Commuting in Tokyo

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Commuting in Tokyo can be a major part of a person's day.

From door to desk, the commute to Tod's office is about 25 minutes. 6 minutes to the subway + 5 minutes to wait for the train + a 9 minute ride + 4 minutes to the office. We think this is a reasonable commute, but we pay the price in high rent.

Others prefer a lower rent with a longer commute. If we were to live 60 minutes away, we could rent a comparable house for around 60,000 yen ($600) less than what we pay now. Is the shorter commute worth 2,000 yen a day? I think so.

Yesterday I met a woman whose objective isn't time or rent, but living outside Tokyo. She lives in Fujisawa, about 50 kilometers southwest of the city. It's pretty in Fujisawa--lots of trees and greenery. But it is a long, expensive trip in to work--from Fujisawa to Otemachi is no less than 70 minutes on the train. One-way train fare is 1,100 yen.

People generally do not drive themselves to work. Perhaps for a special event--leaving for holiday right after work, or bringing something heavy or bulky into the office--but commuters take trains here. If you're riding in a car to work, you are probably being chauffered. There are plenty of big black sedans toting around the chairmen and presidents of large corporations.

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