Today I got to spend four hours people-watching on Tokyo’s subway system. This isn’t exactly how I had planned to spend my day, but Tokyo’s subway system is quite a beast to tame. This is certainly not for any lack of organization, however. Japan is about as clean and orderly as a person could possibly imagine. There are buttons where I would never have dreamed a button would be required! And the people do exactly what suits the orderliness best, standing at the side of an escalator to allow people to walk by, waiting to enter a subway car until all exiting passengers have exited, restraining from jay-walking no matter how empty the street, and probably (though I don’t have proof for this one,) turning off all of the lights in the house when they’re not needed. One can walk around all day barely noticing how crowded the city is, because can a well-organized group of people moving in functional and efficient ways really be called a “crowd?”
Ok, I may be exaggerating, but not by much. When I was little I saw something on National Geographic about the astounding population of Tokyo and I thought to myself that I would be very afraid, were I ever to got there! I didn’t remember that fear until the morning we arrived in Tokyo and by then, it felt silly. Yes there are lots and lots and LOTS of people here in Tokyo, standing or moving along in casual concentrations of the like I’ve never seen before, but somehow everything functions quite smoothly.
While everyone else was busy at this “functioning smoothly” business, Drew and I were busy getting very lost and straying ridiculously far from our destination. We somehow went all the way to a little place called Zushi. I may never know if it is worth a visit or not because after spending hours getting there, we realized exactly how “elsewhere” we should have been going.