Saturday, August 15, 2009


For most Tokyoites, the words jinshin-jiko are a pain in the butt. Jinshin-jiko is Japan Rail speak for a commuter vs train accident. Unfortunately a relatively common occurrence, particularly in tough economic times.

Today I had the bad luck to be at the station when and where just such an accident occurred. Approaching Gotanda station on the Yamanote line, I noticed the train was still on the overpass, for a very long time. Uh-oh, that doesn’t look good. As I walked under the overpass a patrol car pulled up, and the officer sprinted into the station. Sirens wailed in the distance, as several fire engines and ambulances followed.

The station notice boards were running a note about the accident, so I hightailed it to Book First to wait out the confusion. Even an hour later the trains were still out of whack. Such an awful feeling, knowing that someone has been hit by a train.

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