2 days ago...
assistant: when should we go to the onsen in Izu?
assistant: but there's a typhoon coming that day.
me: yeah, but it'll arrive in the afternoon and as long as we cant get to Izu before the trains stop we'll be fine.
assistant: are u sure?
me: yeahhh. it's moving fast too so by evening we'll be able to just chill in the onsen all night. don't worry...
Boy...was I wrong...
An hour into the journey, our train was delayed in Chigasaki, barely halfway to where we were trying to go. This typhoon wasn't playing around. But as we debated whether to cancel our reservation at the onsen and head back to Tokyo, the train to Tokyo had arrived.
assistant: what do you want to do?
me: hmm...i still think we should try to make it.
assistant: but it's getting bad. we're not gonna make it. the onsen says we can change our reservation so let's just go back.
me: okay, maybe your right. let's go home then.
So we got on the train back to Tokyo, but we only made it one station to Tsujido before this train got stopped too. And then the assistant realized....
assistant: where's your backpack?
me: "F***!! I left it on the last train!!! F***! F***! F***!
Since all trains were now stopped, Tsujido station was a chaotic mess of people trying to get home. But luckily the train we were on before was still stopped in Chigasaki and the awesome station staff was able to locate my backpack (that contained my computer, my hard drive, and all my ramen recipes!). Only, we just needed to find a way to get back to Chigasaki so I could claim it.
Fortunately, there was a bus that could take us back. AND my backpack was back on my back. Whew, what a relief!
While the typhoon was raging outside, being stuck in Chigasaki didn't seem so bad.
But then it started to get crazy. And we decided to see what we could do to make it back to Tokyo.
At the time, there was a train from Chigasaki to Ebina that was still running and apparently the Odakyu line from Ebina to Shinjuku was also still running. But...when we made it to Ebina the Odakyu line had stopped. So now--along with countless others--we were stuck in Ebina (of all places) waiting for the typhoon to pass.
Well, I guess there's only one thing to do.
Comforting, but nothing like the original in Hokkaido.
What up Maruyama-san!
After a few hours, the Odakyu line was back up and running EXCEPT between Atsugi and Sagamiono because of a tree that fell on the tracks. And of course Ebina is between those two stations. So rather than wait, I thought we could take the Sotetsu line to Yamato, then hop on the Odakyu-Enoshima line to Sagamiono and head straight home to Shinjuku. But when we got to Yamato it looked like this...
The train at Yamato never moved because of something on the tracks between Yamato and Sagamiono, so we got back on the Sotetsu line and headed to Yokohama. From Yokohama we took the local Tokyu Toyoko line to Shibuya (stopping for 5 min at every station...dam that took forever). When we finally did get to Shibuya, the scene to get on the Keio-Inokashira line looked like this...
So we decided to take the bus. And when the bus finally came, we took it to Nakano-Sakue, transferred to the Marunouchi Subway line and headed for Honancho.
Exactly 10 hours from when we got stuck in Chigasaki, we were finally back home. What a lovely day! Thankfully, this little ticket helped us get back home for free. I don't think we were supposed to use it to get all the way back to Tokyo, but whenever we flashed it to the station attendant or bus driver, they let us ride for free. So the next time you get stuck in a typhoon and you see people handing these out...GRAB ONE!
It's good to be home.
Japan is an amazing country. When the trains stopped, there were hundreds of people stranded but everyone remained orderly. Sure there were those that got angry and frustrated, but nothing ever escalated beyond the stares of others glaring "who does this guy think he is." Everyone that had a job to do continued to do that job until the end. Many were stressed, but nothing ever stopped aside from the trains. A big THANK YOU to all those station attendants, train and bus drivers, restaurant staff, and everyone else who continued their jobs to make this country great.