Travel like a true Tokyoite

Updated 11:10 AM ET, Fri October 26, 2012
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The Tokyo rail and subway map can be intimidating with so many lines and stops indicated. But after a few trips, reading the map becomes second nature. Courtesy Alex Bryant
Life in Tokyo can be tiring with some commuters falling asleep on their way home. It's a familiar site says Sandra Barron, an American writer based in Tokyo. "There is a tolerance that if the person next to you falls asleep and their head kind of lands on your shoulder, people just put up with it. That happens a lot. People don't like it, they don't cuddle with them or anything but it's kind of accepted that that happens." AFP/Getty Images
"Oshiya" ("pushers") at Tokyo's Shinjuku station in the rush hour in 1967. They are employed to pack as many passengers as possible into the carriages. "The peak rush hour is really unbelievable. I've only been a few times and I've really made an effort to avoid it ever since because it is really crowded. It's like a cattle cart," says Barron. Getty Images
A station staff member bows his head in front of passengers to apologize for delayed train at Japan Railway's station in Saitama city, northern Tokyo. The rail and subway network runs very smoothly, says Barron. "Compared to New York, [Tokyo] is really efficient, really orderly, really clean ... " AFP/Getty Images
Subway operators, Tokyo Metro has posters plastered around their stations reminding passengers of their manners while using the services. Courtesy Joe Minkiewicz
Female passengers board a "women-only" carriage at a metro station. Several private railways and subway trains operated by the Tokyo metropolitan government run the carriages during the morning rush hour in order to prevent "chikan" (groping) in crowded trains. Getty Images