Novel wheeze to profit from packed trains latest in long line of creative ways to deal with Tokyo’s long commutes
Every morning, millions of Tokyoites cram into overcrowded trains across the world’s largest city. Most must stand, often squeezed uncomfortably together. So, earlier this month, one enterprising commuter came up with a novel wheeze to profit from the situation.
His morning journey ran from the suburb of Chiba into central Tokyo – a long trip for which he was almost always guaranteed to get a seat. So he put that seat up for auction – for 2,000 yen (£14.50). He named the car, and the time of the train, and asked buyers to show him proof of payment on their mobile phone.
As Japan's capital enters a year in the spotlight, from the Rugby World up to the 2020 Olympics, Guardian Cities is spending a week reporting live from the largest megacity on Earth. Despite being the world's riskiest place – with 37 million people vulnerable to tsunami, flooding and due a potentially catastrophic earthquake – it is also one of the most resilient, both in its hi-tech design and its pragmatic social structure. Using manga, photography, film and a group of salarimen rappers, we'll hear from the locals how they feel about their famously impenetrable city finally embracing its global crownContinue reading...