Densha & Aruite


This is not my commute.

My commute consists of fifteen minutes walking and a seven minute train ride, perhaps the inverse of a typical “Japanese” commute, optimized for an under-10 walk but a potentially over-90 ride on the rails.

I have to gain altitude on the way to my station, in summer this leaves me dripping by the time I get there. If I am running late, which I am more often than not, it means that I am in fact, running…to try and make the train. My door-to-train record is seven minutes, a feat I hope I never have to repeat.

My walk takes me past the giant sports field of our local high-school, which is far and away the highlight of the trip. Recently the baseball team had three metal drums set up behind home plate with fires in them. They were conducting practice as usual, and I could not stop to decipher the reasoning behind the drums (see: running late) but it was curious. Otherwise, it is always a refreshing site, youth and energy and the serious pursuit of play and all that.

I have reverse commute so I can always get a seat, I imagine this has made a significant impact on my enjoyment of life in Tokyo, for when circumstance takes me with traffic, I find myself considerably less enamored of high-density urban environs.

I think my perfect commute in the universe would be a forty minute ride on an empty train. I really love trains, and riding them is one of the more enjoyable parts of my everyday life here, and I will sorely miss their ubiquity after I am gone.

1 Comment so far

  1. charmaine (unregistered) on April 2nd, 2005 @ 7:25 am

    Agreed. Trains are really cool. You can observe the world without being subject to vehicular traffic. I used to have a commute very similar to yours – 12 minute walk, 7 minute train ride. A new job means I now ride the bus/subway instead of the train. Sabishii …

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