As a salaryman spending more than an hour every day on the train is very common. While being in a packed train is not fun at all, I have to say, I do enjoy people watching. In the morning no matter how much the train is shaking, you can find always someone sleeping while standing. Some women doing all their make up on the train on their way to work are proof of Japanese efficiency. Similarly, men are not less idle on the train. Getting the tie in a nice shape can be observed or even sometimes I am “lucky” to see someone shaving. Then in the evening, I have seen tired salaryman trying to hide the fact that they are drinking beer on the way back to home.
In October 2000 the “Japan-guide.com” had done a survey on how long it takes for Japanese to commute to work in the cities. Surprisingly I found that it took for students longer to commute than company workers: 34% of students commute for over two hours daily, while only 21% of company workers travel that long.
Among train riders unhappy commuters (33%) outnumber the happy ones (24%), which is not surprising because 55% of Japanese train riders indicated that the train is always very crowded.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤）