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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
It seems so easy to plan an entire Japan vacation around a single tour of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The mega city has just about everything a tourist could possibly want to see, from Akihabara’s blinding neon to the breathtaking skyline of Yokohama, to the quiet, old-world charm (and weird poop sculpture) of Asakusa.
But to not venture away from Tokyo, to Japan’s more far-flung and lesser-known destinations is to rob yourself of the grander Japan experience, and Japan Rail (JR) has long sought to encourage visitors, both domestic and foreign, to wander off the beaten path with the Seishun 18 unlimited rail pass. And, if the idea of unlimited access to JR’s vast and far-reaching network of tracks isn’t enough to inspire your sense of adventure on your next Japan visit, perhaps these ads for the Seishun 18 rail pass, which depict the isolated beauty of some of Japan’s most remote train stations, will be.
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.