Quick and clever maneuver eliminates one of the few hassles about high-speed rail travel in Japan.
Japan has an extremely efficient public transportation system, with the Shinkansen high-speed rail network being its crown jewel. However, as convenient as the bullet trains are for zipping about the country, they of course don’t deliver you directly to your hotel’s front door, which means you’ll have to haul your bags to wherever you’re spending the night once you get off the train.
Because of that, a wheeled suitcase is pretty much a must when travelling in Japan, so that you can roll your luggage through the stations and streets. The flip side, though, is wheeled luggage is pretty inconvenient when you’re actually on the train. If all the overhead shelves or full, or if your suitcase is too heavy to lift up that far, you’ll want to keep it on the floor in front of yourself, but then it’s going to go careening about the carriage when the train is in motion…unless you follow Japanese Twitter user @dai_hoshi0316’s advice.
だい ほっしー@西へ (@dai_hoshi0316) August 11, 2017
Seats on the Shinkansen are outfitted with folding trays in their backs, just like you’d find on an airplane. So when @dai_hoshi0316 is travelling with a bag, he presses it up against the seat in front of himself, lowers the tray, and then extends the suitcase’s handle through the gap between the tray and seat. This holds the suitcase in place, and thus eliminates the need to brace it with your hands or feet during your journey.
However, @dai_hoshi0316 says it’s best to keep a couple of other factors in mind before using this technique. Fist, if you’re seated in an aisle or middle seat, storing your bag in front of yourself can make it hard for other passengers in your row to get in or out, so you’ll want to pay attention for when they need to do so and move your bag accordingly at those times. Also, Shinkansen seats are reclinable, so if you extend your suitcase’s handle to the maximum height while the seat in front of you is still in its more upright position, it might keep the person sitting in it from being able to lean back, or could result in your suitcase’s handle snapping if they recline the seat with too much force.
If the seat ahead of you is vacant, though, and you’re seated next to the window, this is a pretty clever way to remove one potential luggage headache on your travels in Japan.