As I wanted to explore Tokyo Station before leaving for Toyohashi on the 12:33 Shinkansen, I hightailed it out of my hotel at 8:00 via the free shuttle to Akihabara. There the crushing surge of humanity moved like gravel on a beach in a rhythm all its own.
Though I didn’t realize it before boarding, on account of high winds during the thunderstorms last night, passenger injuries, cable problems, and safety inspections, half a dozen lines had ground to a halt. Even the Shinkansen was delayed. I pushed myself, my tote and suitcase on board.
Once apprised of the situation by computer screen updates overhead, I decided to stay put. Others shifted in and out during the 10 or 15 minutes we remained motionless. I had lots of time and no alternative routes or pressing appointments. The train had to move eventually. With the breeze coming in through the open door, it was comfortable enough.
I could afford to be rather Zen about the moment. What surprised me most was the quiet. When I closed my eyes I couldn’t hear any people. Just dulcet announcements now and again.
However, the tide continuously pushing in forced me over to the right hand doors. When the train finally did get going, more people pushed in than surged out at the first stop. Of course, at the next stop I had to exit on the left side.
I wasn’t quite sure how I’d get across to the left door squeezed in as I was. Luckily the Sumo team I saw on the Chuo line yesterday wasn’t Tokyo bound today. When the train pulled into Tokyo Station, I figured my best chance was not to go quietly.
Sumimasen! I belted out (in my she-who-must-be-obeyed teacher voice). Okay, people, you’re gonna have to give me a break. And like Moses parting the Red Sea, they moved. A few gaped. Never mind. They’ll get over it. Call it good practise for the Olympics. You can’t invite the world and have it done your way all the time. Thanks so much, guys! Domo arigato gozaimasu. Have a nice day!