Commuters waited in jaw-dropping queues that stretched for several blocks outside train stations in and around Tokyo. 

Typhoon Faxai made landfall just north of Tokyo Bay in Chiba Prefecture at approximately 5:00 a.m. this morning, bringing with it fierce winds and torrential rain right at the time when the first trains of the day were set to run in the region.

Anticipating the strength of the storm, rail companies in the area decided to suspend their services from approximately 10:00 p.m. last night until at least 8:00 a.m. this morning, and while everyone knew this would cause a bump to the start of the week, nobody could anticipate just how busy things would really become.

People who arrived early to beat the crowds during their commute at their local stations weren’t even allowed to enter until rail staff had inspected the train lines and cleared them from fallen trees and debris.

While notices from rail companies initially stated that trains would commence operations from 8 in the morning, many ended up pushing the start time back by one to three hours to ensure passenger safety. The 8:00 a.m. start time was crossed out and changed to 10:00 a.m. on the Takasaki Line, as it was at many others, including Tokyo’s Yamanote loop line.

This delay caused huge crowds to form outside stations, as passengers were forced to wait for hours until normal services resumed.

▼ Waiting for the Yamanote Line gates to open at Ikebukuro Station before 9:00 a.m.

▼ Commuters at a standstill outside Shin-Koiwa Station in Katsushika City, Tokyo.

While we’ve seen crowds at train stations in Japan many times before, the orderly queues that formed this morning were particularly spectacular.

▼ Waiting for the Chuo-Sobu Line at Chiba Prefecture.

Commuters lined up patiently in the rain outside Takenotsuka Station in Adachi, Tokyo.

▼ A massive line of people outside Kamiooka Station in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture.

This huge queue could be seen snaking around outside Hiratsuka Station in Tokyo’s neighbouring Kanagawa Prefecture at 8:45 a.m.

Tokyo’s Mitaka Station was one of the most crowded, as commuters lined up for several blocks to enter the station.

News reports had announced that the Chuo Line and Chūō-Sōbu Line services at Mitaka Station were set to resume by 8:00 a.m. in the morning. However, normal services didn’t actually resume for several hours.

▼ This scene shows passengers still waiting to get inside the station at 10:30 a.m.

▼ And the crowd was still there at 11:45 a.m.

With trains remaining full as they passed through Mitaka Station, services were delayed and access was restricted until 2:21 p.m., when the rail services there eventually returned to normal.

▼ Passengers waited at the gates at Mitaka Station for hours before being allowed to enter.

Patient commuters waiting in line became a common sight at a number of train stations this morning, and even though the crowded conditions added extra heat to the already warm and humid weather, commuters managed to keep their cool.

▼ At Funabashi Station in Chiba.

With Typhoon Faxai now over the Pacific, Japan is still bracing for more to come as we head into September, a month that’s particularly notorious for typhoons. That means now would be a good time to restock our earthquake/typhoon preparedness kits to ensure we have everything we need to get us through the season.

Source: Net Lab
Featured image: Pakutaso
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