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Survey reveals rudest behavior seen on trains and at stations this year

By Krista Rogers, SoraNews24

Every year around this time, commuters on trains operated by the member companies of the Japan Private Railway Association participate in an annual survey to determine the most aggravating behaviors observed on trains and at stations over the past 12 months. This year’s edition was released on Dec 19 and features similar but different answers from the AirTrip ranking that came out this past summer. Pay attention if you’ll be visiting Japan soon for a guide of what NOT to do when you’re in transit!

First we’ll look at the 2019 overall ranking of the top ten most impolite behaviors. Scroll further down to find the top five most impolite behaviors according to survey participants in both the Kanto (east Japan) and Kansai (west Japan) regions of the country.

10. Applying makeup on the train

Some people are genuinely worried about eye shadow or other pigments staining their clothing, but there’s also something just intrinsically awkward about sitting next to someone who’s performing a grooming routine in an enclosed public space.

9. Riding while drunk

Neither passengers nor station staff like to deal with drunks at the end of a long day, especially when they begin pulling ridiculous hijinks like this.

8. Leaving trash and empty cans behind

In a society routinely praised for picking up after themselves, there are still bound to be those who just don’t care. Do your part by carrying your garbage off the train with you.

7. Sound leaking from headphones

We’ve all been around someone who, whether conscious of it or not, was playing their music so loudly that it seeped out for the rest of the world to hear. Hearing second-hand music can be so aggravating for some that one man was compelled to resort to violence on a train platform in Japan this past June.

6. Coughing or sneezing with no regard for surroundings

This one is completely new to the list this year. While face masks are a common sight in Japan to prevent the spread of germs, it seems that a certain subset of the population isn’t choosing to use the crook of their arm when they feel a tickle creeping up on them inside a crowded train.

5. Excessively loud conversations

From 2010-2017, “Excessively loud conversations” ranked in as #1–and last year it was #2. That means we’ve either seen some progress in terms of people paying better attention to their volume levels or certain other behaviors have become more visible!

4. Improper use of smartphones

“Improper use of smartphones” ranked #6 last year on its list debut and shows up even higher this year. This category includes various breaches of smartphone etiquette including walking while staring at the screen (consequently slowing others down or forcing them to dodge out of your way) and not turning off notification sounds while riding the train.

3. Annoying way of carrying and depositing luggage

Last year’s #1, “Annoying way of depositing and holding luggage” remains high on the list for 2019. It’s possible that people have become more conscious about not taking up too much space with bags on the train due to awareness campaigns led by the train companies.

2. Rude manners when getting on and off the train

“Rude manners when getting on and off the train” always ranked between #3-5 from 2010-2018, and this year is the first time that it’s reached #2. Rude behaviors cited on the survey include blocking the doors at a stop, not filling up enough space in the back to make room for new passengers, and not waiting for people on the train to get off before boarding.

1. Improper manner of sitting

While “Improper manner of sitting” had always been #2 or #3 between 2010-2018, 2019 marks its first year at the very top of the list. The main culprit mentioned is manspreading, though other impolite behaviors include stretching or crossing legs while sitting (an instance of which even incited one man to start hitting a woman on the train last month). Train companies have tried all different kinds of solutions to combat this common complaint, such as increasing the overall length of the seats by a little, differentiating individual seats by color, or partitioning them, but the problem continues to persist.

Interestingly, the Association also posted a regional ranking comparison for responses from the Kanto (includes Tokyo and Yokohama) and Kansai (includes Osaka and Kyoto) regions of Japan. While #1 was the same on both lists, #2-5 saw some key differences between the regions.

Kanto ranking

  1. Excessively loud conversations

  2. Annoying way of carrying and depositing luggage

  3. Rude manners when getting on and off the train

  4. Improper use of smartphones

  5. Improper manner of sitting

Kansai ranking

  1. Improper use of smartphones

  2. Excessively loud conversations

  3. Rude manners when getting on and off the train

  4. Annoying way of carrying and depositing luggage

  5. Improper manner of sitting

It seems that keeping personal space in check is the biggest hurdle for train passengers to overcome no matter where they are in Japan.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, it will be more important than ever for all passengers to abide by some common courtesies while riding on public transportation to ensure that everyone has a smooth, safe, and uninterrupted ride on route to the various athletic facilities.

Source: Livedoor News via My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Disturbing video shows man hitting woman for crossing her legs on Japanese train【Video】

-- Survey reveals the top 10 worst behaviors to have while on a conveyor-belt sushi date

-- What do Japanese kids want to be when they grow up? For 30 percent of boys, YouTubers, survey says

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Personally, I'd put booger mining ahead of applying makeup for rude behavior. So disgusting.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Why does no one mention the pushing and shoving as people fight to get a seat, the elbow checks from people being passive agressive, the people who block the doors or who refuse to move into the carriage when others get on, and the people rushing on the platform who don't say "excuse me" and bump past you? Above all, why does groping not make the top ten, when it happens all the time?

Who cares if someone puts on eye makeup, or talks on the phone? How does that effect anyone else? I don't get it. It's like they took the ten most innocuous behaviors as if to say "See, even when Japanese people are rude, they're not so very rude." Come on, now. This is not an honest list if groping is not mentioned at all.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Girl in Tokyo, I totally agree. Perhaps the pushing and other physically disruptive behavior is covered by the “getting on and off the train” category but it is far more annoying than someone putting on makeup on a train which you can simply ignore if you don’t like. You can’t ignore someone smashing into you without apology or grabbing a handful of your flesh or jamming a mobile phone into your back because they can’t bare to be off the grid for 7 minutes. The unnecessary pushing in an obviously already orderly and moving embarkment or disembarkment line would top my list because it is simply so pointlessly aggravating.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

People who don't remove their backpacks.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Farters, coughers, and sneezers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

girl_in_tokyo I think #2 mentions what you talk about. and about grouping being rude.....well that is not a rude behavior...its an illegal one. Thats why stabbing someone on the train is also not on the list.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

and yes people are talking about the pushing...but what other country handles just and many people and do it better?? and there is a positive to such a benign action such as applying makeup as considered rude....maybe there is much less chance of society seeing truly rude behavior become common place.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

As with any mass transit system from buses to aircraft, there is never enough realistic room built in.

As for manners in general, they are almost non-existent in America. I prefer Japanese manners to American manners any day of the week.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A new favorite one that needs to stop is wearing a fat backpack backwards for the sole purpose of carving out your own space in order to hold your smartphone on top of the backpack so you can play games or whatever on the phone.  Removal of backpacks and holding them while on the train used to be taught as the good manner practice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Picking the nose and eating it. Every single morning on the subway.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

not waiting for people on the train to get off before boarding.

The ones who try that when I get off always learn a lesson. They can't board before I get off unless they go all the way around me which requires that no one else is getting off on the other side of the door, as two people cannot pass through each other.

This is why cars are so much better than trains

Unless your commute is the very common hour and a half or more by train, in which case your commute by car would probably be over 2 hours, and a lot more expensive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, if any country I lived in Europe and US would have the level of crowding in the morning trains, I think there would be daily casualties. After moving to Japan, I commuted by train for about one month, then I bought a moped, and never stepped again into that crazy mess. The moped was upgraded to a motorcycle, then to a bigger and faster motorcycle, and recently car

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah, well, some of us can't afford a car, or don't want to pay for fuel and taxes, or don't have anywhere to park a car, or want to minimize our carbon footprint, etc.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am guessing that the reason that Girl_in_Tokyo's justified gripes do not come up in the survey is that it was a check/tick-the-box exercise. That would guarantee the near-uniformity of replies from Kansai and Kanto. Perhaps the train companies wished to limit the complaints to things they can appeal to the good nature of the public to improve.

Maybe there was an opinion box at the bottom which did not get reflected in this article(?)

Public transport is great in general, but there is much you have to learn to put up with.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It would be nice if people stop watching porn on their phones in the morning.

Its rather distracting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only increase in reports. not in actual incidents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Removing shoes and socks and picking at dead skin on feet to the extent a little hill of dead skin is left on the floor of the carriage.

Could not believe my eyes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

girl_in_tokyo I think #2 mentions what you talk about. and about grouping being rude.....well that is not a rude behavior...its an illegal one. Thats why stabbing someone on the train is also not on the list.

No sir, stabbing is not on the list because it is not a daily occurrence. Unlike sexual assault.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My vote would be for train companies not running enough trains at rush hour, resulting in everyone being crushed in overcrowded train cars.

Oh wait, this list is only meant to focus our annoyance on our fellow passengers and not on the people actually running things. Sorry, my mistake for bringing that up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People getting on/off the train whilst glued to their phones. Can they not put their phones down for 10 seconds?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not brushing one's teeth and yawning without covering one's mouth should be on the list. I'm now actually fearful of a packed train because of the chance of being breathed on.

The desperation to do anything to get a seat, along with picking one's nose/ear, observing it, before eating/dropping it, should also be on the list.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the front seat, being able to smell the bad breath of the (usually) guy behind is gross...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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