Top 10 Train Etiquettes in Japan for Tourists

Top 10 Train Etiquettes in Japan for Tourists

Did you know that Japan is the home of the 45 busiest train stations in the world? It’s actually 45 out of 51 busiest train stations are in Japan. Shinjuku Station has set the world record to be the number 1 busiest train station in the world.

The majority of Japanese use the train as their primary mode of transportation due to its high reliability and at the same time it’s very cost-efficient and safe. 

If you walk down the streets of Tokyo, you’ll notice that you can hardly find people walking on the streets, but if you go down the subway stations, a great number of people are in the area trying to catch the next trip.

If you are planning to go to Japan and explore the wonderful country after the pandemic, here are the top 10 train etiquettes in Japan that you should always put in mind brought to you by https://matcha-jp.com/.

#1 Step off to the Side If You Cannot Get Through

In case you’re having trouble with your IC Card or ticket and you cannot get through the electronic gate, step off to the side first to allow the one at your back to pass through. You may check with the counter staff to verify what’s wrong with your ticket or card. Japanese railway staff are very friendly and accommodating. They will always make an effort to help even if they have difficulty speaking English.

#1 Step off to the Side If You Cannot Get Through

#2 Pay Attention to Which Side You Walk

This is very important when taking the stairs or escalator. There are signs and marks that you should pay attention to. Following these rules is a must for every tourist.

#2 Pay Attention to Which Side You Walk

#3 Only Smoke in Designated Areas

Generally, nobody is allowed to smoke anywhere in the station, even in toilets. In order to get out of trouble, always look for the designated smoking area.

#3 Only Smoke in Designated Areas

#4 Wait in Line Before Boarding

The arrows on the platform floors indicate where you should stand and wait. Be guided accordingly with the floor markings to avoid any untoward incidents. Passengers also line up properly while waiting for the train. Be courteous and avoid cutting any lines. 

#4 Wait in Line Before Boarding

#5 Let People Get off First

This is apparently a common courtesy in Japan. Please allow all other passengers to get off the train before you go on board. The train won’t leave you so there’s nothing to worry! 

#5 Let People Get off First

#6 Don’t Rush onto the Train

If you missed the train, you can always take the next trip. Trains are always on time in Japan so you don’t have to worry so much about the waiting time. Rushing onto the train can only get you into possible accidents or trouble. So, do not rush onto the train and remember #5.

#6 Don't Rush onto the Train

#7 Silence Your Phone and Don’t Make Phone Calls / Lower Your Volume

It is considered rude in Japan to make loud noises in small spaces such as trains. So, be mindful of the noises that you create. Make sure that you lower down the volume of your music. Also refrain from making phone calls inside the train. This will only make other passengers uncomfortable. 

#7 Silence Your Phone and Don't Make Phone Calls / Lower Your Volume

#8 Refrain from Eating

Eating is normal in long-distance trains such as the Shinkansen because it’s a long ride. However with regular trains, it is not advised to eat food with a strong smell that will make other passengers uncomfortable during the journey. 

#8 Refrain from Eating

Eating gum or candy though is okay. 

#9 Avoid Rush Hour

If you are a tourist carrying a large luggage or bag, it is better to avoid the rush hour. It is common in Japan that station staff push people inside the train in order to close the door. If you don’t want to be caught in that situation, better avoid the rush hour which typically lasts from 7 AM to 9 AM each morning, and 5 PM to 7 PM each evening across Japan.

#9 Avoid Rush Hour

#10 Don’t Take Up Too Much Space

Try to consume as little space as possible to give room for other people to sit inside the train. Sit in good posture and position your bags as close to you as possible.

#10 Don't Take Up Too Much Space 

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