One of the most awesome things about Japan is that you can expect amazing customer service just about anywhere. With exuberant convenience store clerks and burger deliverymen who reimburse you for the phone call you placed your order with, you almost expect employees to come bursting out of the walls in order to serve you…and sometimes they do!
File this one under things we hope don’t fall into the wrong hands: Those Women Only train cars in Japan aren’t actually enforceable under the law.
All foreign men in Japan can recount their first harrowing experience of obliviously stepping onto a train, only to find that literally every single other passenger was a woman. There’s a moment of confusion and, if you’re lucky, a good Samaritan politely explaining that wieners don’t belong here, followed by the terrible realization that you’ve broken not only an official rule set forth by the train company but also an unwritten social rule, which is kind of almost worse. But, from here on out, you can rest assured that even though you’re committing a social taboo, you’re not breaking any laws!
- Scott R Dixon
Aug 4, 2014
With an ever-expanding list of banned items and never-ending security lines filled with personnel and machines bent on examining every inch of your body, air travel seems destined to eventually become one giant cavity search. And while you think you are safe from this kind of annoyance when you are on ground-based transportation systems, the Chinese city of Urumqi recently proved that they can make traveling by bus just as terrible when they banned liquids onboard. To enforce this already hated ban, local authorities have assigned at least two security guards at every bus stations along the more than 100 bus routes in the city.
- Casey Baseel
Jun 4, 2014
Being a guy who likes driving but has a pretty bad sense of direction, when I lived in Southern California I kept a copy of the local Thomas Bros. road atlas in my car. Having grown up with cheap, easy-to-use paper maps made GPS seem like a nice but exorbitant luxury, and when I first moved to Japan I couldn’t understand why navigation systems were so universally considered a must-have by drivers here.
Then I saw things like the crazy Hakozaki Junction of the Tokyo expressway, and the need for some high-technology guidance started to make sense.
Look! It’s a bird! It’s a truck! It’s a…suitcase?!
Yup, you may have to do a double take at the picture above, because that is indeed a man riding a suitcase down the road. As bizarre as it sounds, this guy apparently spent 10 years perfecting his hot new wheels. He won’t be winning any speed contests soon, but you have to compliment his originality. More pictures of his suitcase vehicles after the jump!
Apr 30, 2014
In Japan, the job hunting season is under way. From late December to April or May, students who will graduate in the coming year search for jobs en masse. Companies are busy trying to recruit the best and the brightest to apply to their firms, while stressed students rush here and there attending loads of job fairs, company briefing sessions and employment seminars.
For companies in Fukushima Prefecture, still recovering from the 2011 disaster and subsequent nuclear meltdown, recruiting new applicants is doubly hard. They have to contend with the usual tides of urban migration as well as the negative associations now attached to the area, but one local company, Niraku Corporation, has hit upon an idea to help bring young job seekers in: bus them in for free.
- Casey Baseel
Mar 25, 2014
While in the last month we’ve seen an especially intense burst of promotional tie-ups between public transportation and anime, these kinds of collaborations actually go back a few years. In 2011, for example, Keihan Railways partnered up with the producers of hit slice-of-life/high school rock band anime K-On!, in celebration of the franchise’s then-new theatrical feature.
Despite the anime’s low-key atmosphere, though, some K-On! fans can get surprisingly, even disturbingly, passionate about their favorite members of the cast, to a point that these photos are causing a stir in China even years after they were taken.
- Casey Baseel
Mar 21, 2014
There’s a three-day weekend coming up in Japan, which ordinarily is enough to put people in a good mood. Animation fans, though, have something extra-special to look forward to, as the Anime Japan 2014 expo is being held at Tokyo Big Sight this Saturday and Sunday.
The event is sure to attract a large crowd of both enthusiasts and industry professionals, who won’t even have to wait until they get inside the venue for a taste of the most popular franchises, as the nearest train station to Tokyo Big Sight is already decked out with decorations featuring some of anime’s hottest series.
- Casey Baseel
Feb 17, 2014
Last Friday the biggest snowstorm of the last decade hit the Tokyo area. While neighborhood kids had fun building snowmen and couples who managed to meet up could enjoy snuggling up to each other for warmth on a white Valentine’s Day (not to be confused with White Day, which is a totally separate thing in Japan), actually trying to get from one part of the region to another was a major gamble.
Some of the worst off were drivers along the Chuo Expressway that runs through mountainous Yamanashi Prefecture into Tokyo. With the storm dropping over 100 centimeters (39.4 inches) of snow in Yamanashi, over 60 sections of the road were closed due to the unsafe driving conditions. Since most people don’t carry a bottle of snow cone syrup in their glove box, as time went by, the motorists became hungrier and hungrier, until some philanthropic baked goods deliverymen came to their rescue.
- Master Blaster
Dec 21, 2013
Daily life is full of costs that can add up and quietly eat away at your finances without you even noticing. If you take all those subway tokens and cups of coffee and added them up you’d have a nice chunk of change.
Some services are well aware of this fact of life and are offering relief from these nibbles at our wallets in exchange for some healthy or polite habits. Here are five examples from around the world as gathered by Naver Matome.
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Nov 21, 2013
If you’ve ever lived in Japan, chances are you’ve seen a little three-year-old climbing around the inside of their parent’s car…while the vehicle was in motion. To those in other countries where seatbelt and child safety harness laws are strictly enforced, this might be shocking to hear, but this situation happens more often than you might think. In fact, Japan didn’t have a mandatory seat belt law for rear passengers until 2008.
But even an official law doesn’t seems to deter Japanese drivers from not buckling up when it comes to the backseat. That’s why the Japan Automotive Federation along with the National Police Agency published the results of a 2013 survey detailing exactly how many people use their car’s most important safety device.
How a Train Delay Led to a Blind Lady Getting Yelled At: A Cautionary Tale for the Transportation Industry
- Master Blaster
Mar 26, 2013
You would think any transportation business would realize that in the event of a massive delay, a steady flow of information to the passengers is crucial.
Still, places like Kunming Changshui International Airport in China and more recently Keihan Electric Railway in Japan continue to leave their customers stranded without a clue about what’s happening with disastrous results.
On 24 March, Keihan Electric Railway experienced a massive loss of power along the entire Main Line running between Osaka and Kyoto. The hour-and-a-half delay ruined many people’s days and resulted in a tongue lashing for one blind lady.
Think back to the last time you saw an advertisement for a bus schedule. Difficult isn’t it? Even on the off chance you have seen one before, it probably wasn’t so attention-grabbing as to stick in your memory.
It’s not like bus schedules need advertising anyway. Either you use one or you don’t, no amount of persuading will likely change that.
Nevertheless, Tsukuba Tekken, a travel and rail association affiliated with Tsukuba University in Japan, has for years been designing quirky advertisements for their on-campus bus schedules.
Displayed in limited locations around the university, these posters have become a local legend both for their mystery and unorthodox content. So sit back and enjoy these advertisements translated into English.
Have you ever wondered why some people are massive jerks? Occasionally you’ll come across someone who just seems to loath everyone and is a misery to be around. You figure that something terrible must have happened in the person’s past to make them that way.
During a truck accident on a highway in Lanzhou, China, one of these people may have just been created when a driver had his whole cargo of grapes stolen by an entire community.
- The top 10 instances when Japanese people feel thankful to be Japanese1
- Teen job hunter learns: Do not screw around at an interview with McDonald’s Japan2
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea3
- The ultimate spork that’s just for eating ramen4
- Kabe-zubo! Kabe-zun! The unexpected, highly intense versions of Kabe-don are here!【Photos】5
- We troll a scammer online, make him wish he’d never tried to take our money6
- Tokyo Disney Resorts to introduce plethora of new attractions for 20157
- “Bye-bye!” Chinese flying doll works a little too well, becomes one-use toy 【Video】8
- Three reasons to sleep with a huggy pillow (that have nothing to do with an anime crush)9
- McDonald’s Japan celebrates Halloween by joining the dark burger revolution10
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- We troll a scammer online, make him wish he’d never tried to take our money3
- Japanese women reveal their methods of raising a guy’s bedroom technique4
- Japanese illustrated cookbook teaches you how to cook “mother and daughter”【Photos】5
- The ugly truth of goukon, Japan’s group blind dates6
- Tokyo hamburger vending machine has a human touch7
- Chinese cadet is beautiful enough to make you want to join the army8
- Ghibli anime inspires beautiful cosplay from across the seas 【Photos】9
- The 30 most ‘romantic’ lines that women want to hear (well, according to the Japanese internet)10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady3
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea4
- Lifehack: Transform a Starbucks paper bag into a fully functional wallet!5
- Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years6
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons7
- Japanese actor’s unfortunate choice of t-shirt has net users amused, doubting his English ability8
- You’re in for a big surprise if you fall for this bikini wearing DJ’s sexy poster!【Photos】9
- Chibatman called in by police, receives their official approval10
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!1
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】2
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star3
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls4
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later5
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons6
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady9
- The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】10
- We troll a scammer online, make him wish he’d never tried to take our money
- Tokyo Disney Resorts to introduce plethora of new attractions for 2015
- “Bye-bye!” Chinese flying doll works a little too well, becomes one-use toy 【Video】
- Three reasons to sleep with a huggy pillow (that have nothing to do with an anime crush)
- McDonald’s Japan celebrates Halloween by joining the dark burger revolution
- Lifehack: Transform a Starbucks paper bag into a fully functional wallet!
- Time zone quirk lets expat in Japan share opposite side of the sunset with parents in U.S.
- Tokyo ice cream stand’s colossal eight-flavor cones might be the biggest we’ve ever seen
- Traditional Japanese candy gets fancy: Konpeito comes in wine, chocolate, and green tea varieties
- What, there’s now a specialty burrito shop in Tokyo? Of course, we had to go try it ourselves!
- Japanese illustrated cookbook teaches you how to cook “mother and daughter”【Photos】
- Police officer arrested for assaulting 2 train station attendants in Saitama
- Online “Population Decrease Map” of Japan paints a bleak, womanless future for the country
- See Studio Ghibli film characters recreated in 3-D perfection at special exhibit in Seoul