For all the densha otoko and onna out there, a selection of news and features you may have missed from Japan’s railways:
- Are your buds sitting comfortably and securely? JR East dealt with 950 cases of dropped earphones in the Tokyo area over a four-month period last year. Their message to passengers: Please take care, as collecting them from the tracks is a nightmare.
- There was big news for a small railway in Ibaraki recently, as the government approved an 3 km extension to its 14 km line — a rare thing, as many rural railways are struggling. Just ask JR Hokkaido, which saw a record 18 stations scrapped this spring.
- Tired of catching stares while clicking away on your keyboard aboard the shinkansen? In February, JR East tried designating some carriages as “office cars” where passengers could tap and chat with abandon. The trial resumes next week (news in Japanese).
- While other passengers breeze through ticket gates with the swipe of a card, disabled customers in the Tokyo region have to queue at a manned counter to take advantage of discounted fares — every single journey, Kyodo reports.
- You’re driving a train at 150 kph with 160 passengers on board. Nature calls. What do you do? “I wanted to avoid delaying the train by stopping it,” explained a shinkansen driver who took a sneaky toilet break last month.