Japanese Trains – A Few Things You Might See

A Few Interesting Things You Might See Happen on a Japanese Train Ride

Seat Blocking on TrainsOver the last couple weeks, my wife and I have road the trains almost everyday, and for the most part most of the Japanese seem to follow the etiquette rules set by society, BUT every single day I see some Japanese breaking these rules, and at times entire train cars ignore it, people will eat, talk on phones and talk loudly, but to be fair when it’s pact in the mornings and coming home for the day it’s a bit more strict. It’s like if a few people ignore the etiquette it’s bad etiquette but if a bunch do it, it’s okay. Which seems about right given when we went to our class orientation they told us that you’re not suppose to ride your bike on the other side of the going into traffic and you’re not suppose to ride a bike with an umbrella in your hand while it’s raining, BUT… surprise surprise, I’ve seen more Japanese breaking these rules then I see following them.

So why shouldn’t the trains be the same way, right? But besides breaking some etiquette rules, I saw something, sort of funny, but a bit of a pain for a lot of riders on the trains. I call it the “Ultimate Japanese Seat Block Maneuver”. It happens all throughout the train, day in and day out at all times of the day no Japanese Train Cover Booksmatter if the train car is packed! It’s a naturally understood phenomena that happens on the train where two Japanese will sit in a way where it discourages others that want to sit down because of having to be rude and asking them to move.

Another thing that I noticed quite a bit is book covers, now I’ve heard of this before but I got my first picture of someone reading most likely some kind of interesting topic that he didn’t want anyone else to know about, I’m sure most of the women are reading their romance novels and they’d rather not show it off. Perhaps it’s good etiquette? Would I do it, probably not.

So there you have it a bit more interesting facts about train riding that you may or may not have known about.

-Nihon Scope

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Difference Between – To Give Birth, To Be Born & Birthplace in Japanese

An Easter Japanese Lesson About Birth Born and BirthplaceAn Odd Coincidence – A Japanese Lesson About Birth on Easter.

In light of the Easter holiday I find this lesson to be very interesting, because the day I finally decide to get these three words straightened in my mind it falls on Easter, and what’s more appropriate then words revolving around birth?

So I’ve been getting these words on WaniKani.com for awhile now and I’ll start to understand them then… NOPE, I’ll see one and think it’s the other and since I’ve not had any real reason to use these words with anyone or even myself or my wife they quickly get mixed up, so here is an attempt to make sure that they can be remembered moving into the future. Perhaps I’ll have more opportunities to use these words since I now live in Japan, but I got to know them first :).


  1. UMU – 生むーうむ:To Give Birth
  2. UMARE – 生まれーうまれ:Birthplace
  3. UMARERU – 生まれるーうまれる:To Be Born

So the best way to remember UMU is by adding a bit more to it to remember it.

By the time you are going to give birth, it’s too late to turn back, U MUst be ready to give birth, you don’t have a choice.

To remember UMARE is by changing it a bit to be pronounce in English U-MAR-E

Your birthplace will usually dictate where YOU get (U) MARRIED (MA-RE) at.

UMARERU is a fun one to remember, but you got to break it up a bit. Think of the famous giraffe that was pregnant forever and what the mother was constantly thinking.

UM…? ARE YOU (UM… ARE (/R) U) ever going to be born?


Learning new words in Japanese
Perhaps these are not the very best ways for you to remember how to think of these. If these don’t sit, then take a couple minutes and think of some ways to remember these on your own. The best way to remember anything in a new language is to do space repetition and to create stories around the words. They work even if you have to break the rules of the language at times just to remember the spelling/word. Click here to check out my favorite programs online for free.

-Nihon Scope

 

 

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Happoshu Beer – A Beer Advocate Tries Cheap Japanese Beer

Just arrived in Japan and decided I’d give the dreaded happoshu beer a try. I’ve had over 1,500 different types of beers (rough estimate) over the last 10 years, so when I heard of happoshu beer I decided I’d be best to stay away. BUT…. being in Japan and being an advocate of beer I guess the curiosity in me took over.

Happoshu beer is beer that is under a certain percentage of malt. If it goes over say 67% then it goes into a new tier. The difference in price for certain happoshu to “draft” or “Nama” beer is about $3 for a 16 ounce can or $2.50 for a 12 ounce can, but a happoshu that is under a certain malt percentage is about $0.65 cents to $0.90 for a 12 ounce or $1.20 for 16 ounce can.

There is still some cheaper beers out there I’ll try next but this time, I was mildly dis-proven about how bad happoshu is and how other people hype it up…. maybe I’m just getting the decent stuff?

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