Ah, the first post. Breathe her in.
To be honest, this isn’t my first time to write a blog. I used to write one a few years ago about coming to Japan. Unfortunately, that never seemed to materialize…but yet, 4 years later, I thought I finally have enough interesting stuff to talk about.
And that folks, will be about the Japanese Railway System. -fanfare-
But why? How have I become a 鉄ちゃん (tecchan=railway fan)?? Well, I grew up and lived in Southern California for 24 years. Anyone who’s ever been there knows that you can’t get anywhere without a car. Sure, there’s a Metro through Downtown LA and also some trains that run north and south to and from San Diego. But it’s not efficient! If you’re looking to get somewhere quickly, using your car is the way to go…but even getting to your destination quickly isn’t guaranteed with all the traffic. And then there’s the mess of trying to get onto the right freeway and….ugh, sweet jesus.
Let’s get back on topic. So, I came to Japan, carless, and had to rely on public transportation for the first time in my life. It was at THAT MOMENT that I fell in love with trains. Of course, the bullet train is a technological marvel…having the ability to whisk people away at 300 km/h ON TIME. But I also came to rely on local trains a lot. Their rails network nationwide connecting you to huge metropolitans like Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, but at the same time burrowing deep through the Japanese Alps and it’s countless lush, green, beautiful forests. Looking out the window of a train, staring at the woods, I can’t help but wonder if Totoro is in there somewhere. Millions of people use the train everyday, and for good reason. It’s fast, efficient, safe, and relatively cheap…sometimes. Continuing on…
Why a train blog?
Well, I figured this: theres already TONS of blogs in English about different aspects of Japanese culture such as anime, Japanese ramen, Pokemon, maid cafes, AKB48, English teachers who hate their students, animated tentacle sex, Japanese bento boxes, weird stuff sold in convenient stores, and of course, crazy Japanese inventions.
With that being said, I can not find a comprehensive train blog in English. Sure, some sites have nibbles of information here or there, but nothing where I can be like, WOW THAT WAS HELPFUL AND ALL IN ONE PLACE. I suppose that goal was left for someone like me. And I’m willing to take on the challenge…if you’re willing to read of course. And if not, that’s cool too.
So, let’s explore Japan together, by train. I know you wanna. Besides, where else could you find shit like this: