Monday, October 16, 2006

電車とホームのすき間にご注意ください... Mind the gap

Perhaps i should start using some of the ample time i have before and after classes in the computer lab to write a lil somethin on my blog, thats a lil more proactive than playing games the whole time right? actually i did just print out some stuff for class just now, i've actually been doing productive things on this computer here for the past... 1 1/2 hrs now ^_^

But anyways, more importantly, Azalea Party & Ueno!!

Had quite a busy week last week I must say. Went over to the Nermia ward office or w/e its called to pick up my Gaikokujin Touroku Shoumeisho, i love that i can say that and know what it means... i should really look up the kanji for that, its cool like how i know how to write World War II in Japanese: Dainiji sekai taisen (第二次世界大戦)hehe, anyways the actual Nerima station is outside of my daily commute route, so i had to pay extra, and what i really should have done is looked up some cool unique to Nerima place/thing to go to while we were there, cause it basically just cost us 150 or w/e each way just for 1 min of picking up some lil, although sweet, card. Well, it took a few min to walk from the station to the building too, actually i must say it was nice to exit the subway system.

Ok, so the trains in Tokyo are basically divided up into 2 different systems: Tokyo Metro and Japan Rail (JR). Tokyo Metro is pretty much Tokyo's subway system, and JR is the railway company thats EVERYWHERE in Japan. Now i take the Yuurakuchou-sen from Heiwadai to Iidabashi or Ichigaya where i switch to the Namboku line for 1 or 2 stops till i reach Yotsuya

all subway.
all underground.
no natural light or air for 40 min

I gotta say it is cool to take the subway, i like it, it can have its advantages ya know, like i'm sure it'll be a lot colder in the winter riding JR since its all outside... but keep in mind they really do pack these trains like sardine cans, you dont need heat when you and everyone else is sharing their body heat with the 5 people cramed against them (ok, it hasnt been that bad, but it seriously is like that on occasion, really depends on the time of day) As crowded as it is, my commute really isnt that bad, I usually have at least enough breathing room, but... then again i'm a head taller than most ppl, so it feels like i have more room... yea, it actually is pretty dang packed, i was pressed up one dude who almost got his tie caught in the door when it close, haha, one of these days i'll take a picture of the trains stopping at a station, then you'll believe me, lol

Anyways, yea, as cool as it is to say "I use the Tokyo subway system everyday," I would be just as content with "I take the trains in Tokyo every day" lol, it gets really hot and sweaty just wearing a track jacket or a blazer or something, ugh, i can't imagine how terrible its gonna be wearing a big jacket, along with the other 200 or so people on the car you're on. Plus, its underground. Theres nothing to look at!! and theres no fresh air either. The Nerima station, where we went wednesday, is still the Metro, but after it leaves Shin-sakuradai it leaves its underground isolation and emerges to the wonderful world of... nature. Ok, well granted Tokyo is pretty much solid buildings but still, thats better than being cooped up in a tunnel, no? Actually, believe it or not, there is quite a descent amount of green in Tokyo, just depends on where in Tokyo you are, lol

**note: sen = line, ie: Yurakucho-sen = Yurakucho line, i'm used to hearing their Japanese names, so thats what i write down, sorry, lol**

If you're interested in how the trains work here, check out this nice pdf map from JR, unfortunately it seems to be a bit outdated, the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line and Yurakucho Shin-sen aren't on there, but it does have the route i take every day, Yurakucho's been around forever. That pdf file has 2 maps on it, the first is JR, and the 2nd is the Metro, stations are of course shared, so you could, for instance if i want to go to Shinjuku or Shibuya or something, take the Yurakucho-sen from Heiwadai to Ikebukuro, and then switch to the JR Yamanote-sen, Chuo-sen, Shonan-shinjuku, or w/e, they all work, theres freakin a ton of lines that run around the main Yamanote-sen circle (thats the main black and white striped circular JR line on the metro map, notice in its shaded and say on the bottom right 'area of Yamamote line')

So, if your curious as to just where in the world i'm galavanting around Tokyo at the moment, please follow along at home with these easy to follow instructions on how to take the trains/subway in Japan ^_^

First, Heiwadai, northwest of Ikebukuro on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boonies believe it or not, but you prolly wouldnt believe me if you've seen the pictures of the area, actually there is a rooster nearby, haha, i get a kick out of hearing that lil... guy every morning, lol, no he's cool, anyways, Ikebukuro is on the northwest corner of the Yamamote-sen, and Heiwadai is 5 stops further northwest past Ikebukuro. So get on the subway (Yurakucho-sen - tan... or yellow, w/e) at Heiwadai station (after a 10 min walk from Azalea T_T), now is where it can get tricky, see there is another new line called the Yurakucho Shin-sen (as i mentioned before, oh and it turns out the completed and running section for now is on that map, haha) that runs from Kotake-mukaihara to Ikebukuro on a different track, but of course runs on the same Yurakucho tracks before it gets to Kotake-mukaihara. Now if you get on this, yur gonna have to switch at Kotake-mukaihara to the other normal Yurakucho train waiting on the other side of the platform for ya. Gotta say its pretty cool to pull up to a station in a packed train, and see an empty train waiting on the other side of the platform for you... but that feeling disappears once the train literally just empties and fills up the one waiting. Fortunately, more often than not, its a regular Yurakucho line that you get on and you basically just take that most of the way. From the boonies of Nerima's Heiwadai into the heart of Tokyo, along with a couple thousand other Japanese people on the 10-car train. Luckily alot of people get off at Ikebukuro since its such a big station, thank you God, cause that gives you the opportunity to get a better spot on the train before it repacks, gotta move towards the space inbetween the seats, not the sardine can inbetween the doors, lol (i think i've mentioned that before on here... meh, w/e) So, continue on past Ikebukuro, and down to either Iidabashi or Ichigaya, and then the transfer...

lol, transfering is really easy, especially if you stay within the same system (Metro or JR), Now, Iidabashi's transfer from the Yurakucho-sen to Namboku-sen (teal) is actually about half as far away as Ichigaya's (70m compared to like, 180m or something), but Ichigaya is a nicer station and its got that sweet moving walkway, as well its not as crowded since most ppl switch at Iidabashi, and since Yotsuya is just one stop from Ichigaya, you just have to deal with a packed train for one stop, which is nothing. Plus, yur right at door where you need to be, first dibs on the escalators baby (make sure yur in the right car of course), its so amazing to not have to deal with a crowd when yur on the right train, w00t, lol

and thats it, total travel time... i'd say 45 min? 10 min walking time and about 30, 35 min on the subway, the Yotsuya campus is literally right next door to the station, its the best thing ever, 2nd to getting first dibs on the escalators of course >_<

I could actually stay on the Yurakucho till Kojimachi and walk 7, 8 min or so from there, eliminating a transfer but... bleh, forget that, i'll be lazy, i give myself ample time to get to class anyways

so ya got it? Now come visit me, now that you know how to use the trains, k?

I'll make another post for the Azalea part and Ueno trip, my 'Trains in Japan' rant seemed to grow rather long, i could prolly still keep going too, like on how psyched i am for them to finish the Yurakucho Shin-sen which will go through Shinjuku to Shibuya... which means i can go to Shibuya for free baby!!! YEA!!!

They say it should finish in 2007, and if theres any place in the world i trust for puncuality, its Japan, you can set your watch by the trains, i love it


Anonymous jamie said...

Got $$ for a plane ticket? Then I'll come visit you :)

10/17/2006 3:34 AM  
Blogger Supreme Lord said...

and i cant wait for them to finisih the baka gaijin-sen, which will travel non-stop at light speed from san fransisco to tokyo... stupid gaijin

10/17/2006 10:16 PM  

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