One thing NOT to do in Kyoto if you’re headed there during the vacation period

If you don’t want to waste a huge amount of time in Japan’s cultural capital, here’s something you’ll want to avoid.

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Tokyo subway bribes people with free noodles to get them to take earlier, non-rush hour trains

Reward tiers promise better toppings if more people take the off-peak trains.

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Daily horde of commuters into Tokyo is larger than one of history’s fiercest conquering armies

Force from the north could have upset the balance of power in 4th century Europe.

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Shinkansen breaks down, causes all-day commuter chaos at Tokyo Station

Thousands stranded for hours during Japan’s peak holiday travel period. 

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Five tips to stay stress-free and comfortable as you walk through Tokyo’s crazy-crowded streets

Being in the biggest city in Japan means you’re probably sharing the walkway with more people than you’d like, but here’s how to make things easier.

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These are the 11 most crowded trains in Japan…and surprise! They’re all in the Tokyo area

Tokyo’s trains are too crowded for just a top 10 list, and the worst is one that runs at almost double 100-percent capacity.

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One passenger pusher isn’t enough for Tokyo area train that needs three-man team【Video】

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

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River of salarymen appears on totally normal, completely crazy day in Tokyo station【Video】

Oddly beautiful to watch, yet hellish to be in.

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Tokyo salaryman can’t be bothered to change expression, no matter how crowded the train is【Vid】

Even with three station attendants shoving passengers in to pack them like sardines, this guy remains cool as a cucumber.

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Crazy infographic series shows why Japan can feel both shockingly crowded and amazingly empty

The tiny shaded part of each map represents half of the population.

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Tokyo trains shut down at rush hour, turn Shinagawa Station into a crazy solid block of commuters

This is not how anyone wants to start their day.

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The most crowded train lines during rush hour in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya are…

Even though I could praise Japan’s efficient public transportation system for hours on end, there’s one major drawback about it that has left me traumatized on several occasions and never fails to induce terrifying flashbacks whenever I’m surrounded by too many people. You can probably guess what I’m talking about, right? Yup, it’s about how unbelievably crowded the country’s trains and subways can get during rush hour.

Anyone traveling in the Greater Tokyo Area or other metropolitan centers of Japan should be forewarned that the experience is not for the faint of heart–nor for the claustrophobic. I mean, you know it’s a bad sign when there are actually station staff on hand during peak rush hours to squeeze as many passengers as possible into each car. That said, if you’ve traveled or happen to live in Japan’s capital, you can undoubtedly sympathize with the following ranking of the most crowded train and subway lines in Tokyo at rush hour. And just so you don’t think Tokyo gets all the love, we’ve also thrown in the lists for Osaka and Nagoya, too!

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Summer in China means crazy-crowded pools, which somehow mean fun for some easy-going swimmers

As I type this, there’s a group of cicadas in the garden below the window next to my desk. The insects are earnestly whining away in an attempt to attract mates, like a group of liquored-up frat boys on their seventh round of the night calling out to every girl in the club to sit down and do a shot of Jaeger with them.

There’s not much I can do about it though, given that hordes of cicadas perch in Japan’s trees every summer. Unpleasant as they are at first, after enough time you get used to them, and eventually some people don’t even notice them.

And if you think that sort of aural acclimation is amazing, consider this: some people don’t seem to mind the crazy crowds that pack into China’s public pools each summer.

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【Life Hacking】 Eight Great Tips for Getting a Seat on Japan’s Crowded Trains

Taking the train during weekday rush hours is a grind in pretty much any country, but Tokyo and Osaka are almost in a league of their own. We’ve all seen pictures and videos of station staff wearing white gloves leaning against walls of commuters and stuffing them inside trains to the point that the entire carriage tilts dangerously to one side, and no doubt many of you have experienced the sweaty, space-invading hell that is Japanese inner-city transport firsthand, but did you know that it doesn’t always have to be such a miserable experience?

Thanks to the knowledge being shared by Japan’s commuting elite this week, you might just be in with a chance of grabbing a seat – and with it a few cubic inches of breathing space – during your next rush-hour journey!

All eight seat-scoring secrets after the jump >

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