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What behavior by train passengers bugs you the most?

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The people that have to stop and stand right after the first step off the train. I don't know maybe its a genetic defect in japan but when ever they cross threw a doorway they automatically stop the flow.

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Let's see.

Clods who try and squeeze into a space between two seated passengers when there is clearly not enough room for them.

Sleeping passengers whose head falls over onto my shoulder.

Passengers who sit spread-eagled, taking up space for two or three.

Women putting on makeup on the train.

Passengers who try and get on the train before departing passengers have a chance to get off.

Passengers rushing to get onto a train who practically dislocate their shoulders as they dive between the closing doors, knocking other passengers over like ten pins.
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"Clods who try and squeeze into a space between two seated passengers when there is clearly enough room for them"

Oh, they're just getting back at the clods "who sit spread-eagled, taking up space for two or three."

Actually, these train seat designers didn't take into account that people have shoulders and arms. Sure, there's enough room for their butts ( usually ) but if they all sit back, their shoulders are going to bump. The other day there was this metabol guy, who must weigh twice as much as me, sitting, taking up half of the next seat. Heck, I wiggled my way in there! I'm not going to let half a seat go to waste!

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I take issue with the people who try to make their way down the train carriages while the train is in motion, in an effort to save time out on the platform or for whatever reason, I say hard cheese and do my best to inconvenience them for a few seconds, cos that's all they're saving while they inconvenience everyone else who has to move out of the way. It's satisfying.

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"people who try to make their way down the train carriages while the train is in motion"

Yeah! These people ought to be sitting down with their seat belts fastened until the train comes to a complete stop. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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Yeah! These people ought to be sitting down with their seat belts fastened until the train comes to a complete stop. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Well if they could get a seat and weren't jammed together like sardines at 180% occupancy. And where are the seat belts anyway? Isn't this supposed to be a safety country? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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Incidentally, I meant the ones who make their way down the train carriageS i.e. pass through them and pushing past many a Tanaka to save a few seconds, not just getting up to get off.

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Yup, all of the above. But the ONE thing that REALLY bugs me is the mouth-breathing middle-aged salary-men, with the bar-code comb-overs, the thick bifocals with the black bars on the top, who have cultivated their pinky-fingernails, and who proceed with nasal and ear cleansing en route, all the while sweating profusely. These are the guys who haven't quite made the promotion for their vintage, always have their trouser-zipper about one-inch open with a shirt tail showing. They have those hideous plastic-like slip-on pointy shoes, size 26cm or so, with Playboy rabbits for garnish, and often reek of whatever they ate at the izakaya the night before. Usually, after their nasal and ear ablutions they proceed to read porn, while scratching their privates. Now, there's a way to start a Monday morning!

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People who try to wedge themselves in the gap between the seat end and door.

Women who smear make-up all over my Hermes suit.

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People - often students with i-pods or salarymen - who sit on Priority Seats and pretend to be asleep when heavily pregnant women / frail elderly / people on crutches etc stand right in front of them looking in dire need of a seat. Likewise people who do the same on normal seats (ALL seats are priority seats as far as I'm concerned.)

Morons who try to walk through the carriage when there are far too many people to allow free movement.

I once sat opposite a young nerdy guy who proceeded to stick each of his fingers up his nose in turn and then lick them. That was ultra gross.

The general ignorance and rudeness of many Japanese when on the train, never saying 'sumimasen' when pushing past people. It always makes me laugh when newcomers describe the Japanese as being "so polite" when in actual fact I think that they are some of the most selfish and desperately inconsiderate people around

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Stepping on my foot without apology.

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Mother of all bad behaviors on the train.

The Yamanote Halloween Party

Bar None

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Puking. I've been sick once on a train, and I held it from Shinjuku to Nakano, ran out onto the platform and let rip into a garbage bin.

But the number of times I have seen weak gross drunks spilling their nijikai all over the train carriage in front of them...

Idiots who stand in front of the door and don't get out of the way when people are trying to get out bugs me as well.

Also, I can tolerate most forms of poor personal hygiene (just look or move away), but odor just kills it for me - and I will move to another carriage when you have an exceptionally stinky person fouling up the air in a carriage.

Peace

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The mere existence of other people who have the audacity to be on MY train at the same time as me. The same can be said of sidewalks and roads, too. LOL!

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The following are not in order of importance - they are all equally obnoxious.

Japanese people who wont sit near you because you are a "gaijin." Old men who suck their teeth incessantly - yuk. Aggressive and impolite behaviour. Women who put on makeup on trains - so gross. People who pick their noses on trains - even more gross. People who lose their balance, bump into you and almost knock you flying, and who do not ever apologise. Salarymen who read porno manga on trains. Japanese women in their thirties who try to push you off the train because you are a foreigner. Chikan - men and women chikan/perverts who grope you on trains. Japanese salarymen groping each other on the Saikyo Line. The unmistakeable odour of salarymen on the trains in the mornings and late at night. People who pretend to be asleep so that they dont have to give up their seats to those who really need them. People who insist on pushing their way onto already grossly overcrowded trains, thus causing crushed ribs among the people already on board. Yakuza and other such violent and agressive thugs who are allowed to opress ordinary people, either on trains or generally in Japanese society - while their colleagues in the J Police or J Government turn a blind eye. Perhaps I should mention one thing that happens before people even get on trains - the way Japanese people line up for the trains - they leave wide spaces between themselves and the person in front, thus causing people at the end to almost fall onto the tracks during the peak periods! In short - travelling on commuter trains in the Tokyo area = Hell.
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Oh - and one more irk. The terrible pronunciation of Japanese place names by the American and British ladies who make the English announcements on trains. It makes me cringe. Where do they dig these people out of? I overheard some Japanese the other day mimicing the terrible pronunciation.

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If there was ever an argument in favour of showering in the morning rather than the Japanese custom of bathing at night, a morning ride on the Saikyo-sen would be it.

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Realist: those announcers you're complaining about are usually Japanese. And what's more, they're actually being courteous to non-Japanese speaking tourists who would otherwise find placesnames difficult to understand. Just as in London one may hear a Japanese announcer directing Japanese tourists to 'wimuburudon' or 'he-su-ro-'. I doubt if many Japanese would ridicule that pronunciation.

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thanks all - that was very therapeutic. i thought i was going crazy.

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Mothers who put their precious little 4-6 year olds in seats that should be occupied by the elderly. High school kids who sit down while a Silver hair is standing in front of them. It makes my blood boil.

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Japanese train manners from hell:

1) Pushing, barging and generally walking through people, especially in that insane, infantile panic to get off the train (just relax and take it easy folks...)

2) Incessantly sniffing, snorting and making assorted farmyard noises.

3) Very rarely giving up seats to people who need them

For me, 'gaijin' related gripes (not sitting next to, staring at etc) pale into insignificance compared to the Big Three above.

Actually, some Americans seem to provide a contender for the Big Three. It seems that if there are two Americans having a 'private' conversation at the other end of the carriage, I can hear every single word they're saying (or more accurately, bellowing :-) to each other. I seen many a Japanese eye roll in this situation!

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Taiko and the rest: I wish I had no-one sitting beside me...

Anyway, you said:

It seems that if there are two Americans having a 'private' conversation at the other end of the carriage, I can hear every single word they're saying (or more accurately, bellowing :-) to each other

Perhaps that's one reason why people are reluctant to sit beside gaijin?

Agreed, snorting is my pet hate, especially from women.

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Hikozaemon - I quite agree about the puking thing. I was on a train the other night and this young guy fell to his knees and chucked his guts up - on a pretty crowded train. A bright pink tidal wave of watery sick started spreading across the floor and it cleared a wide area. The people at the other end probably wondered what was going on - until they took a sniff...

The other "funny" incident like that was the time a REALLY smelly tramp got onto the subway. He had the carriage to himself - even in rush hour. That guy can't have had seen a bath for months. Terrible! He had a worse effect than a gaijin even would...

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Realist (11:25 AM JST - 7th April) sums most of it all up very well. However, I have more annoyances to add:

Men trying to stare at you and at the same time, pretending they are not staring. It's like, having their eyes nailed to you - most annoying. If I doze, their persistent staring does wake me up (I'd rather not fall asleep anyway, but when the train trip takes hours it's difficult).

Men trying to take snapshots of you with their cellphones.

Men trying to take VIDEOS of you with their cellphones. It seems like, since the camera phone makes a noise while taking video doesn't, they are switching to video camera function.

What in Hell is wrong with these people? I resort to holding a book or my own cellphone in front of my face. That usually discourages them.

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oba-hans chatting loudly about inane things in oba-han voices and these are the same people who are the first to complain about others (esp young people) for what they see as rude behaviour. damn hypocrites.

Seat hogs, your bag doesn't need a seat. Also the bench seats that take 6 people and 5 people are sitting evenly spaced on it making it impossible to sit down without making a fuss...

People bumping into you doesn't need an apology, its a given that you will get a bumping on crowded train and virtually no one will apologise, its kind of an unwritten rule if you haven't noticed - get over it!

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the only thing I hate is people slowly entering the train and hang around the entrance way while a cue behind them is trying to board just before the doors close. They get the sumo treatment from Romulus. Bang!

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flammenwerfer - I wasn't talking about coming into contact with people in a tightly crowded carriage, which is inevitable. I was talking about cases where there's plenty of space and people push past you. If I ever have reason to do that to someone, I simply say "sumimasen". Not that hard, is it

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Japan has got to have some of the rudest people on the planet. In general they have no manners but near train stations or on trains, they exercise their rudeness with magnificence.

As with walking the streets of Japan, the rule of thumb appears to be that the presence of someone else should never under any circumstances be acknowledged. You yourself is the most important thing and no accommodation should be made for others. To specify with a little more detail:

to walk at people until they move; to get on the train while other people are getting off; to take the one vacant seat even though there's a nine month pregnant lady stood next to you; to pretend to be asleep while a 90 year old lady stands up; to breath your foul smelling breath over another; to get all panicky on the train when you're told that it'll be 30 seconds late, due to the JR staff having to pick some body-parts off the tracks - due either to suicide or some maniac pushing someone under an oncoming train.
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parents taking their kids in the smoking cars in the bullet train. people sneasing and sharing all their fluids with neighbours. salaryman drinking a beer in the 7:30 morning bullet train next to you (did I mention belshing?) drunk salarymen giving me their business card and ask me to call them (I'm a male). people talking on the phone. poeple typing messages on their phone with a sound emitted for each key pressed. when leaving a car, people leaving their trash. all of above
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Puking. We have a winner.

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Those darn punk kids who, at times when they think it's light traffic, that sit ON THE FLOOR. And then don't get up.

Packed train. 200 cattle standing up and grabbing the overhead rings. And just about 100% of the time, the guy right next to me has never even heard of deoderant. At least I'm taller than them, but I still have to smell it. And my poor wifey has her nose right at about that level.

Packed train. 200 cattle standing up and there is always one that deems himself important enough to want a 2 foot ring of space around him so he can shift his weight, move around, etc... I love it when they try and push back to get more room, find out that I ain't gonna move. The look on thier face is priceless when they turn around (6foot2inches, 280lbs of love - that's me!!).

And finally.... that vicious blue hair at Shiori station and her cursed handbag. Must weight 20lbs, I don't even know how she lifts it, much less swings it back and forth while getting on the train.

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Yesterday this old drunk guy came up to me and started talking (even shouting) about how much he loves Jesus and how much life is beautiful... I tried to hint that im not really interested in having any kind of conversation with him but it was in vain. eventually I put my earphones back in and returned to reading my book but strangely enough he continued talking and making wierd gestures including running in place and immitating the Crucifixion !!!

Anyway, it went on for about 20 minutes and I was really close to knocking him out, if he was a few years younger I would have...

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Was he speaking in tounges?

And you should be glad. If he really wanted to, he could have recreated the ole' "washing of the feet"...

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In Japan or in general?

In Europe what annoys me is the lack of respect people show towards public property. And the lack of security there is towards making sure no one ruins the trains with magic markers and spray cans, windows scratched with stone pebbles so that you can barely see out, seats cut open with knives. The train companies then have to clean the mess up and this then makes the train fares more expensive. Tickets do not start from 150 yen but from 800 yen.

In Japan in comparison things tend to be nice and clean. If there is something which annoys me is that trains don't run 24 hours whcih they do in many European cities. The amount of people on the trains in Japan. You stand there and can barely breathe and you get a stinking oyaji breath right in your face.

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Voxman, Agreed. Not giving up a seat to an elderly person or a pregnant lady really sets me off as well.

Taka

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People who stink of cigarettes. Snorting is a close second.

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No mention of open mouthed sleeping yet. The type that also makes the jaw look distorted. Imagine one of those staring right at you if the culprit also falls onto your shoulder!

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Heh, we've got people here whining about passengers who smell, who stare, who sit on the floor, who sleep with their mouths open or on your shoulder, who snort, who vomit... I'd rather put up any of those passengers than have a passenger rob me like in some other countries.

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Whats with obsession with not talking on your cell phone? On the train, no other country has this problem only Japan! I can understand if your talking too loudly on your phone and annoying everyone, but quitely talking on a non packed track is not a problem and should not be considered rude at all.

I pickup my phone and talk quitely on trains and not feel guilty about it, if you hate me for it, I certainly don't care because I don't consider it rude what-so-ever.

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The two things that come to mind are 1. Having the stupid cell phone ringer or music set so high, you can hear it two blocks away. But, your in the train! 2. sneezing, without placing their hand over thier mouth. oh boy.

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Besides the basic problems, like getting on the train while people are still getting off, there are things that really blow my mind. People can try to push me, with my nearly 2 meters I am way above the Japanese average, have to bow everywhere not to hit my head, but when I get off the train, nobody tries to get on... so it has it's good sides. BUT!

My fiancee is pregnant, "only" in the third month yet, but she has the badge on her bag. Clearly visible.

1: We stand in front of the seats meant for elderly people, people with kids, health problems. Her "onaka ni akachan ga imasu" badge is right in front of the face of the people sitting there. (mostly business guys of course) Noone moves an inch...

2: This didn't happen on the train, but I think it is only a question of time: We were at the ward office, for some paperwork. We are standing in the hallway, nobody around, lots of space all around us. All of a sudden, a suit-guy rushes past us, bouncing VERY STRONG into my fiancee. I mean... what the?! There was soooo much space around us! No kidding, the office was almost empty...

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girl on the train today, extracting space by the door so she could spend her whole journey fixing her hair, do it home love!

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I know that its been said before, but what bugs me the most are the people who don't even have the common decent courtesy to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough.

There was one particular incident where I was standing on the train just minding my own when a guy next to me just let out a gigantic sneeze of course without covering his mouth and nose. His spit and mucus actually landed directly on my face and arms. I looked directly at him and gave him a disgusted look but he just went about his business as if nothing really happened. Honestly, can people really be that stupid/ignorant to not cover their mouth/nose when they cough or sneeze?

It also bothers me when I see a somebody wipe their runny nose with their hand and then grab the ring. Totally disgusting!

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groups of gaijin who sit on trains loudly complaining about trains whilst assuming those around cant understand them.

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jipster - Har! Good first post. Keep 'em coming!

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I never ever touch those disgusting strap rings - one test showed the average ring has 4 different types of urines traces on it and 17 different types of bacteria - 4 of which can kill you if they get into your bloodstream!

Standing proud at 6'1", I'm tall enough to hold onto the metal bar above the straps which is usually pristine stainless steel.

For you shorter folks, either wear rubber gloves or remember to scrub your hands thoroughly after you get off the train!

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I know that its been said before, but what bugs me the most are the people who don't even have the common decent courtesy to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough.

Don't forget yawning. Oh, but when they laugh, they cover their mouths. Sheesh.

I hate the lip-smacking noises when people eat bentoes on the train. Then, when they finish eating, there is the long, drawn-out tooth sucking session, all the way to friggin' Hiroshima.

Almost as bad as being sneezed on is the snifflers/mucus snorters. How do you say, "Get enough for a sandwich?" in Japanese?

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Sarge:

I'd rather put up any of those passengers than have a passenger rob me like in some other countries.

Like America, you mean? Quite agree.

The question is Sarge, what bugs you, not "what should you put up with instead of being robbed"?

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Coughing, sneezing, snotting, sniffing, picking-the-nose-and examining it all get right on my wick. For a country that can elevate having a bath to the status of leisure pursuit, these people show a marked lack of elementary hygiene.

I have nothing whatever against young totty prettying themselves up aboard the vehicle though. I'd much rather watch that than some sweaty-suited, reeking old tosspot knuckle-deep in his own face.

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The question is Sarge, what bugs you, not "what should you put up with instead of being robbed"?

Front, the answer to what bugs Sarge appears to be "being robbed."

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Fugumaster - just read your 10:16 post. Had I been in your shoes, my fellow traveller would have received a sight more than a disgusted look. He'd be feeding through a tube for the rest of his life.

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Sarge:

I'd rather put up any of those passengers than have a passenger rob me like in some other countries.

Like America, you mean? Quite agree.

frontandcentre: This would require people to actually use Amtrack genius. Subways I'll concede, but nobody rides the train in America. Also, why would you think he meant America? He doesn't specify country now does he.

Apart from all of that. Yes, the incredibly poor hygiene and general disgustingness is quite appalling and yet I'm the uncultured barbarian.

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HoDeDo - no resentment and jealousy at all, that seems to be your problem. All I was doing was agreeing with Sarge, in fact. I said "like America" where the chance of being robbed on a train is much higher than in Japan. I could equally as well have said "like Britain", which is also more 'dangerous' than Japan from a crime point of view.

In actual fact, this being Japan Today, we are talking about Japan. That's where I currently reside, and despite my complaints above, it ain't too bad, really

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-People who get on the train and then stop. not considering there are people behind who want to get on as well. -Heating/air conditioning as someone pointed out. it should always set to cold. there is enough body heat to warm up the moon! -Annoying announcements about switching off cell phones. Assumption that they will damage pacemakers is false, and how is talking on the phone different from talking to a person next to you? -trains in central Tokyo that only come once in 7 mins during the day. saving electricity is not my primary concern when i am trying to get somewhere. -bad timing of schedules. How come 2 trains arrive at the same time on same station to overcrowd a narrow platform? How come when you get to you connecting station, you see that your train has just left and you have to wait another 7 mins for next one? -people who worry about ipods being loud when there are more serious problems out there.

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How about people that perform foot hygeine on the train? I have seen several old men, with shoe and sock removed picking away at their toes!

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I've never seen the point of shoving and jostling the rest of the herd so you get on the escalator before them, only to lose the use of your legs the instant you've got both feet on the machine. Especially when there's a perfectly good flight of stairs right next to it.

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Farts.

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How hard is it for people to buy the correct train ticket or have their SUICA card charged up? I seem to be behind way too many incompetent losers who lock up the ticket gate with their inappropriate commuting.

As for the not sitting next to the non-descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu foreigner, I say enjoy the space. Ham it up, and watch those cramped on the other side in discomfort squirm as you spread out and lie down if need be.

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Seriously for myself, aside from some of the things mentioned, one thing that drives me up the wall are the epic talkers/storytellers/gossipers on longer train rides. I'm not talking about the ones that speak quietly either (those folks I have no problems with). It's the ones that talk really loudly so that everyone can partake of their conversation for 2-3 hours nonstop. It is even worse when it is on a limited express or shinkansen. One late afternoon coming back from Kinugawa Onsen on the SPACIA Ltd Express, these group of guys were at it all the way. I know the suit working on his laptop in front of me was super annoyed as I could see him put his hands over his ears.

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Fazool2, That's a new one on me. I'd have to say the ultimate in bad behavior would be drunken salarymen peeing their pants on the train. Granted, in well over a decade, I've only witnessed it twice but that is about 10 times too many. There's a reason why I consider going to Tokyo to be punishment.

In general however, it's the asshats that won't give up their seat for the pregnant or elderly. If within range, their toes are fair game in my opinion.

Taka

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Gropers. If they can't get a piece of action with someone they know, why inflict their juvenile personalities on a stranger? Actually saw this salaryman (about 50) grope this high school girl. She was putting up with it - I don't know why. I casually walked over and kneed the culprit in the small of the back, followed by a quick 'sumimasen' but he got the message and the girl smiled at me. I'm sure his back hurt for a few weeks. (edited for potentially offensive content)

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Aside from the one person talking when the entire car is silent, I really hate seeing a male with a porno mag with a girl sitting next to him. (Worst time I saw this was a schoolgirl sitting next to a 20-40 year old male with a book full of glossy, full-page porno shots and he's flipping through it right in front of her.) Also, watching males sitting across from schoolgirls and trying to glimpse up their skirts. Some are nasty obvious about it.

The blatantly obvious objectification of females drives me, a female, INSANE. When I was 13, an older Japanese salary man took out his "piece" on a JR train and smiled at me. We were the only two people in the car. It scared the crap out of me!

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Some people clip their fingernails - usually multitasking obasans.

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I hate it the most when I take th efirst train home after a night out and fall asleep on the train and wake up half an hour away from my usual stop. I vow never to behave that way again. PLease dont blame me, the trains here only run once ever 30 minutes and its aong way to go for a night out.

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On a daily basis the truly annoying thing here in Tokyo is the people who somehow think they'll get off before me when I'm standing in front of them, right in front of or orientated towards the doors. It is obvious I'm getting off too but sometimes even before the train stops and the doors open they're pushing me. Why do they want to touch me or anyone? Irksome... Nothing a swift elbow doesn't cure, of course.

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What ever happened to wearing masks? I'm seeing more and more people, usually under 30, not wearing masks when they are sick and coughing in peoples faces. Do they want a pandemic? Crime on Amtrak or subways? When was the last time you ever rode one?

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Had a guy once that was making loud sighs while blowing out of his putrid mouth onto me. I turned around and gave him a complete look of disgust...he then moved on. Saw a guy doing the Jr High girl grab. Walked over, excused myself and stood in front of her. There is a crazy dude that always talks on his keitai and uses big gestures. It was entertaining at first, but he and "this other person" always have the same conversation. Having a putrid smelling guy sitting anywhere in the vicinity. People sucking their teeth. ..and the list can go on...

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the toothsuckers, utterly annoying. The older guys who chew gum while with their mouths open like their 3 year old, wanna slap em silly.

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Sleeping passengers whose head falls over onto my shoulder.

...but if a gorgeous young woman does it, then it's all good :-)

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I was on a crowded train the other day, and right in the middle was a high school girl, crouched on the floor!

I've had two high school girls come sit next to me around 10am on an ordinary commuter train, and start eating their ramen which they had bought from the convenience store.

Noisy high school girls. High school girls who use the train to put one-inch make-up on their faces. High school girls who try and adjust their min-skirts on the train to the point where their knickers are showing.

To be fair, high school girls aren't the only guilty ones. I've seen middle-aged salarimen spit onto the floor (and one of them starting smearing it all over the place with his shoes). And there was that oyaji who ate cashew nuts, dropping them all over my feet, banged into my knees without saying sorry and then proceeded to throw his garbage underneath his seat.

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