Get ready for the weekend by reading Japanese Twitter users’ funniest train stories

For most people in the country, the trains in Japan are relatively pleasant outside of rush hour, though they’re generally not exactly entertaining. Which is probably a good thing, because an entertaining train would probably be an annoying train! But if you ride them long enough, there’s a good chance you’ll accumulate a few funny stories.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be in Japan to hear the good ones—Twitter users are happy to share them online! Below, we’ve gathered a few of our favorites to give you a good laugh. So hop aboard as we take a look at some of the funniest train-related stories found on Twitter.

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Japan’s newest Shinkansen is world’s fastest gallery, packed with contemporary art inside and out

From an engineering standpoint, Japan’s famed Shinkansen is already a work of art. Recently, though, the country’s bullet trains have been putting a renewed effort into their appearance, taking inspiration from centuries-old tradition and science-fiction anime.

The latest Shinkansen to be unveiled, though, incorporates design cues more modern than tatami reed floors yet not as futuristic as giant robots. Instead, it’s envisioned as a travelling gallery of contemporary art, allowing for what operator East Japan Railways calls “the world’s fastest art appreciation.”

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Here’s what happens when the trains shut down in Tokyo during rush hour: Craziness 【Photos】

Compared to some of the cooler or more elegant-sounding parts of Tokyo, like Jiyugaoka (“Freedom Hill”) or Akihabara (“Field of Autumn Leaves”), the Shinagawa neighborhood has a pretty dull name, meaning essentially “Merchandise River.” Still, you have to admit it’s appropriate. Located near the mouth of the Sumidagawa river, for generations Shinagawa has seen plenty of cargo ships sail past as they ferry goods in and out of Tokyo’s ports.

The name even works in a figurative economic sense, as Shinagawa Station is a major rail hub that thousands of workers pass through every day on their way from their homes in the suburbs to their offices downtown. The facility is designed to keep passengers efficiently flowing in and out, but this morning the “river” got blocked due to a problem with the trains, resulting in perhaps the most crowded scene of rush hour in Japan that we’ve ever seen.

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“Miyako” – one of the most beautiful, feels-inducing Japan videos you’ll ever see【Video】

If you’ve ever visited Japan, chances are your first stop in the country has been a big, bustling metropolis like Osaka or Tokyo. While the enormous flat screens, heaving intersections and impressive skyscrapers make for some memorable photo moments, it’s the serene, picturesque country towns that really hold the true essence and beauty of Japan.

For those of us who can’t make a trip out to soak in the serenity of the countryside, there’s a short, three-and-a-half minute film that will transport us there. If you loved Chihiro’s tranquil train ride in the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away, you’ll love this touching video, which introduces us to a stationmaster called Miyako, who waves at all her departing passengers—and keeps waving until they disappear into the horizon—showing us just how moving a simple gesture can be.

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Evangelion Shinkansen service takes off on November 7 with life-sized Eva cockpit on board

As far as joint collaborations go, the Shinkansen Evangelion Project is set to go down in the annals of history, with Japan Rail West joining up with the hit anime franchise to make our wildest dreams a reality, by bringing out a special Eva-themed bullet train to shuttle customers from Osaka to Fukuoka and back on the Sanyō Shinkansen line.

Since the announcement of the project, we’ve been waiting on the edge of our seats for more details, and finally JR West has come through with news of the launch date, along with never-before-seen images of the train’s interior, which includes Eva-themed seats and window blinds, and a designated “cockpit room”.

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Thomas the Tank Engine’s video visit to Japan is more Japanese than life in Japan

Being that he’s a train on an island, you wouldn’t expect Thomas the Tank Engine to do much international traveling. However, thanks to a bit of clever storytelling (and Thomas’ absolute lack of compunction about stowing away on freight ships), the beloved locomotive has embarked on a globe-trotting tour in an ongoing video series.

In one of the most recent episodes, Thomas even arrives in Japan, where he takes in the local sites in a whirlwind visit that’s more Japanese than actually living in Japan.

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Tokyo trains to ease cellphone restrictions near priority seats — but not during rush hour

If you’ve been on the train in Japan, you’ve likely seen the stickers and signs plastered everywhere around the priority seats asking people to make room for those who need and to turn off cell phones. While you should definitely continue to give your seat to anyone who needs it, starting next month, you’ll no longer have to feel guilty about playing Angry Birds in the priority seating section—unless it’s rush hour.

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How honest is Japanese society? So honest this train station is fine with a non-closable “gate”

A while back, we talked about how it’s common in Japan for people to place dropped property in a place where it’ll be easy to spot when the owner retraces his steps looking for it. There’s hardly any fear that anyone else will take it, whether the item in question is as cheap as a mitten or something much more valuable.

But such admirable conduct isn’t limited to private citizens’ interactions with one another. A recently tweeted snapshot of a train station ticket gate has been getting laughs in Japan for its unusual design, and while it is kind of funny-looking, it also shows the extremely honest character of Japanese society.

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Attack on Toilets now going on inside Osaka train station bathrooms

Now that the Attack on Titan exhibit has wrapped up in Kyushu, it’s moved on to its next stop, Osaka.

Somewhere along the way, however, the titans and military decided to stage a battle in the middle of Osaka’s central train line, or rather, the train line’s bathrooms. On a mission to remodel some of the not-so-popular toilet facilities located inside five of the stations on the Osaka Loop Line, the bitter enemies are working together for the first time to clean things up.

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Crazy crooner crashes Tokyo typhoon report with his passionate ballad and guitar-playing 【Video】

Japan has spent just about all week getting drenched by a pair of typhoons that have decided to leisurely make their way across the country’s skies. Thankfully, there hasn’t been any significant damage in the Tokyo area, but whenever there’s heavy rainfall, you can expect local news outlets to send a camera crew to check on conditions at one of the capital’s major rail hubs.

Last night, a team sent to Shinjuku Station brought back footage of all the things viewers have come to expect from such reports. The camera’s lens capturing soaked commuters caught without an umbrella and concerned travelers watching the display boards for word about whether their train lines were still running…oh, and also a crazed, sunglass-wearing guitarist who insisted on being heard and in-frame.

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Now bullet train geeks can ride the rare, top-secret “Doctor Yellow” train

It’s apparently a pretty rare sight, not unlike the majestic (read: ugly as sin) Northern Bald Ibis, the probably made-up Sasquatch, or the sober RocketNews24 writer, but on certain lengths of Shinkansen bullet train track, one can occasionally catch brief glimpses of a completely yellow bullet train as it whizzes past. Japan Rail (JR) doesn’t make the train’s schedule public, it doesn’t stop at stations, and it only runs a few times a month.

And, until a little later this year, no member of the public was ever allowed to ride. Learn how you can ride the special “Doctor Yellow” bullet train after the jump.

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Japanese security company claims it’s discovered a new kind of train pervert: Lady sniffers

One of the most infamous aspects of Japanese society are chikan, the men who surreptitiously grope women on crowded trains. One Japanese security company, though, has tweeted about what it says is a new breed of chikan: men who encroach on a woman’s personal space to sniff her scent.

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Japan’s newest hot spring springs forth…from the center of Kobe!

In movies, there’s never anything good hidden in the earth under a structure. It’s all Native American burial grounds, Egyptian mummies, and other assorted other corpses of non-specific ethnicities.

In real life, though, there are all sorts of desirable things waiting beneath the surface, such as oil and gold. An excavation crew in Kobe was looking for something just as good as those two valuable commodities, though: a hot spring, and they found one right in the heart of the city.

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Get your day started right! A brilliant new idea for automated ticket gates

For people who live in big cities in Japan, it’s no surprise that a fair portion of their mornings and evenings are spent commuting to and from work. They slog through the station following the hundreds of other people on their equally boring commute, head down, trying not to draw any unwanted attention. It can get really, really depressing.

However, what if you could make a small change that would alter people’s outlook on their commute? Instead of a dreary depression, how about switching everyone’s attitude to a sunny disposition? There is a simple suggestion that could turn everyone’s frown upside down and it could be as simple as changing the way the ticket gates work.

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This 360-degree video of a model train ride is way more fun than it has any right to be

The arrival of virtual reality could best be described as imminent. With the increasing number of VR headsets coming to market soon and smartphones that are basically VR devices in our pockets, we’re almost getting to the point where starving to death in a game due to addiction actually seems possible. And that is awesome! Well, kind of awesome…

And there may be no better proof of this than a pair of recently released videos featuring a ride on a model train with a complete 360-degree view that you can control throughout the entirety of both videos. This might sound silly, but you’ll have to trust us, it’s actually very cool!

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Tokyo train station and convenience store roll out otaku welcome for Comiket attendees 【Photos】

Just how big is Comiket, the dojinshi (independently produced comics) event held twice a year in Tokyo? Over the three days of the event, some 35,000 creative groups and roughly 600,000 fans are expected to attend. In terms of size, Comiket isn’t so much an anime convention as it is a temporary city that roles through the Big Sight conference center.

Comiket is such a large-scale gathering that it changes the whole atmosphere of the neighborhood on the weekend it’s held, and with this summer’s iteration right around the corner, the local train station and convenience store are looking a lot more otaku-centric, as these photos show.

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Taiwan’s moe train mascot’s new image song somehow reminds Japanese netizens of erotic games

The “K.R.T. Girls”, moe mascots fronting the line for Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Rapid Transit (KRT), are no stranger on our humble website. Just recently, we saw them taking over their trains with full-length decals, and just a couple of days ago they released a new image song for one of the girls that briefly mentions a few of the stations along the subway lines.

It’s a catchy pop tune befitting of the cute, refreshing image of the mascot girls, but some Japanese netizens are saying that it sounds like a theme song for an erotic game. Give it a listen after the break!

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Japan gets a new stationmaster cat as Nitama is officially named successor to the departed Tama

It was a sad day for cat lovers and train fans alike when Tama, the cute calico that had served as stationmaster of Kishi Station in Wakayama Prefecture since 2007, recently passed away. Heartbroken as Tama’s many supporters were, though, life goes on, and Wakayama Electric Railway has announced that Kishi now has a new feline stationmaster, as Tama’s understudy, Nitama, has officially taken over the position.

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Taiwan pulls ahead of Japan in moe race, plasters subway cars with doe-eyed girls

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that the whole “moe” phenomenon – you know, that chibi, super cute anime girl style of animation and illustration that’s all over Tokyo’s infamous Akihabara district – is a Japan-only thing. But in reality, moe has spread throughout Asia and even beyond. It seems a lot of fans are captivated by the adorable schoolgirl outfits, exaggerated mannerisms and impossibly huge eyes of these distinct animated girls.

One such region in which moe has really taken hold is Taiwan, which is so obsessed with the animation style that it’s kind of doubled down on the moe-ness, pulling ahead of even Japan’s moe obsession by plastering its subways with moe characters.

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Did a Japanese high school student stop 350,000 people from getting home by throwing a bag?

Imagine you’re taking the train home from work at 7 p.m., finally getting to leave after being there for almost twelve hours. You can’t wait to just eat some dinner, relax, and then get some much-needed sleep.

But then bam! The train stops and the electricity goes off. You’re stuck, and you’re not getting home for a long, long time.

That’s exactly what happened on August 4 to many passengers in the Tokyo/Yokohama area. An accident shut down entire lines, affecting over 350,000 people’s commute home.

What caused it, you ask? The answer may be a single high school student and his friend’s bag.

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