What do you do when you want to draw a picture on your computer, but Paint just won’t cut it and you don’t have the money to invest in any software? You use Excel, of course!
After these passengers got stranded, they walked the rest of the way in such a precise line they practically became a train themselves.
Earlier this year, we shared news about a restaurant in Tokyo where you can dine between the train tracks of the busy Chuo Line. One of our Japanese-language reporters finally got the chance to visit the location for himself, and we’d like to share his thoughts about getting up close and personal with some trains!
For those times when the train is too crowded to keep your hands where everyone can see them.
Earlier this year, nearly 1,200 rail stations in Japan chose to ban the use of selfie sticks in reaction to the dangers of users not paying attention to their surroundings and the general nuisance caused by the photo-snapping peripherals in crowded areas. Now, East Japan Railways, Japan’s largest train operator, is taking aim at another problem: people walking through the station while staring at their smartphones instead of watching where they’re going.
But while you can ban selfie sticks and only ruffle the feathers of tourists and other leisure-oriented train passengers, millions of people rely on their smartphones during their daily commute to keep in touch with family, coworkers, and clients. So instead of prohibiting them, East Japan Railways has started a campaign to remind people not to use their smartphones while walking, and the reminder is so gentle that you can put it in your butt.
Japan’s public transportation network gets high marks for its punctuality and cleanliness. Not every ride on the rails is a pleasant one, though, because some lowlifes called chikan use the crowded conditions on commuter trains as cover to grope unsuspecting women.
Now, one high schooler and her mother have had enough, so they’ve started a crowdfunding campaign to design and distribute what ae essentially “Don’t touch!” signs for women to wear while taking the train.
With all the sights, sounds, and history Kyoto City has to offer, from the Golden Pavilion to the thousands of torii shrine gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine, most people forget that there is much more to Kyoto outside of the bustling capital city. Kyoto Prefecture actually reaches farther north, with its northernmost cities bordering the ocean on the Sea of Japan side, earning the area the nickname “Umi no Kyoto“, literally meaning “Kyoto of the Sea”.
For travelers looking to explore more than the usual tourist spots, there are trains departing from Kyoto Station which will take you for a scenic ride through the northern part of the prefecture to view other famous sites such as the beautiful Amanohashidate land bridge in Miyazu City. And now, Japan Railway (JR) has teamed up with a well-known designer to make the travel experience much more unique in this old-style Umi no Kyoto-themed train, set for departure soon!
Public transportation can be a cheap and convenient way to get around, but sometimes that means having to occasionally deal with rude strangers. For minor offenses, usually the best thing to do is ignore the situation and hope you’re not stuck with their unpleasant company your whole commute, but what happens when their behavior is so atrocious you and those around you can’t help but speak up?
In the best-case scenario, voicing your objection might urge them to re-think their actions, but for some, like this rowdy passenger captured on video in Shanghai, China, it may only serve to fuel their disorderly conduct.
A lot has been written about Japan’s incredible train culture. From carriages dressed up as anime characters to people who band together to rescue a fellow commuter, you don’t even have to get on a train to experience all the action; you can see it all first-hand from the platform itself.
That’s what one commuter found when they stumbled upon this little guy while waiting for the train in Japan. Caught on video, it shows an adventurous pigeon who doesn’t even flinch when the train arrives, instead walking up to the passenger doors, waiting for them to open and then hopping on board to find a seat.
The Limited Express Rapi:t that shuttles passengers back and forth between Kansai Airport and Namba Station in Osaka has been offering some fun rides lately. The train’s distinctive deep blue exterior was given a red makeover last year in a Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn promotion and it even received its own superhero earlier this year.
Now passengers are in for another treat with news of the train’s next big adventure: as a jet-black ambassador for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens enterprise. With awesome interior and exterior details, including a wrap that features all the new characters from the upcoming movie, this is bound to be a welcome sight for visitors landing at the airport from November this year.
In just about every major train station in Japan, you’ll find a stand selling boxed lunches called ekiben. A combination of the words eki (“station”) and bento (“boxed lunch”), ekiben serve as a tasty, convenient meal for travelers to dine on as they watch the scenery slip by outside their window.
Given that trains are terrestrial transportation, and that Japan is an island nation, until now you’ve generally had to come to Japan in order to get your hands on authentic station bento. That’s changing soon, though, with the opening of an ekiben stand in a rail station in Paris.
Fans of hit anime Evangelion are used to having their patience tested. Almost three years after the Japanese theatrical release of the Evangelion 3.0 feature film, the movie still isn’t available on home video in North America. Meanwhile, the fourth, and reputedly final, chapter of the Rebuild of Evangelion film series remains without a release date.
But if there’s one thing Japan demands punctuality from, it’s the country’s trains. So with the Evangelion Shinkansen scheduled to go into service next month, the anime-themed bullet train is practically complete and recently made its public and video debut.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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”.
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.