Comic: I hate crowded trains in Tokyo

Texan in Tokyo comics living in Japan gaijin mangaka cartoon crowded train morning rush crowdingOne of the best things about working from home is the fact that I rarely have to ride incredibly crowded trains.

When I do, I feel like I can’t breathe. There’s too much sweat and carbon dioxide in the air. It’s a sweaty sauna where you have to stand for thirty minutes, with your junk pressed up against random stranger’s junk.

I seriously can’t understand how some people can do this every morning for forty (or more) years. I just… can’t.


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Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo


About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

26 Comments on Comic: I hate crowded trains in Tokyo

  1. Anastasia // 18 June, 2015 at 7:12 am //

    I felt absolutely the same, when was riding at work (Saint-Petersburg metro is soo crowded too)!

  2. This is exactly the reason why I left Japan almost 20 years ago…

  3. Sounds like my life here in NYC lol

  4. Ohhhh my gosh. Yeah i hate morning classes for this exact reason. I take the local train, which tends to be less crowded, but at the same time, it’s still crowded enough that it’s sometimes hard to stand. Plus, I like standing by the door, so when it gets super crowded, sometimes I feel like my back will break since I basically get pushed against the bar separating seats from the standing area…

  5. Meliah Macon // 10 December, 2014 at 10:39 am //

    So many experiences on crowded trains. I had to get on one every other morning for first period Intensive Japanese at Meiji Gakuin Uni. on the Tokyu-Meguro Line. Early morning trains are almost as bad as crowded last trains. You have people falling asleep on your shoulder/ back, everyone has coffee or some kind of breakfast breath, and people use your back or shoulder to fill out papers or something. I also commute while listening to music and one time my headphones got yanked out and was threaded between people and I had to yank it out when it came to my stop. Oh and don’t forget rainy season when you get impaled with umbrellas.

  6. Never really occurred to me before, but you would think they would limit the number of passengers on a car for safety reasons! …and speaking of the can’t breathe feeling, I bet the carbon dioxide level gets pretty high in there! It would be interesting to take a pocket tester with you to find out how many brain cells you kill each trip ;)

  7. Lol, I am so weird. One of my goals in Japan was to ride a super-packed train in Japan, and I loved it because it made me feel like I really was in Japan in a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming sort of way. It would have gotten really old really fast if I’d had to do it more often than once every other month.

    Conversely, I can’t stand it in the winter when the train is heated and all of the hot carbon dioxide just sort of hangs there; I really did feel like I couldn’t breathe. I just had to remind myself that it was (mostly) mental.

    • Ugh. Do the Chuo Line during the evening rush -that can totally cure you of the “I want to ride in a crowded train” bug. Hahaha.

      But no – when the windows were “sweating” in the winter, it was AWFUL!

  8. One reason I was so glad my husband found a job in Kyoto! Trains are only crowded during momiji season, but even then not to this degree.

  9. Oh the joys of public transportation! :-D
    Momo-chan~ :-)

  10. Omg so true!! Also, I hate how people who are not holding onto anything lean with all of their body weight on me… so in the end I have to hold my balance with 2-3 Japanese girls on my back..

  11. You could as well just move to the countryside and work there, but yeah, working from home works as well. ;)
    Every single time I’m in crowded trains I’m so glad that I rarely have to use them!! ^^;;

  12. I had to take overcrowded subways to and from work at rush hour when I was pregnant. It was bad, especially in the first trimester when I felt nauseous and exhausted most of the time.

  13. Recently I had to take a train another town for a meeting and that was bad enough for me with the amount of people in there but by far it was no comparison to the pictures and videos you see about Japan :)

  14. Agreed. T-T Some lines are worse than others, but it really is uncomfortable. :/ It’s one of the reasons I’m grateful for the women only carsーsmells nicer and is just generally less gross at busy times. Having said that, a lot of the ladies refuse to hang on to the handles (especially in summer I’ve noticed) which means you get crushed that little bit extra when the train stops.

  15. I love all the detail in this one, your comics keep getting better and better!

  16. We just got back from two wonderful weeks in Japan and we were just astounded at how many people can squash onto a train! We stayed at Shinjuku while we were in Tokyo and people still seemed to be able to get on any train no matter how overloaded it looked to us. I was worried our family of 5 would get separated or be unable to all squeeze on but we managed! Bullet trains were certainly a much nicer way to get around that Tokyo peak hour trains! We were impressed with the speed, cleanliness and efficiency of the whole transport system though, much better than Sydney, Australia where we are from.

  17. Now imagine our environment exactly like that because of global warming?

  18. It must be even worse for those who not only have to ride the crowded trains, but also get ‘spanked’ aboard by those subway/railway employees with those big, long paddles.

  19. Oh, I remember all the days I took the crowded subways in Taipei.

  20. I sometimes wish I lived in an area with good subway system but can’t stand the crowd that comes with a big populace!

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