I inadvertently got on the Women-Only car yesterday morning. I was doing a short jaunt from Shinjuku san-chome to Kudanshita on the Toei Shinjuku line (a route I don’t do unless I am going to J & J), and I was only thinking about the exit when I walked down to the end of the platform and ended up on a special car.
I’ve written about the Women-Only car before, but it was interesting being on one: it did feel different. The first thing I noticed (and I am not making this up for dramatic effect) was that a woman was sitting and perusing a lingerie catalogue – something she’d never do on a regular rush hour train, I am sure.
The train I was on was within the city core, so it seemed somewhat unnecessary and, other than noticing that the car wasn’t so crowded and that it was a good place to do your lingerie purchasing planning, all I thought was: “…too bad for all those men crammed into car #2…!”
I am sure, however, that prior to Shinjuku (coming in from Fuchu or Chofu) the train is a wretched, crowded, groping, mess. Should there be a separate car? I still don’t see it as a solution to the problem, and it still seems a stop-gap measure that creates “special” circumstances for women. I don’t like it in principal, but it sure is pleasant in practice and it sure made my 8 minutes more pleasant.