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A few observations.


KVH1

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Over the last 10 years I have noted that its a rare sight to see disable people on Japanese trains. Same can be said for small children in prams.

Just comparing it to Sydney...

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Well, I see wheelchair users all the time on the Sapporo Subway.  In Tokyo and Osaka, the trains are so crowded that disabled people probably take the train in the off peak hours.  That said, I have seen much more accomodation for the blind in Japan than in North America- in fact I think the excellent public transport here gives them more freedom of movement than an auto-dominated culture such as in the USA.  As for pram use, its cultural- mothers (and more fathers) prefer to hold their infants close to their bodies in slings/harnesses rather than prams, which are a bother anyway in stairs-ridden Japanese cities.

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Just today, I saw a disabled person get on a train in Noborito for Shinjuku (Odakyu Odawara line). Odakyu has dedicated spaces for disabled persons at the cab areas (either on the trains' end or somewhere in the middle when a 6+4 train is being used).

 

Also yeah, mothers (and fathers as well) are more likely to carry their young offspring in a harness, rather than in an inconvenient prams. You sometimes see prams, but only outside of the busy hours (between 10 and 13).

 

Of course, it's rare to see such sights in the busy city areas (more focused on commercial and business stuff), but it's not uncommon when you're out and about in more domestic and rural areas.

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Got to agree with you guys about the sling, harness or backpack for little humans with parents. That makes sense. Disabled ppl IMO are still tucked away from society in Japan. Very different to Sydney.

Q? Can one take a bicycle on a train in Japan? I mean, like on a regular basis for commuting?  

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Bicycles are usually a no go on Japanese trains, unless there is a designated area for them, which is extremely rare. I know Kanto RR has a dedicated bicycle train, plus some more local lines and smaller private companies. If you've ever ridden a Japanese train, you know there is no space for that. Bicycles are usually used for short distances from home to the station. Stations also usually have a few large bicycle parkings -guarded and unguarded- around for commuters.

 

However, all companies have their regulations on folding bikes and usually allow them if there is no hinderance to the other public. You can read about this here in Japanese: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/輪行

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Two bicycles is a great idea. Never seen a bicycle on a train in Japan. Unlike Sydney, it's a common sight. Bicycle tickets or half fare tickets must be purchased during peak hour. Once upon a time surfboard tickets were essential.

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This topic is interesting.  The Japanese are mindful of others.  The pram is an inconvenience to others.  So pram is not used often.  The sling is mostly used.  There are many benefits with shops, transport, elevators, escalators, etc. Even when crossing a busy road, pram is problem.  But westerner does not seem to care about bumping others with pram.  I have been hit with westerner pram many times.  But I have never been hit with baby in sling.   :)

 

I have seen pram used by Japanese sometimes in tourist area, such as Enoshima.  This is the place where one can walk on the pier with less crouded situation.  Such enjoyment.  But I also notice that Japanese people store the pram on the train or bus, so that others are not inconvenced.  But westerner keep baby in the pram on the train.  I think it is selfish on crouded train.

 

This topic led me to thinking: why are westerner so happy to push pram, carry pram, avoid pram in busy area.  But they don't do same for bicycle.  Not many people in Britain, Australia, America ride bicycle.  They tell me it is inconvenient, bulky, heavy.  But how about pram?

 

But then I ask new question: Why are Japanese so happy to ride bicycle, carry bicycle, store bicycle.  But not pram?

 

Cultural thinking is very interesting, don't you think?

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Interesting! Yes, the Japanese are very mindful and thoughtful of others...

 

My situation is worse here in Sillypore. Due to a LARGE influx of 'foreign talents', if you take the subway (we call them MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) which always breakdwon these-a-days), one can even see this sight: A mother, with a child, and a pram. Totally, they took up three seats. Why? Mother sits on one seat, places baby on the seat next to her and park the pram on the other side. Thanks mum.

 

Then there are those which always 'Fall Asleep'. When they happen to see a handicap person on a wheel chair or a mother pushing pram or even a pregnant woman, they immediately fall asleep on their seats. Thanks people.

 

Then there are those who talk so loud on their handphone, like they are the only ones with mobile phones. They shout at the top of their voices so that they can cover the other person shouting on his/ her phone, and it just escalates even more. Add in children laughter and Sunday which is our foreign talents Off-day and also where all our ARMY boys book in. Thanks...

 

Hence if you ask me, Japanese are really really thoughtful people. They answer their phones at the middle of train carriages, fold up their prams, give up their seats (i've seen school children on the Yamanote line giving up seats to the eldery).. I think it's a cultural thing, and i'm ashamed to call myself a Sillyporean.

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JR500,

 

Welcome to the Netherlands!

No seriously, the people over here behave like that too you know. There are exceptions of course but there many of the people doesn't give anything about others. The rudeness in public transport is close to what you write on Singapore. Apart from the public transport it turned even so bad that there are people beating each other to dead (or almost) for no reason, the government recently decided that there are measures needed because there are too many children that are raised wrongly hence result in people raised wrongly and behaving even worse than the masses. Quite unbelievable, but it's true unfortunately.

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Martijn Meerts

Of course, there are also those people that take giving up your seat to them as an insult ... I've experienced it multiple times with (semi-)disabled people, and once or twice with elderly people.. I get up, and the person I get up for is offended because they're not 'crippled' or 'old', and don't want any charity from the likes of me ..

 

Of course, that doesn't happen often, but it does happen ;)

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Hence if you ask me, Japanese are really really thoughtful people. They answer their phones at the middle of train carriages, fold up their prams, give up their seats (i've seen school children on the Yamanote line giving up seats to the eldery).. I think it's a cultural thing, and i'm ashamed to call myself a Sillyporean.

 

Usually we do not answer phones on the train at all.  It is impolite.

 

When I was in highschool it was forbidden to sit when travelling by train.  I remember one hot summer, there was plenty of seat and Obasan suggested I sit down.  But I was in uniform.  I could not.  Perhaps I looked exhausted, but I was paranoid that Obasan might have been wife of teacher.  Such was my luck in those days.

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I was paranoid that Obasan might have been wife of teacher.  Such was my luck in those days.

This sounds like something that would happen to me too! :) Variations on this experience could happen anywhere in the world.

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Its a total jumble here, you never know what to expect. Just try to do the right thing is all you can do. If someone gets miffed that you would give up thierry seat to them to be polite and cannot just pleasantly turn it down, well that's just their demon they have to deal with and nothing you should prevent you from offering to someone you think might need the seat. Hell I've given up my seat a few stops early to guys even that look dead on their feet. Oh well.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4
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Ah, Mr cteno4,

 

When I went to school it was not wrong for Japanese student to offer seat on train to stranger, but it was wrong for Japanese student to take seat in the first place.  That is, if student is wearing uniform.

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While not brought with rules like that I did get the wisdom given to me when young to just do the right thing, usually not that hard to figure out.

 

Jeff

 

Ps you can call me jeff!

Edited by cteno4
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The UK is similiar to Japan in terms of people giving up seats for elderly or disabled passengers  and people are generally considerate to others but mobile phone nuisance is far too common. A short conversation about asking where somebody is to meet later or something similiar I don't mind but when people have long phone coversations on the train it really starts to annoy me. Thankfully a few train companies have started playing a 'please be considerate to other passengers by keeping phone conversations to a minimum and keeping electronic device noise to a minimum' messages on the information boards onboard trains. Some longer distance trains have whole carriages designated as a 'Quiet Coach' where technically mobile phone conversations are not allowed and electronic devices are not meant to be used but nobody sticks to the rules!

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