The top 3 taboos Japanese people dislike the most! Tips on riding Japanese trains to avoid trouble

If you’re going to travel to or live in Japan, riding trains is something that you would most certainly do.

However as you may know, just like the onsen that I talked about in a previous video, there are rules that people have to follow on trains and at stations in order for everyone to be comfortable.

Originally I wasn’t intending on making this video, but in the comments of my onsen video, I found many people were quite concerned about how to ride Japanese trains too.
As your “Japanese friend in Kyoto,” I’ll be happy to answer your requests.

So today, I will introduce 10 taboos on Japanese trains and at stations that you should be careful about.
Also at the end of the video, I will introduce a survey that the “Japan Private Railway Association” conducted, to understand which taboo Japanese people dislike seeing the most.

However, as I always say in these manners and rules videos, I really don’t want to be the,“These are our rules! You must obey them!!”kind of person. lol
These rules and manners are still taught in Japan today, because there are a lot of Japanese people too who don’t follow them either.

I hope this video will just be something you can watch to get a few tips to keep in mind, so that more people can feel comfortable when they visit Japan.
If there are similar rules in your country too, please share them in the comments.

[Time codes]
0:00 Let’s START!
2:20 1.Walking on both sides of the passageway
3:03 2.Smoking in random places
3:49 3.Not lining up to get on a train
4:58 4.Men riding the “Women-only car”
6:52 5.Sitting on the priority seats even though you have no trouble standing
7:44 6.Using too much space when you sit
8:59 7.Carrying bags on your back
10:15 8.Standing near the doors
11:58 9.Talking in loud voices/Making big noises
14:29 10.Eating and drinking
15:33 The top 3 taboos that Japanese are concerned about the most
16:43 Today’s conclusion
20:24 “Omake” talk

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▼Related videos in this channel▼
-Do you really have to be fully naked? 8 rules in Japanese onsen to keep in mind before coming!

-5 tips for polite Japanese table manners! How to be a better guest at a Japanese restaurant

-10 Japanese phrases you should never use to your boss/superior! Must-see to avoid misused keigo

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I’m Shogo, a Kyoto born & Hiroshima raised Japanese, that grew up in Michigan USA for 6 years, and studied Mandarin in Beijing university for a year!
I live in Kyoto now, as I train in Iaido(katana), Sado(tea ceremony), and Noh theatre(traditional stage art).

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26 Replies to “The top 3 taboos Japanese people dislike the most! Tips on riding Japanese trains to avoid trouble”

  1. Sesshoumaru sama

    I took sometimes the priority seat when I was travelling the Tokyo subway for longer distances because I have sometime issues with my back. I would regard that as totally fine, even if I am considerable below the "elderly" standard – as of now. Uhm.. and I also went into the womans car — because my girlfriend refused to ride alone^^

  2. Natto Jelly

    Please tell those people in Tokyo how to walk and ride the train properly…I feel like manners god so worse over the last years..

  3. portalkey

    Naaah, your family's safety is priority. If women cannot understand that another woman who is pregnant needs her husband to assist her, perhaps some introspection and empathy is lacking.

    That said, thank you for the video!

  4. chibigon01

    When my wife was pregnant with my first child, I always traveled with her on the only women's car. People never stared at me, on the contrary, they were very polite with my wife and with me.

  5. Mira Mirror

    Just wondering,

    About the priority seat; what about those with a disability that cannot be seen?
    About the women only cart; a blind man enters who doesn't know what cart he walked on to?

  6. Dragonic Microphone

    Great video, Shogo! I get the feeling that phone conversations are frowned on a lot more because of people going "What?! Can you hear me now?! HOW ABOUT NOW?!" or something like that. You can't really do that with a person you're talking to face-to-face.

    Would you be willing to do a video on the taboos of visiting famous locations, a shrine, or just plain shopping?

  7. AngelaMerici12

    All these sound like common sense. Must of these rules are used in the trains in my country.

    I would like in my country that the authorities were more firm about noises. People avoid it but some just are too loud.

  8. Alfy Ryan

    we have priority seats on the MRT here in Singapore too, but the difference is that you can use them so long as there isn't anyone of priority needs around. However, the moment one boards the carriage, you are obliged to give up the seat.

  9. Shafer Hart

    Dude, why didn't you want to do this? This was very informative and your anecdotes were hilarious. You should do more of this, dive into polls and articles that can be used as segue to talk about culture.

  10. Icthelion

    Using Odakyu line, I once was queuing up for the train and noticed I was the only guy in line and was getting unusual glances. Once the train pulled up, I saw that it was for the womens car. Once I saw that, I ran down the line and got in one of the regular cars, surely much to everyones relief.

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