Travelling on the Chuo line

If I seem a little hostile when it comes to the topic of commuting by train in Tokyo, I have my reasons. I have been delayed. I have been crushed. I have been elbowed in the ribs and have had my feet trampled. I have been forced to stare directly at coffee ads for up to forty minutes at a time. I have had drunk people lean over and slobber on me. In short, riding a train in Tokyo is often an interesting experience.
People are incredibly rude on the train, they shove you, they elbow you, they spear you with their bulky packages and stomp on your feet. And it gets even worse when the train is a little crowded.
For these and other reasons, traveling by train may put a foreigner in an awkward position. The chance that the foreigner might accidentally engage in rude and offensive behavior himself is greatly increased, which is probably the last thing he needs. So, as a public service to those of you unfamiliar with the etiquette of train travel, the following tips are provided.
Reading newspapers on trains is acceptable, but be sure not to hold the newspaper in such a way that it hits the other passengers in the face. Also, refrain from hitting other passengers in the face yourself.
The Red Seat is reserved for the elderly and those who have problems getting around. Avoid sitting in the Red Seat at all times.
Don’t attempt to read “over the shoulder” of another passenger, no matter how interesting you find that porn magazine of his.
Those passengers who are standing will consider it rude if you are taking up more than one seat, but they’ll get over it.
If you fall asleep, be sure to wake up only seconds before the train leaves your stop, forcing you to jump up and dash for the door, just barely making it before it closes behind you. The other passengers will find this amusing and fun will be had by all.
In general, try to avoid all contact with other people, such as physical contact, eye contact, or verbal contact. This rule applies for almost all other situations in Japan as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>