For the past six years, I’ve made a point of buying myself a little Rilakkuma daily planner each January and using it to keep track of my appointments, deadlines, to-do lists, etc. These kinds of daily planners are widely used in Japan, perhaps as a result of the Japanese love of punctuality and efficiency (or maybe they’re so punctual and efficient because everyone uses daily planners?) Sure, you could use the functions built into your smartphone or tablet, but there’s something about writing things down that just makes you feel like you’ve got it all together. Also, and this is kind of geeky, but it’s sorta fun to flip through your old schedule books and see what you were up to on x date 3 years ago. In fact, Japan loves schedule books so much that you can now choose from a huge range of styles which are tailor-made to cater to specific lifestyles. Whether you’re a hostess, train otaku or exam-cramming student, there’s a schedule book out there for you!
The JR East Musashino Line sure has an impressive track record when it comes to trains being delayed due to unusual circumstances. And after a most bizarre early morning collision on Friday last week, the rail line can add another reason to that list.
Although the details of the incident are still murky, one thing is for certain–no one ever expected this to happen in the middle of Tokyo!
Nov 18, 2014
Weirdness broke out on the afternoon of 16 November in Osaka. Several witness claimed to have seen a woman jump onto the tracks of Izumiotsu Station just as a train was approaching. However, after the train arrived there was no sign of injury and the woman was last seen running away on the platform.
How the woman got on the tracks, survived the train, or escaped is unclear and an investigation is underway. Internet detectives well-versed in manga, however, are assuming that she was summoned by a big black orb in an apartment somewhere.
Sometimes, after a long day of napping and begging for treats, a cat’s just gotta get out of the house. And what better way to get around than by Japan’s famously on-time and impeccably clean railway? If you’re still walking or taking taxis to your desired destination, take a lesson from these street-smart felines and hop on a train!
Nov 4, 2014
Cell phones, and smartphones in particular, are amazing tools. They let us keep in touch with our friends and family, provide us with incredibly convenient maps and directions when we are lost, and are the ultimate tool in settling bar bets. They are our life support, our life line to everything, so what happens when our every waking moment revolves around it?
There have been numerous issues recently about people who endanger those around them when they constantly look at their phone while walking. A junior high school boy in Nagoya found out just how dangerous staring at your phone can be, both to himself and to the hundreds of people he put in danger.
Oct 27, 2014
There’s something about being on public transport that seems to bring out the worst in us. Whether we’re talking on our phones, bringing smelly food onboard, or taking sly swigs of chūhai when we think no one’s looking, most of us are guilty of some kind of train faux pas.
A company in Japan has come up with an ingenious design solution to a very particular kind of anti-social behaviour – people taking up more than their fair share of space on the train.
Get inspired for the weekend with this fun YouTube video from Down Under! It’s sure to leave a big smile on your face and an itch to get your dancing shoes on.
Oct 1, 2014
Saitama prefectural police said Monday that a 54-year-old police officer has been arrested after he assaulted two train station attendants.
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Sep 24, 2014
Most of us grew up being taught to respect our elders. In fact, this is one of the most fundamental values traditionally taught to Chinese children. But the video we’re about to see is a stark reminder that the times they are a-changing, and that even in China there are some real brats who think nothing of verbally abusing their elders.
Watch as this little Chinese girl threatens to kill the older woman after she apparently took a photo of her misbehaving onboard the train.
A man suspected of groping a woman on the JR Yamanote line escaped by jumping onto the tracks at JR Ebisu station in Tokyo on Thursday night. His actions delayed trains along the Yamanote line for about 30 minutes, TBS reported Friday.
Aug 19, 2014
A 41-year-old police sergeant from the Osaka Tondabayashi police station has been arrested after it was discovered that while riding in a train, he put his smartphone between a woman’s legs.
Aug 12, 2014
Komabatodamae Station was the scene of a bizarre suicide yesterday as two men who seemingly had nothing to do with each other took their own lives by leaping in front of the same train.
At around noon on 11 August, an express train struck and killed the men after they jumped into its path about 20 meters apart.
Attack on Titan stamp rally perfect for Japanese-speaking train fans, probably sucks for everyone else
Aug 3, 2014
A stamp rally, a promotional event in which you rush, saunter or dawdle around a local area collecting rubber stamps from checkpoints, is a popular summer activity in Japan. It often takes the form of a themed rubber stamp chained to an inky board that can be found at each station along a railway line, thus encouraging kids (and their accompanying, ticket-buying parents) to visit a bunch of places by train during the summer holidays.
Rubber stamps aren’t just for kids, though. Adults are welcome to collect the stamps in a book to keep for themselves, or if you catch ‘em all on the promotional leaflet and hand it in to the organisers, you can sometimes win some cool prizes or goods relating to the show or characters being promoted. And this summer, Attack on Titan attempts to bring the stamp rally kicking and screaming into the 21st century, with a railway rally entitled Attack on Chichibu. The twist: it’s a stamp rally where there aren’t any stamps.
Ever felt the sudden urge to go on a solo journey to some place unknown, or just to wander around aimlessly to take a break from the sights and sounds you’re accustomed to? This cat in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, seems to have caught the wanderlust bug too, and hopped on to a local train for a ride!
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Jun 18, 2014
Only in this day and age can a completely disturbing drawing of Thomas the Tank Engine created in Japan be discovered by a company nearly half a world away in the UK, and then be purchased from the Japanese artist and turned into a T-shirt. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the power of the internet at its best (or worst, depending on how you look at it).
And if this drawing looks familiar, it should. Read on to find out more.
Scientists at Southwest Jiaotong University in China have built a prototype testing platform for a near-vacuum high-speed maglev train that is theoretically capable of reaching speeds up to 2900 km/h or about 1,800 mph. Currently, the fastest commercially operated maglev reaches just 431 km/h and even the world record is just 581 km/hr.
May 8, 2014
In most countries, if an outer train door broke they’d stop the train until it was fixed. But this is Japan, and they have a schedule to keep! And so one poor station worker ended up wishing he’d stayed home that day after clearly losing at rock, paper, scissors…
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.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Jan 29, 2014
When you’re crammed into a train car during rush hour in Japan and almost everyone has a smartphone in their hands, you sometimes can’t help but look at what someone’s doing on their phone. Moreover, when you have a mix of seated and standing commuters, things get even more interesting, enabling a perfectly positioned passenger to sneak peaks at an unsuspecting person’s private messages. As you’d expect, you come across some really weird stuff when no one thinks you’re looking. Let’s take a look at five anecdotes from passengers who just happened to glance over at their nearby passenger’s phone.
Have you ever looked over while riding the Yamanote Line and saw the coolest guy you’ve ever seen? Sure he was probably wearing fashionable clothes and had great hair, but what was he doing? A poll conducted by Japanese mobile phone provider, NTT Docomo, reveals the top 10 things cool guys do on the train.
- Love dolls, strippers, jacuzzis and drugs: The Philippines’ largest prison gets raided by police1
- Too busy to wrap Christmas presents? Not if you’ve got 12 seconds, Japanese store shows【Video】2
- One more time! Anime fans choose the series they’d most like to see rerun on TV3
- Ready to tie the anime knot? Company offers marriage certificate for you and your 2D waifu4
- Tips from Japan to make your skin extra beautiful! It begins with a bath and…5
- New Evangelion short film now streaming on animation studio’s website6
- 20 crazy facts about North Korea7
- Rock band KISS collaborating with Sailor Moon Crystal’s Momoiro Clover Z8
- 11 never-ending hypnotic GIFs that just made a portion of our weekend disappear mysteriously9
- Clever cat duo cause havoc in the bathroom but are too cute to scold10
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 20153
- Chinese dude bags super hot Ukrainian wife, generates major envy online4
- Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG5
- Artist magically transforms Sailor Moon characters into black women6
- Japan’s cutest rodent commuters take the high-road【Video】7
- Our hero Ladybeard shows us and the world how to properly wear the much-talked about boob shirt8
- 39 looks at the lighter side of Asia9
- How humanity ends: Virtual reality headset hooked up to Tenga love cup for men 【Video】10
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood1
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin2
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】3
- How to say “I love you” in Japanese – 47 different ways 【Videos】4
- Japanese man proposes to girlfriend with Guinness World Record-winning GPS drawing5
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings6
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!7
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】8
- Hayao Miyazaki comments on Chihiro’s final test scene in Spirited Away9
- Fashion gone wrong? Boob shirts take Twitter by storm10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】3
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China4
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood5
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin6
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked7
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours8
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】9
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school10
- New Evangelion short film now streaming on animation studio’s website
- 20 crazy facts about North Korea
- Rock band KISS collaborating with Sailor Moon Crystal’s Momoiro Clover Z
- 11 never-ending hypnotic GIFs that just made a portion of our weekend disappear mysteriously
- Clever cat duo cause havoc in the bathroom but are too cute to scold
- Blogger offers four pieces of advice for foreign women looking for love with a Japanese guy
- This amazing Weipa recipe tastes every bit like fried rice without frying rice
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】
- Catch a movie in bed…at the theater! Four awesome theaters from around the world with beds for seats
- Latest evolution of Pokémon cafe to open in Shibuya this January
- “2D vs. Katana” exhibition shows off recreations of swords from anime and video games in Osaka
- Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 2015
- Man parks over sidewalk guide for the blind, gets lesson in manners from Okinawan fourth-grader