Tokyo are fighting the overcrowded Metro lines by offering commuters free noodles to take an earlier train.

It is estimated that in excess of 7.2 millions people use Tokyo’s Metro system and, of those crowded lines, it is the Tozai line which is jam packed during rush hours.

In a bid to combat the rising numbers, Tozai line is offering free tempura and soba noodles for those who decide to take an earlier train. If 2000 travellers take the earlier train in the first two weeks they will be rewarded with free tempura. If 2500 wake up earlier, the prize is free soba noodles, if 3,000 people follow the trend then they get both.

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“This is our most congested line. We are always trying to ease the rush hour congestion,” Tokyo Metro spokesman Takeshi Yamashita told AFP.

“We hope this will encourage people to continue (taking early trains) to help ease the rush hour situation.”

It is also believed that up to 1,000 businesses have joined the scheme, a move that will see them allowed to change their working times or, in some cases, work from home.


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