Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Mind your manners on the metro

The Tokyo Metro came up with a series of cheeky posters about minding your behavior on the train — I find it hilarious because the trains are extremely quiet compared to other countries’, so I don’t see that there’s a need for them. In fact, the hushed silence in the trains freaked me out a little but I come from Southeast Asia and we’ve got a noisy culture when we board the bus or train.

I suppose quiet comfort in the train in important in Japan because there’s such a huge number of people commuting and it’s common to travel as long as two hours from your home to the office. If you have somebody who has loud music blasting from their headphones or taking up two seats instead of one, you would feel thoroughly annoyed after a couple of hours, I suppose.

The Manners series kicked off with “Please do it at home” and among these my favorite is this one below. I have definitely seen women fixing their makeup with a big hand mirror for their entire train journey and the average travel time here is about 30 to 45 minutes within Tokyo. But I don’t really see how this would affect other passengers unless said culprit keeps jabbing her elbows into her neighbor’s ribs.

Summer brought on this one and it’s the coolest so far in the series. I’ve definitely seen salary men transform into action heroes as they leap between closing train doors.

I only ever see rowdy peeps on the last train after a night of drinking, though it seems the norm to take a tall can of beer on the shinkansen (bullet train) even if it’s 10am in the morn…

I wonder how many more quirky posters they would come up with….?

Photos: courtesy of Jean-Marc Rocher

Don’t be late for work in Tokyo!

April is the time when Japanese companies take on most of their new employees. The hoops that these fresh recruits have to jump through are legendary, including interviews at the top of Mount Fuji, learning the company song and being made to shout as loud as possible in the street at passing cars to rid themselves of self-consciousness.

However, this one is new. Apparently new recruits arriving after 9am are forbidden from entering through the main doors and instead have to scale the building and enter through the window (if they can find the right one).

Don't be late for work in Tokyo
Rushing to arrive before 9am, when the doors are locked shut

What happens if you're late for work in Tokyo
Stragglers are left to climb up to their office window

How to Park your bike in Tokyo


Originally uploaded by James Hart.

Tokyo introduces a new concept in bicycle parking.
Currently undergoing trials in the Ariake Big Sight area in Tokyo Bay, the objective is to shave further vital seconds off the Salaryman’s journey to work in the morning.
The methodology is simple, yet brilliant. As the salaryman approaches the train station, he slams on his brakes, throws the bike on the pile and runs into the station in one effortless motion.
Returning in the evening on the last train, it may take a while to untangle his ride home, but his wife is already asleep in bed, so that’s of no concern.
Just remember, you saw it here first!

Sonnet to a Salaryman

This is great. Englishman follows up his Ode to the Oba-san with a poem “A Salaryman Morning“.
Good work fella.

Really Nice Melons


Kyodo News reports that a new record has been set for the price of a pair of melons: 800,000Yen, around 8000 US Dollars.

A bargain, says !.

Combini Browsing

It is common in Japanese convenience stores (combinis) to see a number of people reading magazines and comics without actually buying them. One guy I know goes for his lunchbreak each day and reads a Manga comic. Occasionally he buys one, but usually he just reads them in the store, standing up and the staff never complain.
The reason seems to be that the Manga comic readers get so engrossed in the stories that if they are disturbed, they are liable to flip out and attack the Combini staff. According to this article from the BBC, a 70-year old man was recently disturbed in this way and threatened staff with a chainsaw, before calmly carrying on reading his comic.

Combini Readers:
Combini Browsing

Smart and Sophisticated

As large cities go, generally people in Tokyo are polite and try not to push and shove. However, with the sheer number of people on the streets & on public transport, and the rush that people always seem to be in, you do get bumped into occasionally.
In an attempt to improve this, the Japan Ad Council is running a campaign with the slogan “Tokyo is a place for smart and sophisticated manners”
In case you can’t read it:-

Mobile Phone biscuit or Cell Phone Cookie

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One of my colleague gave me this biscuit, last week. It says, “Yokosuka is the place where the mobile phone was born”

Its shape is a bit old-fashoned, isn’t it ?

Horie Charged

with multiple counts of under-dressing and one count of being “a bit chubby”.
The Englishman uncovers the real story behind the Livedoor saga.

Too Much Snow

Too Much Snow
I like winter sports, so I never thought I’d say that, but Japan definitely has too much frozen water around at the moment. Tokyo has escaped so far, but there are over 70 people reported dead across the rest of the country.

An Englishman in Osaka has a typically humorous take on the situation.

Many thanks to Tsuda for the photo.

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