In the dead of winter, my mind often wonders to
If you’re coming from a major metropolitan area in the US, like New York, you’ll be shocked at how orderly and clean Tokyo’s gigantic subway system is…
1. There’s no trash in the subway stations.
It almost looks like you could eat off the ground there it’s so clean. The only pieces of trash you might spot are discarded surgical masks, but even those are very rare.
2. There are no trash cans in the subway stations.
This is what makes the first point even more surprising.
Okay, there are some receptacles of this sort—but usually they’re strictly for recycling and are right next to the ample vending machines (see fact #9).
3. Public bathrooms exist in subway stations—lots of them.
They’re spotless, too. In New York, these would end up as resting spots for countless homeless people and would stink like the fecal matter that would inevitably fill it within hours.
4. People wait in orderly lines to get into the trains.
Yellow strips delineate where you can stand to wait to board the train at some stations. People actually stand in straight lines next to these strips before their train arrives.
5. There’s a women-only car for rush hour to prevent groping.
Some other cities have this, as well. During commuting hours only, these cars open up as a safe haven for women who don’t feel like getting sexually assaulted on their way to work.
6. Nobody yells.
Most of the time, you could hear a pin drop in the train cars. People may push, but they will not make a noise about you being in their way.
7. “Task force” members conduct foot traffic between trains…successfully.
Wearing immaculate, bright blue uniforms actually labeled “task force,” these employees (it appeared to be only men) make sure everyone stays in line during the busiest hours as they make their way from one train to the next (or the multiple, perfectly labeled—“A1 to A12”—exits). It’s like the crossing guard who helped you get across the street to school when you were seven, only people actually listen to these guys.
8. They’ll also assist you with extreme gravity if you’re having difficulty with your ticket.
Such employees will also rush to your aid in multiple numbers and will not even remotely smirk at your if you make a stupid mistake like use the ticket you bought yesterday. They take their jobs seriously.
9. You can purchase about a million different beverages.
The vending, which are all very high-tech and futuristic-looking to people in the US, offer multiple different kinds of coffee, tea, hot chocolate (including, but not limited to, banana and strawberry hot chocolate), juices, and even soups (often corn).