questions & answers: general japan travel

where can i see train pushers in action?

Where can I see train pushers in action?

Hello,

I will be in Tokyo for 4 days and one of the sights I really want to see is a train pusher in action. I'll be staying in Shinjuku and am willing to brave the Tokyo rush hour to see this.

When and where is the best place to see this? Does it normally occur on JR lines or on the Tokyo subway, or both? Which station and what times?

Thank you.

insomniac
insomniac

Hi there!

Train pushers! This has got to be the best sightseeing tip I've ever given :)

The busiest period in Tokyo is between 7:30am and 8:30am. According to most Tokyo-ites, the Metro staff tend to push more people onto trains than JR lines, but both Metro and JR will have it to a degree during rush hour.

The busiest JR stations are said to be stations on the Keihin-Tohoku line around Ueno. Shinjuku is also said to be one of the busiest stations in Japan, so going to take a look at the JR lines there should give you excellent results.

Here is a great (and worrying!) webpage detailing the level of congestion at various stations during rush hour. You can target the most busy stations on this list and try your luck!

Please be careful when you go :)

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Hi Mari,

And this has got to be the best sightseeing tip I've ever received! :)

The information on that webpage is pure gold. Thank you so much. I'm going to go with the flow (literally), and see if I have any luck. I will definitely report back here.

Thanks again - I really appreciate the response. This forum rocks!

insomniac
insomniac

Look forwards to hearing about your experiences! :D

Have fun!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Hi Mari,

First all, thanks a lot for all your help. We're back in the UK and had a truly wonderful stay in Japan. We did pretty much everything we wanted to, and managed to optimise our itinerary (17 nights in total) using the invaluable advice from this forum.

On to train pushers...

My original plan was to go to Ueno station this past Monday morning at rush hour and observe from a safe distance. But one should be careful for what one wishes for as I ended up having a more, er, interactive experience.

I was travelling from Shibuya to Shinjuku on Friday night about 11.30pm. The Yamanote line platform queue at Shibuya was about 10-person deep, and I thought that there was no way I was going to get onto the train. However, once the train arrived, the crowd just became a solid mass and I was pushed into the train. So far so good.

There was a person a few rows behind me who wasn't quite so lucky. As he was getting into the train he actually managed to fall in between the platform and the train itself. It's hard to describe the scene, but there were people everywhere so it was hard to see what was going on, but a few passengers were trying to pull him up.

Now if this were to occur on the London Underground, it would probably be enough to severely delay the train, close the platform to avoid overcrowding, etc. However, the station attendant saw what had happened, walked calmly over, yanked this guy up back onto the platform and then pushed him into the carriage before the doors shut.

Absolutely amazing.

insomniac
insomniac

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