Tokyo subway rush hour

Old Jul 10th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Tokyo subway rush hour

Hi everyone,

I've read about how crowded (and crazy) the subways can be during rush hour, but I haven't been able to find any information regarding just what hours are considered "rush hours". Anyone?

Thanks,
Judy
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Roughly between 6AM and 8PM.

Also, 11:30PM to Midnight or so as there is a rush to catch the last train.

It will be rush hour when you arrive and until you get to Asakusa, if that is your question. And you will make it ok.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 08:00 PM
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mrwunrfl,

Thanks for responding. Really? "Rush hour" lasts all day?

I was actually hoping to find out that there are general rush hour times in the morning and again in the evening, so that we could try to avoid those times if possible. I realize that the subways can be (and probably are) busy all day long (just like Los Angeles freeways), but that there are still actual times that are considered "rush hour".

I guess we'll just deal with whatever the subways are like whenever we plan to use them. I just wasn't particularly looking forward to those situations like you see on TV shows where people are being pushed onto the subways to be able to fit.

Thanks,
Judy
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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When our kids were little, they always pleaded with us to find the subways where you get plushed into the car. No matter which station and what time we tried, we never found anywhere like the photos. I'm guessing there's maybe a 10 minute window at Tokyo station, but they outgrew the urge and we never found it.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 08:41 PM
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lucy, thank you. That's reassuring. I really did not look forward to being a human sardine.

No matter what, it's all an experience, isn't it?

Judy
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 08:43 PM
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Rush hour is not all day. I would say 6AM to 8 to 9Am and perhaps 4PM to perhaps 7PM.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 08:48 PM
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mjs, thank you. That's just the info I was looking for and expecting. It's similar to rush hour just about anywhere else, isn't it? Makes sense - people going to work and leaving work, but I still wanted to double-check and see if maybe work day hours were different there and might affect the rush "hour".

Thanks,
Judy
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 10:07 PM
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when we there in Mar, the only time we got squashed was when we took JR train from Kinshicho Station to Shinjuku. and that was the 10.00 train.

we then decided to opt using the subway instead of the JR trains, and no matter what time we board the trains, (9.00 am, 5.00 pm or 8 pm) we still able to get seats. Of course, having a toddler helps...
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 11:26 PM
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Hi

My wife and I took the subway quite a lot when we went to Tokyo last year. We were afraid that it would be total madness but it was not as bad as expected. I have written about our Tokyo experience in a trip report with pictures and links on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com/japan_tokyo.htm . Maybe you can find some useful info there.

Regards
Gard
Stavanger, Norway
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 12:25 AM
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Thanks everyone. One less thing to "worry" about.

18 days and counting...
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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are you packed yet, or at least have the packing list done?

just kidding...I was so excited at 19 days before my first trip!

Hopefully ms_go will have updates and some fun trip info to share w/us when she gets back, before you leave.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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I am definitely starting to get excited, but I haven't started packing yet.

I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I'll be working overtime at work for the next two weekends and a couple of days during the week between and the week that I leave, so I won't have a lot of time to obsess about what to pack. I'm still trying to get all my trip info organized and review my hiragana and katakana. I've been trying to go through a phrase book and jot down phrases that I think might come in handy. And, I have begun typing a list of things to pack. I just don't feel as organized this trip as I did for Thailand, but I think it's because I've had so many other things going on that the trip has not been able to be my top priority (it's about 4th on the list, but moving up). I'm actually looking forward to the HOURS on the plane just to be able to relax and not stress about anything.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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When you are at the stations remember to keep LEFT when using the escalators. This applies even when in a group or when there aren't much folks about.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Thanks KMLoke.

Judy
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 05:14 AM
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judy, I thought of you and your post when I saw this this morning.

I have avoided the subways at rush hour. I always seem to be on the Yamanote loop instead, as I stay in a hotel on the loop. I've only taken the Ginza line subway a few times to Asakusa and a few others (to Tokyo Dome once and Akasaka once), and have never had this kind of experience.

http://www.japan-guide.com/daily/?050225
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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jlaughs:

We(my wife and I)got stuck in the crowded subway trains 3 times.

It was great!

Two of the times we entered at the Shinjuku station and were compressed in by "pushers" on the outside of the cars. The other time we were riding from Tokyo station back to Shinjuku at around 5:45pm. The train just kept getting more full at each stop till it was bursting with people. You really get an initmate experience with your neighbors around you as the train pitches, rolls and lurches down the tracks. The quick stops are a special treat in itself.

If you are short or have children it can be scary as they are buried below all the people and have their faces in peoples stomachs or various body regions, and we heard a couple of children screaming.

There are "women only" cars on the JR trains and I'm pretty sure the subway trains also, during the rush hours for obvious reasons.

A not to be missed experience!

Aloha
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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I tried to post a response yesterday, but Fodors seemed to be acting up.

emd, YIKES! That picture is EXACTLY what I'd like to avoid.

hawaiian, my BF would probably be fine because he's at least 6', but I'm a short (5') Japanese-American. Wonder if I'll blend in at all or will the American part of me still stick out like a sore thumb?

Regardless of what we encounter, I always look at everything on a trip (good and bad) as an experience. Got soaking wet on a boat ride down the Kok River in Thailand and I just laughed (what else can you do?) because I looked like a drowned rat. The only thing I regretted was that I couldn't take any pictures because my camera would have gotten soaked too.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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My husband and I were in Tokyo in June and worried about traveling on the subway with our big travel backpacks. Well...we survived several trips from Tokyo Station to our hotel (or vice versa), with our packs, riding in insanely crowded subway cars(mostly mornings around 8am - 9 am). People just move over a little. I always felt awkward taking up extra space with my pack, but we always made it to our destination. The strange thing -- one subway line would be totally packed and then we would make our transfer and the next line would be fine. All other times of the day were fine for us (and we usually weren't carrying much). The subways are great fun -- even when you are sardined in!
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