Top 10 Ways to Annoy the Japanese on a Train


Japanese train commuters (i.e. practically all Japanese) supply a ranking of the behaviours they find most annoying on a train, making essential reading for Japanese and uncultured barbarians alike.

The ranking (with votes in parentheses):

1. Getting on the train before waiting for the people on it to get off (7694)
The most basic rule of getting on a Japanese train is to stand aside and wait for everyone to disembark before alighting.

2. Talking too loudly (6794)
Conversing is permitted, but carriages are usually silent and conversations held in muted tones. Conversations held at American tourist volume are likely to attract the discrete opprobrium of the entire carriage.

3. Talking on a cell phone (5336)
Nobody but a drunk or an uncouth foreigner would ever be seen conversing on a cell phone on a Japanese train, although it is permissible (barely) to answer a call to hang up on someone with a terse warning that the answerer is on a train. The terror of disapproving silence awaits those who violate this sacred taboo.

4. Not budging up to free up a seat (5335)
The proper seating behaviour is to occupy the corner and middle seats first, then the spaces equidistantly between these points, at all times never sitting next to a stranger – only when no space remains can a seat between two people be taken, and at this point it is polite for those already seated to shuffle around to maximise seating.

5. Cutting in line when boarding the train (4540)
The honourable way to board a train is for two orderly queues to form at the door markings on the platform, which then move to the side to make way for the disembarking passengers and only alight when they have all escaped.

6. Letting noise leak from headphones (3378)
Since the main activities on a Japanese train consist of a staring into space, fiddling with a phone, reading a book or sleeping, usually the only scope there is for noisiness is with handheld games…

7. Leaning on a stranger (3326)
Usually a problem with seated, sleeping passengers – although in the case of attractive young members of the opposite sex it is considered a rare blessing to be leaned on.

8. Eating or drinking on the train (1623)
Nobody (save perhaps utter barbarians) is ever seen eating or drinking on a commuter train.

9. Letting your luggage interfere with other passengers (1407)
Luggage is normally stowed overhead or closely guarded. Poking ladies with luggage runs the double risk of being misinterpreted

10. “Other” (1133)
Don’t do anything else either!

The only other major item of train etiquette not covered here is the proper method for boarding a train which is so solidly packed with commuters that it requires bodily pushing to get on – in these cases, the trick is to turn around and push onto the train without facing the mass of humanity already crushed within its confines.

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    Sort by: Date | Score
    Avatar of awesome
    Comment by awesome
    20:29 28/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    what else is new?

    Avatar of awesome
    Comment by awesome
    20:54 28/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    edit: oh i see how it works, comments are sorted by rating now

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    22:13 28/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Is it possible to sort them by date again? Sorting the comments by score seems a little disconcerting.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:38 28/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Unless you are trolling there is a link at the top of the stack of comments. It says "Sort By:"

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:54 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Anonymous 22:38 28/01/2011
    Can't i noticed that until just now lol

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    04:35 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hm... Didn't notice that...

    Avatar of awesome
    Comment by awesome
    02:11 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)


    Comment by Anonymous
    22:03 28/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Damn, everything's been done in my country!

    But at least we don't grope butts here. XD

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    23:13 28/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    So you grope breasts instead then?

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:39 28/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder if it's the Philippines?

    Avatar of Eredale
    Comment by Eredale
    22:41 28/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Literally -everything- is the same as in my country... except that there are no groping perverts, a plus.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:12 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where I live the trains are yellow and it's pretty much the same but for two differences.
    1) We do wait for everyone to get out of the train, but we do so in a huge mob. (Which can make leaving the train quite a hassle.)
    2) There are usually enough seats, often two facing pairs. The proper etiquette is to first take a window seat, then a seat diagonally opposite that one, then the others.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:25 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    In Japan, train rides YOU!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:07 28/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.9)

    I'll just... get a car...

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    01:30 29/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    other: fapping in train

    Avatar of carn
    Comment by carn
    06:09 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Speaking of fapping, remember the handjob in schooldays?

    8. Eating or drinking on the train (1623)

    So this is why kotonoha tasted the semen AFTER she got off the train.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:06 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Shit I wanna know why apparently the Japanese don't have music over there. I can't imagine how loud music leaking through your headphones didn't get mentioned there.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Good luck finding somewhere to park in central Tokyo.

    Avatar of Majineko
    Comment by Majineko
    01:45 29/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    sounds just like new york.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:45 29/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    its worse than new york

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:49 29/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    it is just like new york

    Avatar of Crim
    Comment by Crim
    06:33 30/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Strange, I dont see rape or grope anywhere

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:24 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Lol. #7 reminds of that vocaloid video I just watched the other day ->

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:41 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not really. Its about the same. You can google parking garages in Tokyo. Just find one you like and stick with it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:53 02/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    and illegal parking costs an arm and leg!

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:29 25/05/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    In Tokyo, the average (daily) population is around 12 million. It goes up to 14 million (or more) during the daytime due to that massive influx of people commuting to work via the trains. That's why the trains are jam-packed during morning and evening rush hours.

    Avatar of maid
    Comment by maid
    14:36 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's not only about the parking. Car commuting is unreliable, as you depend on traffic, traffic lights and other conditions trains are almost free of.

    All trains, including commuter ones have very strict schedules, so unless there is an accident or another extenuating circumstance, commuters know exactly at what time they'll be boarding and getting off the train.

    Most people who have cars use them for travelling on the weekends.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    14:23 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @anon 12:24 that vid was the best post on this thread.

    Comment by Anonymous

    In NY, you always have a driver take your car. Like everything else in NY, they're dirty - clothes, hands, etc. Their crap then wipes off on your clean car. Oh, they also expect tips.

    I've never experienced this in Japan (at least around Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto).

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:48 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I guess it's alright to grope?

    Avatar of POKI
    Comment by POKI
    05:56 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    that reminds me, i took my sister to see her boy band (Tohoshinki) concert and i was literally grope by millions of schoolgirls... it was heaven, soft breasts pressing up against me from every angle.


    Avatar of TenguSan
    Comment by TenguSan
    02:06 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    hey, awesome! they have no qualms about someone walking onto the train in the nude

    gotta try that one day

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    01:51 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only for gays:)

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    02:04 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, when does that women-only train arrive. I want to know what's going on behind those frilly pink curtains!

    EDIT: this was a reply to kazaza2's comment I don't know why it got lifted above it. I don't get this new commenting system at all.

    Avatar of cats2
    Comment by cats2
    10:33 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Parking garages aren't the worst thing in the world. Although some where you're forced to go like 6 levels below/above can be pretty god damn creepy and give off the "I'm going to get robbed or killed here...." vibes.

    Still better then dealing with the worst thing in the world, other people.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:45 28/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Getting on the train before waiting for the people on it to get off

    Isn't that the same everywhere?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:31 25/05/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's common sense and polite, but it's not that way everywhere, unfortunately. :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:58 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You should come to Malaysia... >.<

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:53 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, but people in Japan actually do it about 99% of the time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:33 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    you would be surprised

    Avatar of Sodium Chloride
    Comment by Sodium Chloride
    10:32 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    In Singapore the government has been "promoting" such behaviour.

    They even draw lines on the ground to encourage it.

    On the bright side most Singaporeans took the hint and went along with it - except some old middle age women.

    Avatar of Nin
    Comment by Nin
    20:31 28/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    I can relate to this list very well. The really heavy train traffic isn't common around here, but it's usually the trams that get absolutely packed in the morning and at the end of the day. When you're pushed against a door because of how full it is, having people cramming themselves into the tram before people can even get out really doesn't make life easier. I've never been leaned on by a stranger, but I've been pushed half off my seat by obese people.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    20:38 28/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Should we charge obese people extra for concealing a small child then?

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    23:12 28/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    I'd rather hear noise leaking from headphones than have a fat sweaty salaryman leaning on me...

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:04 30/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    How about a fat sweaty otaku with noise leaking from his headphones leaning on you?

    Avatar of Hatsune Miku
    Comment by Hatsune Miku
    00:23 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Just give me a break will ya? I just want to get on the fucking train!

    Avatar of Yourtime
    Comment by Yourtime
    22:46 28/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    oh man, how untolerant in most things :/ the convenience ist lost there. @phone.

    hm.. little disappointed about list like that.

    Avatar of TNinja
    Comment by TNinja
    23:51 28/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Eating, chatting, phone, and other noise.

    My God I hate people who bothers with such.
    It's so trivial.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    13:48 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Personally I do not give a damn if someone eats or listens to loud music with head phones while on a train or plane.
    I really don't understand why anyone would find that annoying.
    I think people who are so easily annoyed should be force to ride the L in Chicago just so they can understand what actual annoying behavior is.

    What ticks me off are people who refuse to bathe stink up the place or people who pick their nose.
    BTW I use my car when ever possible.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:14 29/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    what? no "the man or woman smells awful"?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:51 28/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    How do excess baggage charges make sense when some hulking land walrus who is packing 100gk of blubber more than you can travel at the same "seat" price, but, your 5kg "in excess" bag means you cop $ extra.

    Be fair, pay per kg! Per you+your luggage kg that is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:54 28/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Guilty for no.2 if I'm with friends (especially if I've been drinking)
    Guilty as all hell for no.4 I even try to look as much like a pissed off metalhead as I can to deter people.
    Guilty for no.5 If it's busy and I wanna sit down (from my house to the city is a really long ride)
    Guilty for no.6... what can I say... I love my music.
    Guilty for no.8 I'm not about to have a full 3 couse meal on a train but if I'm hungry/thirsty and I have food or a tasty beverage I'm not holding back.
    But in saying all that... If someone asks me nicely to keep it down or it's late at night then I'll keep it down. If I see someone who really needs a seat, mother, elderly or disabled, I'll gladly get up for them. I'll listen to my music loud enough to enjoy but I draw the line at sending myself deaf plus I'm not like some others who listen to their music on portable speakers. And sure, ok, you're not meant to eat on the train but that’s only so you don’t make a mess. I don’t make a mess and I put my rubbish in the bin.
    Basically this list proves people need to chill the f*ck out when it comes to these things... but people also need to not be dicks about them either.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:21 28/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @#5 you like being deaf as well?

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