Sunday, December 04, 2005

Train, Ikebukuro

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Trains and subways are part of the fabric of daily life in Tokyo. In fact, it seems nearly any location in the entire country can be reached by some form of public transportation - subways, trains, buses, ferries, or (a last resort but frequently used) taxis. This doesn't prevent the streets and highways from being clotted with cars and trucks, though late at night in central Tokyo the majority of vehicles on the road are taxis. The typical commuter is spared the stress of traffic jams and bad drivers, but depending on one's schedule and the line used this can be replaced by a long, sweaty, straphanging ride in a crush of fellow sufferers. Still, owning a car is unnecessary in Tokyo and the costs are formidable: parking alone costs more in a month than a payment on a very comfortable car would in most countries, and this is before even considering the cost of gas, tolls, insurance, and the car itself.


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