Lost in translation III or The train is calling

What a disappointment! – says a guy sitting on the same bench in the famous park – it was so well visible when I got out of the train!

True – I can only agree, Mount Fuji is a very “shy” mountain, thus, if you actually got to see it, consider yourself very lucky.

Famous Shibazakura Festival site near Mount Fuji.

Spring weather in Japan is completely unpredictable. It can be sunny and hot one day, ten degrees less and rainy the next, or warm in the morning, but with strong and cold winds in the evening. Given that, it is hard to plan the best time to see nature related sights, be it cherry blossom, Shibazakura, baby blue eyes or something else.

Shibazakura (known as pink moss or phlox moss)

Back in the train station and quickly climbing the escalator stairs I hear the music and the announcement. A shame to confess but this is about the only area where I did make some progress in Japanese. The voice kindly announces that the train on platform X is closing the doors. Typically, all stations (or even different lines) have their own unique music intro piece, which is followed by the announcement. Sometimes the announcement could be repeated twice or more, though, in most cases to announce the approaching train rather than the one that leaves. In any case, all happens nicely, in order, and (in absolute majority of cases) exactly on time.

In a train station

If you don’t understand, you just hurry and try to get in. When you understand, however, a couple of seconds to listen in order to catch the message and a shadow of a doubt whether you can make it, means exactly that, i.e. the doors closing right in front of your nose. Too bad…will have to wait for the next one, which, depending on how far away from Tokyo you are, might take a while.

Queuing in the right place in the correct line, must be Japan.

By the time I get back to Tokyo, it is a rush hour. For your own good, avoid the peak time if possible, especially in the morning, unless you are truly interested to know how it feels to be like a flake of tuna in a can. You may have heard that in Japan there is even a profession for that, a guy with white gloves pushing travelers into a packed train. How about that?

Here a pleasant voice thanks for traveling, reminds to take all belongings and kindly informs that the door on the right side will open. That’s where my Japanese language knowledge more or less ends, but I am almost at home…

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