The morning commute in Tokyo (or Osaka, or Yokohama, or any other huge Japanese city) can totally bite. As if you already didn't know that.

Photographer Michael Wolf documents that in his latest volume of Tokyo Compression. For years now, Wolf has been snapping photos from a train platform, capturing the cramped conditions of the commuters as the doors shut close.

Many of Wolf's photos seem to be taken when it's rainy and cold, making the photos appear steamy and sweaty. The subjects in the photos are trapped—some look away from the camera, while others look directly into the lens.

On the major subway lines, rush hour can get truly awful in big Japanese cities. You do feel like you are either packed like sardines or being herded like cattle. Your personal space is often reduced to nil, which can make the commute even more unpleasant and soul sucking.


As Slate pointed out, the recently published Tokyo Compression Three also features photos from the previous volumes. You can see more photos on Slate or on Wolf's site below.


Tokyo Compression [Michael Wolf via Slate]

(Top photo: Michael Wolf)

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.