Even for Japan, this is a crazy rush hour scene.

There’s no better example of how incredibly crowded rush-hour trains in Tokyo are than the existence of oshiya (literally “pushers”), rail operator employees whose job it is push passengers into the train carriages to compact empty interior space in hopes of letting as many people get on the train before it departs.

Granted, the whole thing is done with the customary sprinkling of Japanese politeness, with the pushers speaking with respectful vocabulary and wearing spotless white gloves. But still, the sight of someone, in a professional capacity, pushing a mass of humanity into a train is a pretty surreal sight…and it gets even more startling when you multiply it by three.

Japanese Twitter user @jpn_darkside shared this short video showing the morning rush on the Sobu Line, which connects Chiba and Tokyo Stations, while asking “People of Japan, where are you in such a hurry to get to?” The line passes through several bedroom communities whose residents commute into Tokyo daily for work and school, so it’s not too surprising to see a pusher doing his job right as the video opens.

But after about seven seconds, he’s joined by a second oshiya, who starts shoving on the other side of the same set of open sliding doors.

But even the combined might of two oshiya isn’t enough, and before long a third pusher shows up.

Having three sets of hands allows them to distribute their effort at different vertical levels, pushing on passengers feet, waists, and torsos, until finally the doors close, scraping past the elbow of the last man aboard, and the train pulls away.

The “only in Japan” quality of the video wasn’t lost on Japanese Twitter users, including one who added in some traditional folk music to further heighten the indigenous atmosphere.

More than a few commenters wondered why they simply don’t make the trains bigger. The likely answer is that as packed as Tokyo’s commuter lines are during the morning, they’re decidedly less so during the rest of the day. Ridership dips dramatically in the middle of the day once school and work have started, and even in the evening it’s not nearly this bad, since after-school activities and after-work socializing, along with differing quitting times for different companies mean that the going-home rush isn’t anywhere near as concentrated as its morning counterpart. That’s also why being an oshiya isn’t really a dedicated job classification so much as a task that whatever station employee who happens to be on the platform performs as needed.

And if this video has you ready to abandon your dreams of living in Japan, take heart in knowing that these are extreme conditions even by Japanese standards. “I couldn’t imagine this happening where I live in the countryside,” said one commenter, and another declared “This never happens in Nagoya,” despite the fact that Nagoya is also one of the most populous cities in the country. Still, if you’re looking for an apartment and find a nice one along the Sobu Line, be prepared for some crowded commutes into Tokyo.

Source: Twitter/@jpn_darkside via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@jpn_darkside

Follow Casey on Twitter, where watching this video really makes him appreciate jobs with telecommuting options.