Common Etiquette When Riding a Train in Japan

Riding Train in Japan

Respect is a big deal in the Japanese culture. Following certain norms in public places is also expected. When you decide to take a train, you must know what to do. Following common etiquette is a sign of respect. Here are some of them.

Follow the directions

Follow the directions

When taking the stairs, make sure you follow the arrows. They will tell you which side to walk into and where to go. You don’t want to prevent the people behind you from getting to their destinations on time. The same thing applies when using escalators. You stay on one side if you’re not in a hurry and on another side if you want to walk fast. Again, time is of the essence when riding trains. Even if you miss the train for a second, it will leave and you have to wait for the next one.

Step aside if you have an issue with your card

There’s a card you can use to enter the train areas. When it’s no longer valid or doesn’t have sufficient funds, you can’t get in. Don’t keep trying if there was an issue the first two tries. Step aside and go to the nearest counter. Resolve the problem before going back to the entry area. Again, time is essential and you don’t want to hold everyone up.

Always keep your head up

Some train stations can be extremely crowded, especially during rush hours. It’s not a good idea to always be on your phone. You can’t see where you’re going and there’s an excellent chance you will bump into another person. It’s rude not to watch where you’re going. Be careful with your surroundings and check everyone around you.

Smoke in designated areas only

There are smoking rooms in the station. Make sure you go there if you want to smoke. Don’t do it inside the bathrooms or worse, inside the train. You will also get fined for doing it.

Wait in line before boarding

You might see how people rush to get inside the train in some countries. They’re too afraid to be left out and prefer to be first in line when boarding. You can’t do the same in Japan. Wait in line and step in if it’s your turn. You must also wait for the passengers from the previous ride to get off before you go inside.

Stay quiet

Silence your phone when inside the train. Use your headphones and don’t turn the volume up. You may chat with your friend, but keep your voice to a minimum. You may find exhausted passengers during the trip since they’ve been at work for hours on end. You don’t want to disturb them.

Avoid taking up too much space

Trains are already crowded and people want to reach their destinations on time. You don’t want them to be behind schedule because you took up too much space and they can no longer get in. Keep your bag close to you and give more people space.

There are unwritten rules in Japanese culture not only in train rides that you must know of. You should learn them first before deciding to travel there.

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