Manner tips when taking a train in Japan
Japan takes manners and etiquette seriously and one of examples is when taking trains. We are introducing useful 9 tips to understand Japanese manners, so using trains in Japan would be easier for you!
Waku WakuPublished on 04 Sep 2020, 12:00
1. Wait in line
Where you wait for trains at the platform is predetermined.
So line up at the signed designations to wait for train arrivals in single or two lines. Orderliness is important here, so don’t push ahead or break lines.
2. Let passengers off the train first
It isn't a good manner to enter immediately as the train’s door opens! Stand to one side to allow passengers to disembark, then you start entering the train, keeping the order of the line.
3. Don’t rush onto the train
When the trains depart, signal music is played to announce the door is closing soon. It’s a final call for boarding. Once the door actually starts closing, don't rush onto the train anymore. It may cause an accident or delay of the departure time. Let's wait for the next one!
4. Avoid talking on the phone or making sound
Talking on the phone loudly or watching videos with media sound are considered as rude in Japanese trains. They care about "not-disturbing others" as train manners. So it is better set your mobile silent mode, use headphones when using media.
Do not pick up up the phone call in train, you can call back after getting off the train.
5. Refrain from eating
Basically, eating and drinking on the train are not considered good manners. You are welcomed to eat and drink only long-distance trains, like Shinkansen or limited express. Even though the food with strong odor should be avoided as it may offend other passengers.
6. Hold your luggage in front of you
It is not a good idea to take up extra space with your luggage, especially when the train is crowded. If you carry luggage on the train, place it overhead rack or hold it in front of you. When you sit, place it on your lap.
7. Priority seat
Priority seating is for elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant women or those with small children. You can sit in priority seat area if the train is not crowded, but always be prepared to give the seats when people who may need the seats enter the train.
8. Women-only cars
During the busy morning rush hour, there are cars available only for women. It happens usually, weekday around 7:30 to 9:30am, a signed car with a pink poster as the image above. Men should be careful not to get in, but use the different cars.
9. Don’t smoke
Smoking is not allowed either on the trains or stations, and you are encouraged to smoke at designated smoking areas. This is the same as other public places in Japan. Exceptionally, smoking areas are set up on some Shinkansen bullet train.
You have probably heard Japanese trains are very clean, neat and quiet, from those who had takes trains in Japan.
Millions of people use trains everyday. And those manners or etiquette would contribute to this particular environment and atmosphere. We hope the above tips are useful for your pleasure experience of Japanese trains!
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