My commute: Tokyo to Yokohama

Inspired by others….my journey to work.

I live in the incredible neighborhood of Nakameguro in South-Central Tokyo. My apartment is on the second floor above the dentist and a wine bar.  I considered the wine bar a good sign when I was apartment hunting in 2010. In the morning when I go to work, this street is quiet. But during the day it’s bustling with people shopping and chit-chatting, and hanging out. At night it’s lit up with lanterns (you can see the pumpkin lanterns in these pictures). This street is my favorite place in all of Tokyo and the view from my balcony is the best place to watch the world go by.

My street (picframe)

There are 27 vending machines on my 7 minute walk to the station. You can also get hot drinks out of the vending machine.  Genius.

Vending MachinesAnd 4 convenience stores (7-11 and Family Mart), which are called “conbini” in Japan.  If only learning the rest of Japanese was that easy

7-11 (Nakameguro)

Here is Nakameguro Station, which is pretty calm by Tokyo standards. I get there between 6:45-7:15 depending on the day.  If I get the express train, then I try to get a seat on the “women’s only car.” I never wait more than 4 minutes for a train and always have a seat. And no line changes…a straight shot on the Tokyu-Tokyo line. I can’t tell you how much I love Tokyo transport.

Nakameguro Metro Station

The train ride can take about 40-50 minutes depending on if it’s the express or not.  It’s my time to wake up. I listen to podcasts, check emails, or pretend to read.  People watching is the best way to spend your time.  As we get closer to Yokohama the car is crammed with people. But Tokyo is one of the only major cities I know of that you can fall asleep on a stranger’s shoulder and no one will steal your iPhone or your wallet.


Upon arriving at Motomachi-Chukagai station in Yokohama, I have a choice.  Exit 5 for Starbucks or exit 6 to go to the park to get to school.  I pick exit 5 95% of the time.


I love this photo.  I must take 8 or 9 escalators to get to the station exit.  The walls are covered with old photos of Yokohama, reminding weary commuters of what life was like in Yokohama when the first foreigners were given permission to stay.  Traditions and lifestyles change in Japan, but no country has a better sense of self than Japan.

Changing Traditions in Yokohama (instagram)

After a five minute walk, I arrive at the school gates. Yokohama International School is tucked into a residential neighborhood on “the Bluff” and is surprisingly small for a school of almost 700 students.

YIS entrance

An hour or so after leaving my apartment in Tokyo, I arrive in my classroom.

Bring on the day.


Thanks to all those who posted their journeys to work. It turned something that can be a chore into something pretty special. Check out Kim’s, Jess’s Anne’s, Clint’s , Keri-Lee’s  (any others?) for other commutes.

About Rebekah Madrid

MYP Humanities Instructor. International School Teacher in Japan. Google Certified Teacher. Apple Distinguished Educator. National Board Certified Teacher. Traveler & TV Watcher. This is where I write my thoughts about all of the above.
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13 Responses to My commute: Tokyo to Yokohama

  1. annemirtschin says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey to school. It is so different to my journey. I love the fact we can share and learn a little more about each other. My students are working with a class in North Japan, so I shall show them your blog post as this will give them a good ‘picture’ of our different environments.

    • I loved comparing our commutes. It’ll also be interesting to see how Northern Japan is different than Tokyo. And it is amazing how something so simple ( a few pictures online about a mundane task) can make the world seem more amazing. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Kim Cofino says:

    My favorite is the one with the school girls in their adorable uniforms and hats! Have you ever seen them on the bus going through Motomachi? It’s a whole bus full of girls in those hats. Makes me smile every time I catch a glimpse!

  3. Pingback: Visualizing my journey to school…… | e-Journeys

  4. Susan says:

    Really cool post. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow! SoooOoo interesting! You have a long commute everyday, but what an amazing one! Thanks so much for sharing your journey to work with us all.

  6. Pingback: An introvert blogging in a extrovert world | Rebekah Madrid

  7. Craig says:

    Thanks for sharing Rebekah, it is always good to be reminded about the joys of the simple things that sometimes we take for granted.

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