It will be operational by late 2009.

So, I hope Pakistani&Chinese technology will make a good Jordanian railway system!

ducky said...

Thank you for posting this information about the Tokyo Metro! I am planning a trip to Tokyo next year; your blog was very helpful!

Anonymous said...

regardless what japan is, fast or organized, just one quastion for every body who has been abroad, away from the home, ,,,
do you wish to stay away or to return back......eep your answer for yourself.......