Sunday, November 16, 2008

Canceled trains create a (bigger than usual) mess in Tokyo

PB150003 See, today was supposed to be a simple day. I was going to take the express Chuo Line train from Kichijouji to Ochanomizu - a maximum 20 minute trip, followed by hopping a station over in a local train to Akihabara for my bi-weekly stroll through the capital of electronics and software in Japan. How was I to know that something very very unexpected would happen and the whole day would turn into an experiment of how many bad coincidences can occur in a given day without my head exploding...

PB150005 The first surprise was seeing the two guards in front of the express line entrance in Kichijouji with a clear sign (if you speak Japanese) explaining something was up (in case anyone thought jumping over the metal cable that they pulled across was a good idea). The image is from Shinjuku by the way where a similar scene was taking place in front of the entrance for the express train for Chuo Line, but I get ahead of myself... Where was I ? Ah, yes, still at Kichijouji. Not being able to read the sign I had the bright idea of taking a local train back to Mitaka (which is in the opposite direction) and then finding an express train from there towards Ochanomizu but nope, there were guards and a sign there too. So I gave up and hopped on a local train which actually turned out to be going the opposite direction - not good. Finally, at Musashi-Sakai I managed to get onto the local Chuo line train going in the right direction (which was of course very packed thanks to being the only Chuo line in service). Result? A very uncomfortable journey of about 45 - 50 minutes.

PB150007 After re-charging at Akiba, thanks to the very yummy  food of Star Kebab, I was ready for the next stop - Shinjuku for picking up something quickly from a store there. I am not even going to mention the train trip which was similar to the first one. This time I had the extra bad fortune of running into a free open air concert of this music group called "Gazette" which I have never heard of before. Now if this meant getting to listen to some nice music for free it would have been just fine but no - it just meant having to force my way through a bigger-than-usual ocean of people who were more intent on just walking slowly and listening / taking pictures than getting from point A to point B.

When I finally made it back home I think I appreciated that, just being home, a little more than usual... It will take me a day just to get rid of the stress I think. I am glad it was a Saturday and not a Sunday.


Hideki said...

Yeah, small things impact your life in Tokyo. When it snowed in one inch, traffics became panic!

Ulaş said...

It never got this bad though. May be I was lucky all this time :) I have seen 京王井の頭線 get crazy before during rush hour but this was something else. I still don't know what the reason was. There was nothing on the news about it.