Friday, 15 June 2012

Odds and sods from the trains - JR and its patrons

In Tokyo most of the accidents with trains are human collisions.
In Yamagata... antelopes

And in Akita... bears...
A JR promotion sign advertising the Chokkai Sanroku sen

JR East is now promoting local rail lines that are not JR.During the great Japan National Rail disaggregation, a lot of small loss making lines were taken over by local governments who didn't want to see them closed down. Since the earthquake there seems to be greater co-operation between JR East and some of the local lines - it suits JR East because in many cases the beautiful scenery is on the less travelled lines. The is promotion is a poster for the Yuri Kogen - Chokai Sanroku line in the south of Akita near  Ugo Honjo.
JR Courtesy
On the Saikyo line JR has conveniently put up diagrams of which are the most crowded carriages - since it's a seriously overcrowded line that has minimal capacity to run more services.  The red carriages are super full, the orange very full, and the green less full - though that is very relative.
Tokyo JR stamps
Each JR station in Tokyo has its own stamp. I love them. My visitors with children love them.
They are very very cool and I have been meaning to get a book to collect them all.  Fortunately I hadn't done
so as now they are in a variety of colours. Even cooler!
Subway courtesy

A polite note on the Namboku line letting people know that the seat
is dirty and and is being temporarily covered - please be careful.
This dead heading actually means the train terminates here.

The Hanawa line in Akita

Japanese ghosts have no feet, but this is not a ghost,
just a woman in Akita who is sitting seiza on the train.
(Seiza being traditional style with feet tucked underneath.)

The Chuo line in Tokyo
A surprising scene of a woman cleaning her baby's ears with a cotton bud on the train.  Aside from it being a bit strange and anti social to be cleaning ears in public,  it seemed a little dangerous with  the Chuo line having the worst record for suicides & relatively high speed collisions are not all that uncommon.

Genki Japan - with a twist

Since the earthquake Japan has been awash with slogans of maintaining spirits, doing one's best, persevering cheerfully in adversity.    "ganbarou" "genki ni" 
Ganbarou Nippon - perserve  / do your best Japan!

Never mind the fine print ... English is just a decoration anyway... 

A pachinko parlour I went past in Tobu Nerima the other day has
 maintained the message - with a twist... A rising sun on the door with a cheering message:
 Let's invigorate Japan through pachinko!!  

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Bonsai in Ueno Park

I cycled to Ueno today and by chance in the park was an amazing bonsai display. They are all satsuki  (I am not sure how they differ from tsutsuji) but both, I think, are translated as azalea.  Satsuki is also the old Japanese for May (now blandly called the 5th month).   I can see why the month is named after them. Despite my scepticism here, I concede, they really are beautifu.
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