Commercial reminds Japan’s tired commuters about drawbacks of living far away from work

By Michelle Lynn Dinh

Mouth agape, eyes rolled back, head bobbing – when home is an hour or more away and work continues late into the night, the only place for many Japanese office workers to lay their weary head is against a train car window. This phenomenon is not unique to Japan, but the combination of overwork and limited affordable housing in big cities like Tokyo give rise to crowds of sleepy commuters just trying to get to their futon. If you have never witness the varied sleeping positions of Japan’s overworked commuters, take a look at the video below created by real estate website HOME’S.

If you found yourself bobbing along to the simple, yet pleasing melody featured in the video, you’re not alone. It’s nursery-rhyme-like lyrics are quite clever, utilizing the Japanese alphabet in order:

“あ”したはすぐにやってくるのに “か”えり道は長すぎる “さ”っさと靴下脱ぎたいよ “た”くさんの録画溜まってる

あいうえお かきくけこ さしすせと たちつてと

“な”かなか家には着かないよ “は”やくお風呂に入りたい “ま”っすぐ布団にすべりこもう “や”っぱいい夢みたいよ

なにぬねの はひふへほ まみむめも やゆよ

In English, it doesn’t have quite the cuteness of the original, but the meaning is perfect for the video of dozing riders:

Tomorrow comes so quickly The road home is too long I want to hurry up and take off my socks There’s a lot of shows recorded on my DVR

A-I-U-E-O Ka-Ki-Ku-Ke-Ko Sa-Shi-Su-Se-So Ta-Chi-Tsu-Te-To

It’s taking forever to get home I want to take a bath already And dive straight into my futon I want to have sweet dreams tonight

Na-Ni-Nu-Ne-No Ha-Hi-Hu-He-Ho Ma-Mi-Mu-Me-Mo Ya-Yu-Yo

The video ends with a reminder that companies don’t compensate employees for commuting time and prompts viewers to try out HOME’s commute time search engine. The real estate company is aiming straight for the tired and weary in their commercial; we wouldn’t be surprised if they played this on the trains, giving fatigued workers a mirror image of their own commute.

Source: Kai-You

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I remember a photo of myself like sleeping and senseless on a train, which someone else took of me on one of those trips home to Yokohama which I could never recall afterwards.

Oh well, now I am in Shikoku!

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あいうえお かきくけこ さしすせと たちつてと

The third section is wrong. It should be さしすせ

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Love the video.

I know the feeling. In my city, there is no train and only very limited bus service to the suburbs and commute times after work are an hour and more. By car. For literally millions. Try that when you feel like those in the video.

I'm envious.

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Given the long commutes kind of parodies in this commercial, small wonder why both the JR Group and private railways offer what's known as Home Liner trains with more comfortable seating for all passengers during weekdays so passengers can actually get a decent rest during the commute run. Indeed, on many longer-distance JR East commuter trains in the Tokyo area, they even have Green Class seating.

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I'm with ArtistatLarge, I drive and my commute two days a week is over 2.5 hours in the morning. Luckily easier coming back.. Other days 1.5 hours and I travel sometimes to a few schools a day so I'm sometimes so zombied out I hsve to stop snd sleep in my car! That's worse than sleeping on the trains!

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When we first moved here, I was embarrassed to sleep on the train. But now it's almost become a necessity, and the only time I'm embarrassed is if I wake up drooling.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I laughed from the beginning to the end of this video! Hee hee! Some of those people look exactly like me, lol.

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Learning to sleep or catnap on the train is a necessary life skill here. Just the way it is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

why does every body work such long flipping hours? i don't its about time workers said enough is enough we want our hours cutting down, home time is better than work time, you have got to get the work and home time balance right. work sleep work sleep work sleep thats not a life its existing,

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I remember when I finally learnt to sleep on the train without lolling over everyone. I was so proud.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you're cute, nobody minds if ya sleep on................

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