Tokyo is THE most populated city on the Planet. With a population over 12 million people, they have designed one of the world's most efficient train systems. Thus, creating a society where commuting via train is better than by car. So what happens when everybody travels at the same time to school and work?
After experiencing it first hand, you feel a closer understanding as to why the suicide rate is three times higher in Japan than in America. You truly want to kill yourself.
Some would describe it as sardines in a can. However, I believe it's much closer to trying to close your luggage, after you've over packed. You have to sit on it and have a friend hold the edges together as you move the zipper inch by inch...and you are the travel size tooth paste.
Yes, I think that would be a much more accurate description. Especially since there are platform workers who's only job is to push you into the train, so that the doors can shut.
Being inside of a rush hour Tokyo train can truly be dangerous. It is not unheard of to dislocate something, or break a rib(or two).
If you are traveling at the hours of 7:00-9:00, both AM and PM, it is unavoidable. The last train is as bad as rush hour, if not worse. People are pissed drunk and reek of various foul odors.
Thus I provide you with tips on how to survive...
SCENARIO 1: You are first in the train
Highlighted are the desired positions. You want the corner between the door and seats, and the center isle. You are less likely to get squished...these are prime locations. Avoid walls, if the train makes and abrupt stop or turn, you will be in a serious amount of pain.
Note: If you are not getting of at a big station or transfer platform, be ready to push for you life. If you are commuting, try to memorize, which side the doors open on to help you strategically move to these locations.
SCENARIO 2:You are the last to get in.
If you are last in, getting a strategic position is not possible(you are screwed). The train will be packed...and I mean...scary packed. But remember... "IF THERE IS NO ROOM, MAKE ROOM". Only on occasion will you encounter a situation where it is physically impossible to get in.
Since there are no strategic points, I will provide tips.
You will encounter people resisting your efforts to get into the train. SCREW THEM! They are being assholes and they should know better. Tuck in our elbows and Push HARDER!
For those individual with a low tolerance for pain, AVOID OPEN TOE SHOES! Opt for steel toe combat boots.
(people fall in between all the time!)