Monday, September 19, 2011

Tokyo Metro, 東京メトロ

Tokyo Metro and Toei are two main companies making up the Tokyo subway system. Navigating your way through the Tokyo subway is like threading through two needles at the same time, it requires first of all language, patience and well more patience. The two companies operate on few overlapping stations but otherwise work on entirely separate network lines. Subway in Tokyo is costly but effective, trains come on the dot and the next train is never more than a few minutes away. However I would caution travelling during peak hours between 7-9am and 5-7pm. The amount of people is astonishing and is an experience no tourist should be subjected to, you are constantly pitted between businessman jackets', and lets not mention the operators with white gloves shoving people back into the carriages so the doors can close.
A very interesting culture exist on the trains is  that one must not produce any audible noise either via talking (no more than whispering), or phones and gadgets. All audible phone rings are strictly prohibited and is appropriately shown on board the train via signs. This culture is unknown in other parts of the world, but I find it welcoming and makes the ride much more enjoyable.
There are also during peak hours, women only train carriages, very respectfully for women who want to ride with people that can keep their hands to themselves.

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