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Ellie’s guide to getting a seat on the Yamanote Line

Frustrated that you never get a seat on the Yamanote Line? Do your feet hurt while you wait for the person in front of you to get up? Annoyed that you have to stand more than 30 minutes during rush hour? Well, this is a guide to getting a seat on the Yamanote Line during rush hour. Hope this works for you like it sometimes does for me….

japanese riders females little girl

Shinokubo- The stop after Takadanobaba.
Shinokubo is a very UN-popular stop. But you never know. Usually, during rush hour, 2 or 3 people manage to squeeze out the door. Mostly, these are teenager boys in a school uniform that is black with golden buttons. Don’t be fooled though, because sometimes these boys don’t get off and sometimes they do. Shinokubo stop is a good opportunity to get into the seat aisle rather than stay next to the doors.

Shinjuku- 2 Stops after Takadanobaba.
Shinjuku is a very popular stop. Notice that a lot of business woman and men get off here. But not all! Make sure and don’t get your hopes up if you are still near the doors, but if you are already in aisle then you may get right in front of the seat or even get to sit down!

Yoyogi- 3 Stops after Takadanobaba.
Nobody really get’s off at Yoyogi. Only 1 or less men or woman get off here. Odds are, you won ‘t be moving anywhere. “Listen to your iPod and just give it up” – My Mom

Harajuku- 4 Stops after Takadanobaba.
During rush hour, Harajuku isn’t a popular stop. On the weekends a lot more people get off to go shopping and visit Meiji Jingu or Yoyogi Park. Only 2 or 3 people get off at this stop.

Shibuya- 5 Stops after Takadanobaba.
As the train is pulling into Shibuya, you can feel the tension of people edging towards the door, in a hurry to get off. Look down at the person sitting in front of you, (hopefully you are already in that position, but I wouldn’t be surprised if your still stuck in the aisle!) if the person is zipping their bag, putting away their book or iPod, or sitting up taller in their seat- this is a very good sign. But DO NOT be fooled by this. Sometimes it seems as though they are trying to torture you, sitting up and then going back to sleep after you’ve got your backpack off and your ready to grab the seat. This is very common… or at least for me. :)
50% of the time I get a seat in Shibuya, if I’m lucky.

Ebisu- 6 Stops after Takadanobaba.
Many business people get off here. It’s not exactly a busy stop or a non-busy stop, but in between instead. Rare chances of getting a seat, but don’t lose hope in Ebisu!

Meguro- 7 Stops after Takadanobaba.
Meguro has less people getting off than Ebisu but more than Harajuku.

Gotanda- 8 Stops after Takadanobaba.
Zone out into your iPod or book, because this stop isn’t very popular.

Osaki- 9 Stops after Takadanobaba.
Meguro, Gotanda and Osaki are pretty much the same. Limited people get off at these stops, but don’t be too surprised if you’re lucky.

Shinagawa- 10 Stops after Takadanobaba
Shinagawa is popular because it connects to the Shinkansen. I have never not gotten a seat by this point. Sometimes, I just let other people take my seat because you’re so close to Tamachi. But, if you’re feet are really giving in, take the seat and relax for 1 stop!

Tamachi- 11 Stops after Takadanobaba.
Getting off here! Most other people do too… Be quick. The people from the other train line that pull up next to you crowd the station instantly.

Well, that was it- from Takadanobaba to Tamachi Yamanote Train guide. You know how to survive the rush hour now! But one more thing… let’s just hope that once you finally get your seat, an obaasan or ojiisan won’t come along, making you feel like you should give up your spot!