Only in Japan could a logistical nightmare like the Tokyo train system run as smoothly as it does. Underground, over ground, overlapping and running almost to the minute. The most popular lines even have a train coming every three minutes.

Tourists can get dizzy at just one glance of the subway map, multi-coloured lines twist and turn and intertwine in a web of confusion. It’s difficult to even visualise trains rushing along these lines every few minutes.

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One train enthusiast on Youtube has helped us to do just this, by zooming in on one particular section of the transportation hub to animate the real life flow of trains during rush hour. He focuses on the Yamanote line, a circular line that services Tokyo’s most famous stations such as Akihabara, Shibuya and Harajuku. This is one train route tourists are bound to get well acquainted with.

The animation shows the Yamanote line (bright green) and the intersecting Saikyo line (dark green), Shonan-Shinjuku line (red) and Keihin Tohoku line (light blue). The first train of the day starts on the Keihin Tohoku Line at about 4.20 am and the rush really starts from about 7am onwards.

Tokyo commuters usually take this sprawling transport system for granted but this animation really cements our gratefulness towards the tireless staff that keep it running.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.