While trains in urban Japan are notoriously crowded during the morning rush, people are for the most part perfectly polite and there are even women-only cars to avoid the prospect of unwanted sexual advances in such confined spaces.
But for those unlucky enough to find themselves on a packed train next to a wannabe Casanova, that commute to work can get that much worse with some sleaze ball trying to get his flirt on. One group of Japanese netizens recently started a thread to share some of their more cringe-worthy pick-up experiences on trains, along with a few surprising success stories. Click below to find some great examples of how not to act on a train if you want to impress that hottie you’ve been making eyes with every morning during your commute!
Nampa, the Japanese art of pick-up, is usually something reserved for bars or busy streets. But these netizens found themselves the victims of some particularly creepy nampa practitioners.
One Twitter user complained that the main problem with getting “nampa’d” on a train is that there is nowhere for either party to escape if it goes badly. The person being hit on is stuck having to deal with what they’d consider to be a creep and little more, and the person doing the flirting may have an incredibly awkward train ride if they are very loudly and publicly turned down.
A few netizens, sick of being asked for their name by someone annoying them, gave a fake name. One gave the name of a Japanese cabinet member, which confused the person asking. Another said her name was “Cure Sunny,” a very obvious fake name from the popular kids’ anime Smile PreCure. But to her dismay, this very desperate guy just replied “what a coincidence! My sister has the same name.” Another netizen decided to amuse her suitor by letting him guess her name. Instead of actually trying, he just went through the alphabet trying every letter combination he could think up.
While most of the stories were of men hitting on women, one guy talked about his surprise about getting hit on by another guy. (Presumably, this guy didn’t know about Japanese cruising techniques.) And one woman was very surprised to be asked for her number by an older woman. It turns out that she was trying to set up her son with this young woman to replace his unworthy girlfriend!
The train is not really the place to show off your talents. Your music or poetry skills should be reserved for an open mic night at a local cafe. But some netizens witnessed some people who thought that their skills would impress potential dates on the train ride home. One artist was drawing in his notebook and started sketching the girl sitting across from him. Then he just looked up and said “Wanna go on a date?” Don’t try this at home guys. Another netizen saw an apparent sudoku master going around the train offering to help all the ladies with the popular puzzle game by filling in their blank spots…
One netizen described a time when she was on a very crowded train and kept getting pushed incredibly hard in the back. When she got off and walked home from the station, she noticed how great her body felt. She wondered if she had she been the receiver of an impromptu massage by a chiropractor who wanted to impress her!
Lost in translation
While some foreign guys in Japan seem to attract all the ladies, some of them are doing exactly the opposite while riding the train. One netizen described her conversation with an Indian curry shop owner who invited her to his restaurant for a free meal while stroking her head. And she might have even considered, but his Japanese was so bad that she couldn’t understand where his shop was! Another guy pestered a poor Japanese woman for her number and, when she wouldn’t budge, he started asking her about her employment situation and how much money she was making! Smooth.
While a lot of foreign guys very presumptuously asked Japanese women their marital status without even having a proper conversation, one man with very good Japanese told a netizen on the train “men are perverts the world round.” At least he was honest!
Not all of these pick-up attempts were complete failures, however. One netizen reported how he saw a guy ask a woman if he could share the overhead strap she was holding onto. Apparently that started a great conversation, but it wasn’t clear if it ended with exchanging numbers. Another netizen saw what they described as “a straight-up stud” start a conversation with a woman and then they both left together just nine stations later. We suggest that if this couple is still together and happy, that they consider a train-themed wedding in the future.
Another success story was a netizen’s younger brother who met his girlfriend on a train after they both rushed to help an older woman who collapsed inside the car they were riding in. The soon-to-be couple escorted the woman out of the station to an ambulance, exchange numbers and eventually started dating.
After hearing these nampa-gone-wrong stories, do you have any to add to the collection? Let us know if you have any amazingly terribly stories about either making the moves or getting hit on while riding the train! We promise we won’t laugh..