6am, black suits, leather suitcases, make ups on, shiny leather shoes, crowded station platforms, announcements echoed throughout the station: office workers start flocking to the train stations around Tokyo. I confess I like to spy on people at train stations from my hotel window when I wake up around 5am due to jet lag.
JR train stations in Tokyo has a mysterious feel to it, especially during winter. I felt like I was stepping into Mr. Anderson’s world (From movie Matrix) when I got off the train and found 90% of the population at Shinjuku Station were wearing black and grey coat. Everyone’s walking, running to somewhere, meeting someone at the train station. Yet besides the sound of people’s footsteps and announcements from the speakers, you don’t see people talking as much. People are in order when boarding the trains, going up & down the stairs, not looking at anyone in particular.So many people gather at the same spot everyday to do something, go somewhere, yet the next minute they all disperse in different directions, like the leaves being blown off a tree.
I know it’s not nice, perhaps even creepy, to be observing/staring at people in the train station. However, when I pause in the middle of my walk, hide myself at corners of darkness, or even sitting down somewhere just taking a break, I am always intrigued by all the passerby: the one reading their cell phone with a face, the one looking ahead motionless, or the one reading a book and burst out a laugh from time to time.
I also fantasize a lot while at train stations in Japan. Who knows the next person stepping off the train, the one next to you, before you, after you, will be the one that helps you when you need it, or the one that befriends you later in a different occasion. You never know, you never know in a bustling city like Tokyo.
Which train station in the world mesmerizes you?