Subway Behavior

Not being a person who rides the subway much in America I’m not sure how qualified I am to give this comparison between subway behavior but I have ridden the Japanese subway a lot. In Japan you are expected to keep your phone on silent. You’ll see signs all over the subway that say no cell phones. You’ll also see signs that say keep your MP3 player music volume down so that you don’t disturb others. The only people that I saw break these rules were members of our group that were on our study abroad. We were generally the loudest and craziest things on the subway (we weren’t that loud or crazy everyone else was just really dull). So the perfect example of a person riding a subway in Japan is a respectful, silent, and still person. Nobody will come and throw you off the train if you’re not, they’ll just silently curse your name and cast annoyed gazes in your direction.

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6 Comments »

  1. jaredinjapan Said:

    I find it remarkably strange how silent people could be while on the subway trains. I would see groups of Japanese friends outside the train talking up a storm. The moment they walked on … dead silence from the whole group. I’m just glad people on the trains were forgiving of our excited banter as we raced towards our next awe-inspiring destination.

  2. stephjones Said:

    It was very strange at first that on the subway we had to be so quiet. But eventually I got used to it. But what astonished me was how women would give up there seats to men which was crazy to me because shouldn’t it be vice versa. I’m just saying. There was definitely a cultural difference in the way America and Japan operate on the Subways in New York it’s loud and busy and everyone is on their mobile. In Japan mobile use is looked down upon and not allowed on the subway.

  3. kevinb18 Said:

    Being on the subway felt funny at times just sitting there staring at people. I was always wondering what they were thinking about me being there. The only time I heard people actually talking on the subway was between two older ladies so I figured older people must have the right to talk on the subway because people need to respect them. Everybody else…..shut up.

  4. MeriInJapan Said:

    I felt pretty bad when I broke the “be quiet” rule the first night. I’m so used to loud, obnoxious America and I totally forgot that Japan is more quiet and reserved. I did see Japanese students talking to each other in hushed voices sometimes, but for the most part everyone just kept to themselves the whole time, which is totally different from America.

  5. jodarbs Said:

    Riding the subway in Japan is nerve wrecking. You can’t do much of anything. The subway system in Japan
    really frowns upon conversations between two people while the train in moving, because it’s considered rude. Another thing that I found was rude were the men who rode the Subway. These men had no respect for women whatsoever, and one of them stole my seat and didn’t think twice about it.

  6. carlyinjapan Said:

    I really appreciated this notion on subways. Although many might not mind noise, it was common to see subway riders snoozing. I got the impression that many people in Japan have very demanding jobs and busy lifestyles, so I’m guessing their subway rides are a short time for them to relax. And any subway riders that didn’t want to snooze would use the time to read a book or use their mobiles for texting or gaming. It was a very respectful atmosphere.


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