Train system-The Clean Machine
Posted by Baburam on July 11, 2007
Upon arrival in Japan I was impressed with the train system. As a New Yorker I have been used to the nuances of a disorganized transportation system. Allow me to compare. The first thing you notice in the NY subway is the smell or rather the stench. The repulsive odor consists of rat droppings, trash, urine and the homeless. There is no such thing as ventilation. So imagine getting dressed going to work smelling fresh and clean then having to subject your fine wardrobe to the stench of this underworld. By the time you get to work you will feel as dirty as the less fortunate that make it their home.
In the Japanese system the setup is familiar. The suica is reminiscent of the NYC metrocard. The automated purchasing machine is more prevalent and reliant. However, once you step on a platform you soon realize the clean travel environment. I look on the tracks and see train tracks, not rats or trash, but tracks. The clean chairs are a welcome retreat for wary legs. I often wonder how they keep the upholstery on the seats so clean. No gum or spills…that’s amazing!
My true fascination is the ability for Japanese to obey the no talking on the cell phone rule. In the US this would never work. Cell phones have only increased the number of ways we annoy each other. Thank God New York trains run mostly underground. We are already in therapy for cell phone rage. The Japanese display a calm consideration for each other. That’s what I admire about them the most. No loud talking, no rude gestures, no panhandling and no disturbances. A peaceful ride into the city is what JR brings. Every time I get on the train in Japan it’s like a road trip; the scenery is fantastic. Sometimes it’s a ride through time and culture. Other times it’s like journeying to the emerald city of Oz.
Taken from -http://living.in-japan.jp-posted by Ann