J Culture: French Woman “Insanely Crowded Commuter Train in Japan that I thought was joke is actually REAL!!”

  February 16, 2013

If you ever saw photo series called Tokyo Compression by German photographer Michael Wolf, and wonder if it’s true, this article may answer to your question.
A French woman who just started working in Japan wrote about her life in Tokyo on her blog, “Mati in Tokyo”.

She came to Japan 3 months ago. Although initially she wanted to be engaged in a cosmetics-related occupation, since she found it hard to find that kind of job, she ended up starting working as a babysitter for a French family living in Japan.

Wake at 5:45 in the morning, and hop in a train at 7:00, one hour to the nearest station to her workplace, she starts working at 8:00 am.However, it exceeds the standard labour time of the day in France since she works til 7:00 in the evening. But because, she only works 3 and a half days a week, it doesn’t violate French labor standards, called 35-hour workweek rule.

By the way, it’s worth noting that when a person is from a developed country like France, he tends to more care about working hours and whether his working hours in Japan exceed the legal limits of his country.For example, in the case of people from China, as long as they have a job with satisfying salary, many of them would rather be pleased to be able to work long hours.Every human living in industrialised society needs money to live on regardless of where they’re from. But this French woman life may suggest the difference between poeple’s idea on relation between “Time and Money” is probably bigger than we expect.

Although her life becomes irregular, she have got used to the new job gradually. However, she still find it dreadful to get shoved and jostled in crowds of people at Japanese station to slip into a morning train. When she was in France and she saw Tokyo’s notorious crowded commuting train when watching an introduction video of Tokyo, she laughed it off with her friends since they believed it was a joke. But now she wrote it wasn’t a joke nor a myth, but the real story.

Only the packed train makes her life in Tokyo miserable, she wrote.Did you notice? She wrote “Only” the packed train. To my great relief, it seems she is relatively satisfied with her life in Japan overall.It’s understandable no matter how much you like the place you are staying, there’re a couple of things that you find impossible to like.

According to the writer, the train is too crowded that she can’t even move. And even though she is relatively taller in Japan, it’s hard to breathe in the train. Interestingly, inside the packed train is the place where she gets physically the closest to Japanese people.

Because of train delay due to snow, she experienced more crowded train than usual recently.

But even so, mostly the winter whether in Japan is fine and bright in the morning. While freezing winds sweep, the sun shines bright in the town, bringing her a little happiness to leave home at 6:00 am in the morning.

Though she is troubled by the nortriously packed train in Tokyo just like Japanese commuting in Tokyo, we can sense a feeling of fulfillment and freshess from a blog post of the writer who just kicked off her new life and job in the new city.