What's going through the minds of those hordes of daily rail commuters who jam the trains in metropolitan Tokyo? Spa! (Dec 7) gives its readers a heads-up on where unexpected delights await and unseen dangers lurk.
"More trains these days are using firm seats with no springs, but the seats on model 203 trains used on the Chiyoda line are pretty spongy," says a resident "densha otaku" (train hobbyist), who makes it a point to check out such data. "So when females in skirts sit down, their backside sinks deeply, raising their knees and giving peepers a glance at the promised land."
The Spa! article also insists that certain lines and sectors are overrepresented by beauties. Try taking the Marunouchi subway line between Kasumigaseki and Ginza. "You're more likely to spot long-legged beauties, their nails glittering as the hold onto the straps," a 33-year-old banker tells the magazine.
A man working for a media-related business says the best-looking gals are to be found on the Ginza subway line around Ginza and Shimbashi stations, or the Hibiya subway line running between Ginza and Roppongi.
"You see a lot of beauties with foxy expressions on their way home from 'gokon' (matchmaking) parties, or bar workers who can't afford taxis. I'll stick to using this line," he smirks.
Two music academies are located along the Seibu Ikebukuro line, and many of the female students there, even if not of supermodel quality, have a wonderfully wholesome glow that "lights up the car."
Male passengers are also convinced that the JR Chuo line boasts a larger share of ladies sporting the no-bra look.
On the next page, the Spa! report shifts to a second section on train manners, and reports that the most unpleasant experiences are likely to be found aboard trains linking Kanagawa and Tokyo Prefectures, specifically the Keihin Kyuko line and JR Keihin Tohoku line.
"Even in the daytime, you can smell the booze reeking from the clothes of passengers who have come from the Oi race track or the drinking areas around Kannai station in Yokohama," says a 32-year-old man in the communications business.
"There are lots of drinking areas situated at stations along these lines," he adds. "You also spot lots Asian females on their way to work at hostess bars in the early evenings, and they can be really distracting."
"The Keihin line passes through industrial areas and rundown neighborhoods, and it's particularly bad between Keihin Kamata and Kami-Ooka in Yokohama," adds another man. "I avoid taking it, even though getting home via another line means a long detour."
The connections linking Saitama and Tokyo aren't much better.
"The Fukutoshin subway line has a lot of punk kids," complains a man who works in the food and beverage business. "The first train in the morning is the worst of all. Some of these disorderly 'Saitama Yankees' sprawl out and take up an entire row of seats, or else they'll be squatting on the floor and eating."
One passenger aboard the JR Joban line says he's turned off by the large number of fellow passengers reading cheap books about yakuza. "After they finish reading, they habitually discard the books on the overhead rack."
It seems Joban line passengers have some mysterious unspoken agreement to recycle their reading matter.
On the other hand, the various lines making up the Tokyu rail network in southwest Tokyo have a reputation for good-mannered passengers, but is it true?
"On the Meguro line that serves Sensoku and Ookayama, there are lots of affluent elderly people of large stature, and they can be quite annoying," says a regular user. "On three occasions I've seen them blow up at nearby passengers, saying 'I'm wearing a pacemaker, so don't use your cell phone around me!'"
"Passengers on the Tokyu Toyoko and Denentoshi lines are generally well mannered," says a 29-year-old man employed by a manufacturer. "But if you observe things carefully, on the Denentoshi line, you often see housewife types, who are carefully perusing advertisements for debt resolution. They may seem like nouveau riche, but I get the impression that a lot of them are living beyond their means, and maybe even hurting financially."© Japan Today