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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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A Train Ride in Japan hr585

My main means of transportation is the train. As manners and common sense vary in countries, I introduce here what a train ride in Japan is like. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, it’s just atrocious especially during the rush hours. I had had a lot of trouble when I lived in the area. It’s almost impossible to get a ride since both the train and the platform are packed with people. The train is full, which means in Japan’s case that you can’t move as you’re pressed firmly against other passengers’ bodies around you. Because I’m short and feel claustrophobia only in a few minutes, I have to pass several trains to wait for a less crowded one. That results in a long, inefficient travel although the trains run every ten minutes or less. As the night deepens, the smell of alcohol fills the train car that has more drunken businessmen, some of whom are befuddled. It used to be common that men openly spread and read porn magazines and tabloids in the car, but thankfully they are replaced by smartphones now. There are women-only cars that men aren’t allowed to get in during the rush hours. Too many cases of being groped or molested in a crowded train car made railroad companies invent this crazy sexism solution. I myself can’t count how many times I was touched or saw a man expose himself in the train. When I once squeezed myself into a packed car on my way to school, I barely got my body inside the car but my bag couldn’t. The door closed on the handles of my bag and left the bag outside. I rode for three minutes with my bag dangling outside the train, swinging violently. In daytime, the murderous congestion subsides. Instead, enters a group of housewives with large strollers that block aisles. They ignore their children who are crying and shrieking. Some passengers eat snacks, rice balls or sandwiches in the train. Some eat cup noodles or lunch in a box called bento. Even drinking alcoholic beverages is okay. But, people dart an angry look at someone who is putting on makeup. One of major complains to railroad companies is making up in the train. I don’t have the slightest idea what that means. It’s acceptable no matter how drunken or how loud you are inside the train, but not that you’re putting up makeup. I heard on the radio show that an elderly woman complained about a young lady who was putting on mascara in the train. Her point was she couldn’t allow a woman to turn up the whites of her eyes in public. It doesn’t make sense and to me, it sounds clear sexism. I almost always put on makeup on the train for time efficiency and wage a quiet battle against other passengers’ angry glances. With good or bad manners aside, trains in Japan are generally safe and a murder or a robbery hardly happens. A pickpocket steals a wallet from a drunken passenger who has fallen asleep, or a drunk beats a conductor, that’s the maximum. If you have carelessly left your belongings in the train, they’re found and delivered to a station in most cases. It may be too extravagant to complain of Japan’s trains that are well maintained, so clean, and graffiti-free. While it’s sometimes uncomfortable to share a ride with people whose likes and dislikes are pretty different from mine, it’d be better to relish the difference and be surprised by it. That may help me grow leniency. Besides, there’s no such thing as the world going round solely by my own rules after all…

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Specialty #coffee was all free as much as I wanted at the #lounge in the #hotel where I stayed during a #trip to #Chiba. Great saving for $120 per night. #Japan Specialty #coffee was all free as much as I wanted at the #lounge in the #hotel where I stayed during a #trip to #Chiba. Great saving for $120 per night. #Japan
My new #blog is posted. It's about a #trip to the western #Japan that I took to see my #parents in May. https://hidemiwoods.com My new #blog is posted. It's about a #trip to the western #Japan that I took to see my #parents in May. https://hidemiwoods.com
The Mickey #bus from the #hotel to the monorail station that leads to #TokyoDisneyland. Do you see a Mickey statue on the top? #Japan #MickeyMouse The Mickey #bus from the #hotel to the monorail station that leads to #TokyoDisneyland. Do you see a Mickey statue on the top? #Japan #MickeyMouse
Arranged a #dessert plate out of the free #breakfast #buffet at the #hotel where I stayed during a #trip to #Chiba. #Japan #coffee #waffles #fruit Arranged a #dessert plate out of the free #breakfast #buffet at the #hotel where I stayed during a #trip to #Chiba. #Japan #coffee #waffles #fruit
Just dropping by Tokyo #Disneylandhotel where it's too expensive for me to stay the night. #TokyoDisneyland #disneyland #Japan #hotel #MickeyMouse Just dropping by Tokyo #Disneylandhotel where it's too expensive for me to stay the night. #TokyoDisneyland #disneyland #Japan #hotel #MickeyMouse
One more plate for the free #breakfast at the #hotel. #Japan #smokedsalmon One more plate for the free #breakfast at the #hotel. #Japan #smokedsalmon
The #hotel was close to #TokyoDisneyResort. Enjoyed a view of #TokyoDisneySea from the window of my room. #Japan #disney The #hotel was close to #TokyoDisneyResort. Enjoyed a view of #TokyoDisneySea from the window of my room. #Japan #disney
Moved to the different #hotel that was a little more expensive than the former one. So, the free #breakfast was also better. #Japan #trip Moved to the different #hotel that was a little more expensive than the former one. So, the free #breakfast was also better. #Japan #trip

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