The stereotype is correct In the morning rush hour the trains in under and above Tokyo are jam packed so that additional passengers have to be pushed through the doors by the combined efforts of platform assistants until you think this is as full as the train can get And then it does get even a littler fuller And after that a little fuller yet And maybe at some point it s re ally full enough and the train will depart You get the feeling that all of Japan has just been crammed into a single cabin All of Japan No because I m not on board As a freelance writer I can personally choose when and where I d like to work and decide whether I even have to take a train to get there In any case I first have to drop off my child at the daycare center which happens around 9 AM After that I go to work By that time the really big rush on the trains is over but they re still packed enough So I d rather go to the coffee shop around the corner Laptops left unattended First I look for a place on the second floor that I reserve by depositing my laptop before returning to the first floor to place my order The first time I watched how trustingly the Japanese mark their territory with unat tended items of value I was impressed by their obviously justified trust in their fellow human beings but thought that owing to my cultural background I d never be able to overcome my inclination to distrust humanity But surprisingly I ultimately did Although the people that have made themselves comfortable on the top floor aren t likely to go anywhere anytime soon my seat neighbors are by no means idlers Practically everyone like me is working The avail ability of power outlets can be taken for granted in this coffee shop just like a free supply of water There s a number of companies in this neighborhood that belong to the entertainment industry in some way so while sneaking a peek at someone else s screen you may catch a glimpse of new Manga figures or video animations in their state of creation There s nothing to listen in on at the coffee shop though People in Japan tend to use oth er locales for social exchange Cashless access to trains At times you have a need for something to read or would like to write something My favorite place to hunt for new material is the bookstore of the Kinokuniya chain in the Takashimaya Times Square shopping mall in Shinjuku The Yamanote railroad line untiringly cir cles the downtown area A full circle takes 90 minutes and from my station to Shinjuku just twelve Shinjuku is probably the busiest station in the world serving more than 3 5 million passengers per day There are no ticket inspectors or checks in urban trans portation systems and on most long distance trains as What s it like to live in the world s biggest city as a foreigner Andreas Neuenkirchen an author of numerous non fiction books and novels relating to Japan has been living in Tokyo with his wife and their child since early 2016 For tomorrow he captured a typical day in the metropolis with a population of 38 million by Andreas Neuenkirchen T KYO 24H This too is Tokyo ATMs with operating hours global 29

Vorschau Schaeffler tomorrow 02-2018 EN Seite 29
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