- November 30 2015
A major train country, Japan! 4 ways to enjoy Japanese trains even more
When I ask people what they imagine when they think of Japan, many people answer, “Shinkansen (bullet train)”. Japan is a major train transportaion country.
From express trains that runs long distances like the bullet train, to the subways and trains that run through urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka are all very Japan-like.
So today, we will tell you 4 ways to enjoy Japanese trains even more.
1) There are different melodies for every train station!
The bell rings when trains depart in probably every country. But in Japan, there are melodies that play instead of bells.
And the melodies are all different in each train station!
For example, Takadanobaba station on the Yamanote Line plays the opening theme song of Tetsuwan Atomu, which is a comic book that Tezuka Osamu wrote, whose company is in Takadanobaba.
Moreover, Ebisu station on the same Yamanote Line plays the theme song of a famous movie called “Daisan no Otoko”, because Ebisu is where Yebisu beer was made and they are using the “Daisan no Otoko” song as their theme song.
2) Are they ninjas? Car cleaning in express trains
How fast the cleaning is done inside train cars is what I want you to notice as well.
In terminal stations like Tokyo and Shinjuku, they have to prepare for departure very fast when they arrive.
When you say cleaning, there are these following tasks:
1. Turn the seats backwards
2. Change the sheets that you place your heads on, to a new one
3. Collect all trash that the passengers left inside
They finish all that in every train car within only ten minutes and depart on time. This is so speedy, are they ninjas?
When you are waiting for the bullet train to depart, see how they clean instead of just waiting.
3) You can buy bullet train shaped Ekiben!
Next, we recommend packed food that you eat inside the train called Ekiben. In Japan, we eat this Ekiben on long distance train trips.
They are all about 1000 yen each, so it’s not that cheap.
But there are ones shaped like bullet trains for example. If you have children, they will love them!
You can buy Ekiben in the shops on the platform, and also inside the train.
They are filled with specialties of that area, so be sure to find your favorite!
4) There are area-limited ice cream sold inside trains!
This is a little secret about ice cream being sold inside trains.
Japanese express trains and bullet trains all have food services, and girls with carts sell drinks, packed food and snacks inside the train.
And they are selling a limited ice cream with different flavors according to the train line. Green tea, apple, vanilla...
This ice cream is high in milk fat. The normal ice cream have about only 8% milk fat, but the ones sold have 15.5%, so they do not melt easily, and you should even wait for about ten minutes before eating.
When you see the girls with carts down the aisle, please try asking them if they have ice cream. (They might not understand English, but the pronunciation of “ice cream” is quite similar to how we say it in Japan, so I think you will be able to communicate.)
Please refer to this article to further enjoy the train culture in Japan!