How are you doing?
I'm now continuing with my series of things that I miss about Japan. This time it's trains. You may now think that I'm totally nuts for missing something trivial as trains.
As someone from Germany Japanese trains were like paradise. You can sleep on Japanese trains. On German trains...no way. There is always someone yelling, talking loudly on the phone, teenagers drinking alcohol, it's horrible. In Japan however, I could always sleep when I took the train. That was especially nice after a long day in Tokyo. Also, you don't have to fear someone robbing your things. Just fall asleep without any worries. In Germany however you're clutching all your belongings as if your life depends on it because there are so many robbers.
Trains in Japan also have working AC. For someone from Germany that's almost a miracle. Our trains don't work in summer because it's too hot and the AC gets broken and they don't work in winter because it's too cold and the AC gets broken.
So having a working AC in trains was really nice. Of course at the peak of the hot and humid summer in Japan no AC will ever make a train feel like a cooler but it makes them feel very refreshing.
Japanese trains are also almost always on time. In Germany...not so much. You may have heard that Germans are very punctual. Well, the German trains are not. Everytime I take a train here the train is at least 5 minutes too late. In winter 30 minutes to on hour of delay is considered almost normal.
So having trains arrive on time and frequently was really nice while I was in Japan. No more endless waiting at a cold train station.
Also the fact that there's a sign in the station telling you the name of the current station and the station before and following, visible from the train. I'm someone that likes to have control over everything so having those signs was really nice. In Germany you sometimes have no idea where you are because the announcements are not understandable and no signs in the train or at the station.
Of course no country is perfect so there are also some not so nice things about the trains in Japan.
When Japanese people fall asleep on the train their head falls on the shoulder of the person sitting next to them. Even if they don't know said person. I'm someone that doesn't like body contact from strangers so that was very, very weird and hard to stand. You can of course put their head away from your shoulder but it will startle them and is not a thing to do in Japan. You just tolerate their heads on your shoulder and hope it's not someone with greasy hair "^^
Another thing: taking trains in Japan at rush hour time is horrible. Thank god I only had to endure that one or two times but it was awful. You're squeezed in a train with a lot of other people and can barely move or breath. Nothing for people with fear of contact "^^
All in all, I really miss traveling by train in Japan. In Germany it's always so annoying and after taking a train I'm always so exhausted. Very different to Japan