trains

10 incredible tales of kindness on Japanese trains, as told by foreigners

We recently regaled you with Truly Terrifying Japanese Train Stories told to us by foreigners, which included everything from runaway trains to perverts and nuns. Today, we’re going to relate to you foreigners’ stories of unbelievable acts of kindness they’ve experienced on Japan’s trains.

You’ve probably already heard a few stories of Japanese people doing good deeds, like lost property being returned or someone helping out the hapless foreigner who doesn’t speak the language. But Japan’s special brand of kindness goes much deeper than this. You know, things that when you see them they make you think, “Wow, that would never happen in my country!”

Join us for some miso soup for the soul: stories of extreme kindness on Japanese trains, after the jump. Read More

Faster than a speeding bullet! Ride the Tokyo to Kyoto “Nozomi” Shinkansen with us! 【Video】

Even if you’re not exactly a trainspotting otaku, chances are you still find the idea of riding a Japanese bullet train seriously appealing. After all, those things get up to some crazy speeds, and the whole process runs like smooth, scientifically adjusted clockwork. Even the cleaning crew get their job done, making the trains absolutely spotless, in seven minutes max!

But if you haven’t quite made it to Japan yet, then we invite you to take a Shinkansen ride with us and our Japan Wish competition winner Ashley. Strap yourself in and feel those G-forces!

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10 truly terrifying Japanese train stories as told to us by foreigners

We’ve all heard stories about Japanese trains, such as about the white-gloved attendants who push passengers into crowded rush-hour trains in Tokyo, tales of lost property returned, or even the occasional gripe about women who put on their make-up or men who use electric shavers while riding to work. Or maybe you’ve heard about how often Japanese people sleep on trains.

Well, today we probe a bit further and uncover some stories of truly horrible things that have happened while riding Japanese trains as told to us by foreigners who witnessed them firsthand. From perverts and nuns to near-death experiences, this will be the most entertaining article you’ll read all week! These stories will have you either rolling on the floor laughing, or more likely, crying.

Join us for some true tales of horror after the jump.

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The Evangelion Shinkansen will let you ride the rails like a cool angel this fall

Over the past few years, we’ve seen Japan Railways, Japan’s largest rail operator, embark on a spurt of posh train building, with coaches that feature gold leaf accents, split-level suites, and relaxing foot baths. This fall, though, JR West will be launching a train that dials back the luxury while pumping up the awesomeness in the eyes of anime fans with the Evangelion Shinkansen.

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Sakuragicho Station celebrates the coming of 1,000 dancing Pikachus with awesome new signs

If you love Pikachu, you’ll want to head down to the city of Yokohama this summer because that’s where you’ll get the chance to meet not one, not two, but a thousand Pikachus. And to add to the amazement, they’ll all be dancing up a Pokemon storm.

To celebrate the upcoming “outbreak”, as it’s being called, Sakuragicho is adorning their station platform signs with a number of adorable Pikachus. With signage this cute, we can hear the squeels of “kawaiiii” all the way up here in Tokyo!

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Short clip shows us what it’s like to ride the train or subway in Japan in a wheelchair 【Video】

As our winner of the Japan Wish contest is currently living her dream in Japan, we continue to believe that everyone should visit at least once. It’s such an interesting and unique country that people who want to experience Japan, even those with disabilities, should definitely take the time to get here. Wheelchair access, though, isn’t always guaranteed everywhere you want to go, which can make planning a trip difficult.

A well-traveled electric wheelchair user has compiled a huge bank of information regarding accessibility in Japan. One of his videos clearly lays out the experience someone in a wheelchair will have when riding the train or the subway here. To quickly summarize, “All aboard!”

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10 train faux-pas in Japan that some men are willing to let slide, from smooching to manga

Taking the train is by far the most common way to get around urban and suburban Japan. By its very nature, though, using public transportation means being out in public, which in Japan means following social norms about proper manners and not bothering your fellow passengers.

The average Tokyo commuter spends an hour each way on the train, though. It can be hard to follow all of the implicit rules of train etiquette during such a lengthy ride, and here are 10 minor breaches of etiquette that some Japanese men are willing to turn a blind eye to.

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Leiji Matsumoto begins project to build real Galaxy Express 999

It’s been nearly 40 years since the Galaxy Express 999 first departed for the Planet Prometheum and all of the emotional existential adventures in between. It became a manga and anime series that filled viewers’ heads with fantasies of romantic space travel on a locomotive.

Now it seems series creator Leiji Matsumoto is tired of dreaming and is readying to construct a real Galaxy Express 999. Before you ask: No, he’s not high.

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All aboard Japan’s crazy pro wrestling and electronic dance music trains! 【Videos】

By many criteria, Japan’s trains are just about perfect. They’re clean, safe, reasonably priced, and almost always on time down to the exact minute.

It’s hard to find a better way to get from Point A to Point B, as long as you’ve got a book to read, music to listen to, or smartphone to play with. Actually, you might not even need something to pass the time with, since some train operators recently made their service not only punctual and reliable, but exciting, too, as they turned their trains into a wrestling ring and full-on dance club.

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Japan’s Top 10 Scenic Train Trips–according to two “densha otaku” train guides

Greg Cope and Ken Mitchell have been riding Japan’s railways for over 30 years. “When I first started to travel around Japan,” recalls Greg, “I was struck by the fact that Japan not only has one of the most efficient railway systems in the world, but they have myriad types of railways, from new to old, conservative design to outlandish.

On one of Greg’s succeeding trips back to Japan, he asked his train aficionado friend Ken, who had seen a lot of Japan during a visit in 1967, to come along. “I devised an itinerary…incorporating a variety of different trains. The trip that I had nutted out from the timetable turned out well and I was hooked on Japan’s railway system,” says Ken.

Greg and Ken wanted to share their Japan rail experiences with others, so to achieve this goal they started Trainaway Tours out of Australia in 1998. These guys are living the train otaku dream, so when RocketNews24 started looking into Japan’s best, most scenic railways, we went straight to them for recommendations. From JR lines to small private rails, tourist trains to steam locomotives, let’s look at their picks for the top 10 train trips in Japan.

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Studio Ghibli animators’ West Japan Railway ad has us ready for summer! 【Video】

The hot summer months of July and August are almost upon us, and for families with young children, you know what that means…SUMMER VACATION! That’s right, like in many other parts of the world, families in Japan will be thinking about how and where to spend their summer holidays, including plans for travel. It seems quite fitting, then, that West Japan Railway Company, or JR West Japan as it’s commonly called, has recently announced the launch of the “JR West Japan SUMMER TRAIN!” campaign to showcase the appeal of traveling in western Japan by rail.

And it so happens that there’s something unique about this campaign that makes it hugely appealing to anime fans in particular — the commercial for the campaign features animation created by members of the Studio Ghibli team, and their beautiful artwork is immediately recognizable.

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Rest in peace, Tama – Japan’s stationmaster cat passes away at 16, company funeral to be held

It wasn’t long ago that we were wishing a happy birthday to Tama, the adorable feline that was given the title of Ultra Stationmaster by Wakayama Electric Railway. Having just turned 16 in April, Tama, who lived at Kishi Station in Wakayama Prefecture and delighted travelers on a daily basis, was incredibly young for a stationmaster.

16 is a fairly advanced age for a cat, though, and the sad news has just come that Stationmaster Tama has passed away.

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The top 10 funniest train happenings, as told by Japanese Twitter

What happens on the train stays on the train. Unless, of course, you decide to tweet about it.

Japanese Twitter users love to post about the crazy things they see going on during their time on the train, ranging from the slightly out of the ordinary to the downright bizarre. And now, for your reading pleasure, we have the top 10 funniest Japanese train tweets so you can see how the Japanese commute compares to your own.

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Neko rail! Wakayama’s Tama Train is covered in cats both inside and out

Japan has many celebricats, and Wakayama Prefecture’s fuzzy train station master Tama is one of them. Tama serves as a station master together with her apprentice Nitama at Kishi Station along Wakayama Dentetsu’s Kishigawa Line.

Not only does Ultra Station Master Tama have an idol-like presence in Wakayama, she also has her own themed cafe, and a train created in her name, the Tama-densha (Tama Train). More pictures of the cat train after the jump!

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Woman on commuter train thinks she’s getting a romantic kabe-don, seems guy would rather beat her

As clean, punctual, and safe as Japan’s trains may be, riding them during rush hour usually isn’t a particularly pleasant experience, when passengers are packed in at extremely close proximity to one another. In their search for anything to make the experience a little more tolerable, some people will latch onto any positive they can find, such as a mere hint of romance in a chance encounter with an attractive fellow commuter.

This week, one woman’s heart skipped a beat as she found herself the sudden, if unintentional, recipient of a kabe-don on her morning ride to work. But while she could easily tell the man bracing himself with one arm against the wall behind her was a handsome stranger, she didn’t know that his full description should also include “prone to fantasies of ridiculous violence.”

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Maryland governor seeks federal funding after riding Japan’s maglev train

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan took a trip to Yamanashi to try out Japan’s record-breaking Maglev (Magnetic Levitation) bullet train. Travelling with him were executives from the Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail LLC (BWRR), who, after enjoying a 27-mile-long ride, headed back to Baltimore with the intention of bringing the technology stateside.

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Miniature maglev train set provides hours of high-speed, floating fun!

When you were a kid, you probably owned (or knew someone who owned) a model train set, or Scalextric-style slot car racing track. You probably also watched Back to The Future and lusted after Marty McFly’s hoverboard. But I bet you never thought that when you grew up, you’d be able to buy your very own hovering high-speed train set! And now you can, courtesy of toy company Takara Tomy!

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Shin-Koiwa Station is going all out to prevent human injury and death

Delays on a train are annoying but inevitable, since with such a massive transit system in Japan, not everything is going to work 100 percent of the time. No one wants to see the words “train delay” on the information screen at the station, but even more so, no one wants to see the reason for the delays attributed to “human accidents,” the catch-all term Japan uses when people are found on the tracks while the trains are running.

An unfortunately common station for such accidents is implementing a number of changes in order to curb the rise of these incidents. It’s not just barriers and fences, prevention can start with you! So join us after the jump to see what sort of changes are being made to Shin-Koiwa Station.

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Hero lady apparently saves guy from groping accusations by posing as girlfriend

Japan is pretty famous for its packed trains that invite occasional chikan (groping incidents). Luckily, in light of improving rights for women in Japan, the law of late tends to come down pretty hard on train gropers. Assuming a victim or a witness to such a crime speaks up about it, a perpetrator typically faces immediate arrest at the next train station and can probably expect to do some jail time.

While this system works pretty well for the most part, it’s not unheard of for some unlucky guys to face career and life-destroying consequences after being falsely accused of groping. One Japanese Twitter user, in fact, posted a series of Tweets detailing a close call he had himself, relating that he was almost certainly destined for the slammer if he hadn’t been saved by the alleged victim herself.

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Five of Japan’s most beautiful and unique hidden train stations

Traveling by train in Japan is a fun and scenic experience, and sometimes the journey can be even more enjoyable than the destination. Shinjuku Station in Tokyo might be famous as the busiest in the world, but once you get outside the capital you can find many unique and unpopulated stations in stunning settings. Read on to discover five of them.

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