In the late 70s and early 80s, before the Yamate Line and most of the Tokyo subway platforms and subway trains were air conditioned, they were the best.
Now, it's not so good.
"Get yo ass in there!"
I mean, look at this video. What a ripoff! This train is half-empty. It needs many more people. This is nuttin.'
This ain't nuttin'! What a bunch of woosies!
Back in the old days, when Japan's economy was booming and the the trains were REALLY PACKED (not like today) riding the trains and subways was great exercise. As well as great practice in being a Zen Buddhist.
Especially back in the late 70s and early 80s when the subway wasn't air conditioned. I'd get on the Tozai line in the early mornings and get a full body massage and get in some gymnastics and ring work in while I made my way to the office.
Not only did I get some great stretching in I could get a great workout on the rings (like an Olympic athlete). The full body rub down every morning was definitely a plus. I could tell the people giving me the rubdown were experts at that and had lots of experience. Real professionals. Top quality.
And, right after the workout, a sauna? Not necessary. It was August and hotter and more humid than a sumo wrestlers arm pit after an 8-hour-workout (and it smelled like one too!) by the time I got to Iidabashi station, I was completely soaking wet and ready for a great day at the office.
Now, you tell me, could there possibly be a better sports club than the Yamate Line or the Tokyo subways back in the days before the air conditioning? I doubt it (and the price was amazing!)....
Oh, and back in those days, after a hard work out, we could all enjoy a cigarette on the platform too like real gentlemen. Not like the uncouth crap savagery we suffer from today with "Smoking Areas" outside the stations!
Oh! Those were the days!