Train Manners

So when riding on a train in Japan, there are a few manners you need to keep in mind. You will notice that, especially early in the morning, everyone is pretty quiet on the trains and not making any type of loud noises. Of course, Japanese people can sleep anywhere, so most of them will have their eyes closed looking down, or playing games on their cell phones. 

Of course, you’re never to answer your phone or make a phone call while you’re on the train. And in the rare case that you see a Japanese person doing this, catch their eye and make a movement with your finger telling them it is a no-no. They will feel bad and stop.

There are priority seats for folks that are either handicapped, old, pregnant, with small children, or injured and walking around on crutches. You can sit anywhere, but these priority seats you should give up when you see these people approach. Hell, you should give up any seat when you see these people approach anyway.

The fourth door on any car, you will notice has no seat but it is for baby strollers and folks with luggage. You can stand there of course, but please give up that area once one of these people get on board.

The quietness goes away during the late evening when everyone is making their way home. This is most likely due to massive intoxication amongst the populace. LOL 

Backpacks are a stickler. You can wear your backpack on your back when riding the train but when the train gets crowded, you need to take that backpack off and put it on in the front of your body. Now I have seen the folks that stay in the hostels carrying one massive backpack on their back and a smaller backpack on their front. I am sorry to inform you, that you should probably put the small backpack on the shelf above the seats, and set your big backpack on the ground, preferably between your legs.

Consideration for other people is a big thing in Japan, though some of the younger generation is starting to forget this. But if you can follow these simple rules it would really be cool. Thanks in advance.

So you may notice in the middle of the train, one car is reserved for women only. This is sadly something that is begun in the last few years because some Japanese men cannot keep their hands to themselves. I have personally witnessed groping twice, since living here since 1983. Both times, I had to get up out of my seat and I groped the groper. I have no problem at all grabbing a man’s ass and asking him how does it feel when he is humiliating a woman and she is doing nothing about it because she is embarrassed.

The second time this happened, the guy dropped his briefcase and ran away to another car. I turned the briefcase into the Station Master and made a report of what he did.

These cars, for the women only, are usually just on the weekdays, but just to be safe, you may want to go ahead and get in another car.

Don’t forget to stand behind the yellow line at each station when the trains approach or you may get scolded.

Have a great time in Japan.





Author: Spirits of Japan

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