No not the title of the David Bowie song, rather a comparison between two train stations in Tokyo. Shinjuku, one of the biggest train stations in the world and my station Higashi Koganei, a much smaller one.
I love train travel and have ever since I was young. I followed in my Father’s footsteps and his love of trains and train travel. I have fond memories of the model train sets we used to play with and the realistic train designs, towns and various other accessories that added a realistic touch helping to elevate our imagination.
Fast forward a few years later during one summer vacation, my parents let me take the train from Winnipeg, Manitoba to a small town in Yoho National in British Columbia called Field. It was a two day overnight journey.
Arriving around 9 pm at night I unloaded my backpack and bicycle, yes I brought my bike because the journey from the station to where I was going was another 15km ride uphill in the mountains in the dark. I made it and was a very poignant moment in my life because my parents let me do this alone at the age of 16. Needless to say it was frightening departing the secluded train station in pitch darkness.
It was this experience that solidified my love for cycling and trains. Fast forward many years later, I ditched the automobile forever (over 20 years now) choosing cities with mass transit trains systems–New York and Tokyo.
These two short video clips will give you an idea of what train stations are like in Tokyo. I hope to capture more in the future to give you an idea what rush hour is like in Tokyo and other ins and outs of the train riding experience.
For now enjoy!
Shinjuku station – one of the biggest and busiest stations in the world, although not now thanks to Covid-19.
My station stop Higashi Koganei – not one of the biggest and busiest stations in the world. In fact quaint and quiet like the area where I live.