Passengers on board this Tokyo train said they felt like they were in an aircraft when they heard the live English announcement.
Commuters who ride the rails in Tokyo are used to hearing pre-recorded announcements in English, but when it comes to live updates from the conductor driving the train, chances are you’d find a gold coin in a rice field before you’d hear the conductor making an announcement in English over the loudspeaker. Which is why this Japanese passenger whipped out their smartphone to record this rail conductor’s announcement while riding on JR East’s Ueno-Tokyo Line recently, sharing the clip on Twitter with the comment, “The train conductor’s fluent English even extends to the train delay information“.
Listen to the announcement below:
木宮 (@Berries_shop) November 12, 2016
If you’re reading this on a train yourself right now, and unable to play the video with sound, the announcement read out in English was:
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are now approaching Tokyo. Get out on the right side of the landing. Please make sure (to) not forget any luggage.
This is the Ueno line train for Atami. Stop after Tokyo will be Shimbashi.
We are now delayed for approximately 8 minutes because of a fatal accident in Yokosuka Line.
We apologise for the inconvenience. Thank you.”
For passengers who’ve been riding trains for years, and used to hearing polite, recorded female voices in English, this friendly male voice has come as a nice surprise, with many likening it to the voice of a captain on board an aircraft to a foreign land, and heaping praise on the train driver for his proficiency.
“I felt like I was on an airplane!”
“Wow – that’s not a recorded broadcast!”
“This sounds so cool.”
“He should get a job as an interpreter!”
“He has the voice of a handsome man!”
While there’s no news yet regarding what the man behind the voice looks like, given his growing popularity online, with more and more people sharing recordings of his vocal stylings, it’s only a matter of time before someone reveals his true identity.
For more of the train conductor’s English announcements, check out this video below:
Atami, where the Ueno-Tokyo Line terminates, is a popular beachside onsen resort town easily accessible from Tokyo, which means the driver’s English announcements will no doubt come in handy for foreign visitors using public transport to get to the area. According to one commenter, a conductor on the Kumamoto City Tram has also been seen giving fluent announcements, so there’s a good chance we might be hearing more of these live English reports around the country in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The train broadcast is a nice change to last month’s story from Osaka, where a driver was reprimanded for apologising in Japanese for the “inconvenience of many foreign passengers being on the train“. Even more recently, it was revealed that the Japanese announcements at Niigata Station are being voiced by an adult video game voice actress, while the female English recordings on the shinkansen trains feature the voice of a veteran of the video game industry from Australia. You never know what you might hear when you’re riding the rails in Japan!