If you’re foreigner and came Japan as tourists, many of you buy tourist guidebooks of Japan in advance to prepare and review of Japanese culture.
We have very convenient and easily accessible especially public transportation such as train.
If you want to look around Tokyo, you can easily go everywhere by train.
However, you must be aware of 3 rules of manner before you get in the train in Japan
such as eating food manners in the train, rush hour manners, groper problem
(include false accusation), etc.
Here are 3 bad manners you must not follow in the train while you’re staying in Japan.
It would make a significant difference whether or not you know it.
1.Eating Food Manners in the Train
It’s quite difficult to distinguish what food or drink is okay and what is not acceptable in the train.
Here in Japan, it’s not so appropriate eating foods in the train in general, however,
you can eat food and have drink in Shinkansen with free style.
Strict manners you must be aware is in general trains except Shinkansen.
Here are some examples of border lines of food and drink you can have in the general trains.
□ Chewing gum/Frisks
□ Small cookies
□ Soft drinks
□ Food which don’t have strong smelling
As you can see above examples, deciding factor is “Small Size and Don’t have Strong Smell”
Try to think and care about other people in the train or sitting close to you.
“Smell” and “Chewing Sound” makes people annoying and sometimes makes people sick.
□ Strong smelling foods such as hamburger, french-fries
□ Potato chips or any junk food with strong smell and noisy sounds
□ Any alcohol such as beer, wine, Japanese sake, etc.
“Strong smells of food and alcohol makes people disturbing while in the train”
Train is locked room so the train will be filled with mixed food and drink smells.
Imagine if you’re in the situation with these smells in crowded people in the train.
Do you feel comfortable with smelling food or drink from other people?
2.Over Crowded with Commuters
If you’ve never taken trains during rush hour in Japan,
you will be really shocked by how intense trains are.
If you’re planning to enjoy sightseeing in Tokyo, it’s important to know manners especially in crowded trains.
Here are some examples of manners.
Due to convenient public transportation in Japan, many people use trains for commuting.
Rush hour is around 7:00am-9:00am, and 16:30pm-19:00pm.
Even though trains come constantly every 10 min, many people get in and off the train each stop during rush hour.
□ If you’re standing by doors in the train, you must first get off the train each station
because there are a lot of people who want to get off the train behind you.
Passengers need to help each other so that everyone can take off the train when they want to.
Sometimes you hear people saying,” Excuse me, I need to get off the train”, just try to make a space to let him/her get off the train.
Fist, imagine if you’re stuck in the middle of crowded train and can’t move,
sweating, tired of standing for a long time.
What do you think if you see behavior as follows?
□ Try to read a book or see smartphones and sometimes it hit other people’s face or body.
□ Being stubborn to keep his/her space near the door, which prevents others from getting in and off the train
□ Grab 2 seats for 1 person.
Those behaviors come from stubborn heart like a “ROCK”
Started to get irritated? Yes, that’s because these are some of the worst behaviors in crowded trains.
3. False Accusation of Groper
Of course, it’s illegal to be a groper in the train or any other place.
But what if people misunderstand that you are a train groper?
If you need to take crowded trains, there are several tips you must know in order to avoid troubles.
Here are some examples of manners and techniques to avoid being misunderstood as a groper
when you cannot but take crowded trains.
Before you’re about to stuck into the crowded train, try to make following condition:
□ Keep your both hands higher as much as possible.
□ Try to grab the handrail with one hand and keep other hand on the elbow.
□ Try to grab the handrail with both hands.
These condition are trying to move your hands off from people’s lower half of body.
Even people squeeze each other by an accident as the train moves, people can see your hands up,
so you don’t have the risk to be seen as a groper.
If you accidently touch someone, just say immediately “Sorry” or “Excuse me”
In case people see you as a groper but it’s totally their misunderstanding, do not take the following action. The situation will get worse.
□ Running away because of fear.
□ Trying to take something from your bag making rustling sound.
□ Stare people long time.
We hear many news lately that people ran away because they are afraid of getting arrested.
However, if you’re not really groping anyone, you must stay where you are and try to explain that you didn’t do anything calmly.
One big advice for you before you take trains to somewhere in Japan is
“Make sure that you will have plenty of time”
Try to avoid rush hour in a day and try to leave your home early to miss the trains well in advance.
Once you get used to trains situation in Japan, you feel more convenient to go anywhere.
Everything can be a lesson!