In the rest of the world, trainspotting is something of a niche hobby, but in Japan it is much more mainstream. Combine a natural predilection for hobbies with a massive proliferation of railways and you naturally get train enthusiasts.

It’s easy to see why. Japan and trains go hand in hand. Everybody uses them. They’re part of the daily makeup of life. From student to commuter, baby in a sling to old friends laughing on a day trip, trains are a constant in everyone’s life. The Japan Railways Group and a cavalcade of other giants operate a tight schedule of networks from the Siberian coasts of northern Hokkaido to the shores of Kyushu. No one is left out.

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