Here in Japan we don't own a car. Really, there's no need and that freedom is nice. That is why I have put public transportation on my list of things we are going to miss about Japan. It's somewhat convenient and earth-friendly. :)
Deacon loves the trains!
A rare occasion....a bench all to ourselves. :)
This is the inside of the station we use the most, Den-en-chofu.
Figuring out the train system in Japan is a daunting task. But, once you've accomplished it everything starts falling into place and it's quite easy from that point.
A map and the listings of how much it costs to get from where you are to where you're going. Underneath the map are the ticket machines.
In America a teenager looks forward to the day they turn 16 because with it comes a driver's license and with that, a new-found sense of freedom. Here in Japan that just isn't the case. Many people don't even have a driver's license, or if they do they got it much later in life than 16 years old. They don't need it. Getting somewhere one doesn't need to rely on always having a licensed driver. Just hop on a train. You can get almost anywhere in Japan via public transportation. Be it train, bus, taxi, and/or ferry.
Little guy waiting for his train to get to school.
We have been able to go to a lot of places in Japan thanks to an amazing rail system. Here we are on a shinkansen (bullet train) with our friends.
My wonderful and dear friends, Jennifer and Evonne, came to visit us in Japan. We took a trip out of the city and I was asking them where we were going. As you can see, no one was all that excited that I was taking this video. :)
Trains have a lot of great amenities. We took a trip down south to the Izu Peninsula and on that train ride our train had a children's play room. Deacon had a blast. :)
One thing, however, I WON'T miss about public transportation is crowded trains. They are AWFUL. Seriously, packed. Just when you think no one else can get on five more people seem to fit! It puts the stuffing-clowns-into-a-car feat at a circus to shame. It's that bad. If you have ever heard rumors of people having to be pushed into trains by station attendants just to get the doors of the train to shut because they are so crowded the rumors are true. I have seen it only once (it's mainly during the morning rush hour which I try to avoid) and it makes me stare. Even though my mama taught me that staring is rude, I just can't help it. It's unlike anything I have ever seen. I have posted a video below from youtube.com. We have never taken a pic...I think we were too busy staring in amazement to think about pulling out a camera.
I posted this on a post a long time ago but I figured it needed to be re-posted for this entry because it's just so funny. This happened to me after we had been here maybe two months and hasn't happened since. I'm so glad we got it on video.
5 weeks ago