Imagine getting on a train after slogging through the slush-filled streets of Tokyo under a grey cloud-filled sky. With the usual packed row of seats, you’re forced to stand while you manipulate your Twitter feed with only one hand.
Then you begin to notice and odd sensation in the hand you’re using to keep your footing as the train jerks and rattles along. The strap you had unwittingly chosen feels a little different to normal. Looking up, you discover that it is in fact in the shape of a heart, and next to it is another heart-shaped hand strap being held into by another. Then your two eyes meet and you’re both struck by what Michael Corleone referred to as a “lightning bolt.”
This is exactly the kind of scene Japan Rail East hoped will play out in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day when they installed a single pair of heart-shaped hand straps on trains running along the Keiyo Line.