One thing people notice when they first use the Japanese rail system is the variety of sounds and melodies that can be heard while waiting on the platform. From the electronic bird chirps, which guide visually impaired commuters to the exits, to the different jingles played as the train doors close, it’s hard not to feel a strange sense of bliss despite the crowds, thanks to all the sweet sounds filling your ears.
Now subway operator Tokyo Metro is taking music onto the train as well, with a new trial on the Hibiya Line’s 13000 series trains, which were first introduced to the network in March last year. Equipped with a high-quality stereo broadcasting system, these trains will begin playing classical background music on board a limited number of journeys between Naka-Meguro and Kita-Senju stations from 29 January.
The trial is designed to provide a more comfortable journey for passengers, with a variety of relaxing classical music pieces chosen for the broadcasts, which include Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”, Mendelssohn’s “Song of Spring” and Chopin’s “Nocturne“. A number of “healing music” pieces by Japanese composer Mitsuhiro will also be played.
According to media reports, the idea for the trial came about after a train driver mistakenly played classical music while the train was in service in July last year. The classical music, which is usually only used for speaker checks while passengers aren’t on board, received such a positive response from those who heard it, that the rail company decided to trial it on a few services throughout the year.
Each time, the background music was met with an overwhelmingly positive response, with passengers saying it made them feel relaxed and “cured their hearts”, prompting the subway operator to extend the trial to more services on the Hibiya Line.
The services set to broadcast the background music on board are listed on the timetable below. The four columns with times listed on the left are the weekday services, bound for either Kita-Senju (北千住) or Nakameguro (中目黒), which appears at the top of each column. The four on the right are the weekend and public holiday services, bound for the same destinations.
▼ The stations, from top to bottom in the far left column are: Nakameguro – Kasumigaseki – Ginza – Kayabacho – Akihabara – Ueno – Kita-Senju
No end date has been set for this new trial period, so next time you need to get around town, you might want to see if the Hibiya Line can get you to where you’re going. Not only will you get to enjoy an efficient train service, you’ll get to rock back and forth to classical music during your commute.
Source: Net Lab
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