Tokyo Subway Rule of Thumb

“Corner seats are gold” says my friend as he informs me that it is odd of me to go for a middle seat as I enter an empty subway car. He explains to me that sitting in a corner seat allows the Japanese to:
1) Lean on the board to take a snooze – precious in a day of a busy Japanese worker / student
2) Maintain as much distance (aka “personal space) as possible from the next person

For the next couple days I curiously watched people pile into the trains filling the corner seats up one by one… No exceptions!

Corner seats only
Sitting in the corner seats only

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