How to make yourself comfortable on a Tokyo commuter train:
Spread your shopping bags.
Call your friend.
Have a snack. Eat as loudly as possible.
Share the snack with your dog while you scatter crumbs everywhere.
This is the latest anti-chikan (groper) poster at a train station. I was going to grumble about Japan’s tendency to cutify everything, but then I hesitated: is this poster cute or is it simply a graphic depiction? I’ve been here so long that my “inappropriate cuteness radar” has been corrupted.
PS: That little critter thingy with the blue hat is Pipo-kun, the police mascot.
You. You with the backpack. If you want to travel on a crowded rush-hour commuter train, take the damn thing off before you get on; and if you stand in the passage in the middle of the carriage, blocking it for everybody who has to pass, do NOT … I repeat DO NOT! … give me a dirty look when I knock your backpack sideways as I brush past.
Why are you wearing a backpack with a business suit anyway? Please note that backpacks are only acceptable in the following situations:
1) You spend half your life in Akihabara, most of it at the AKB48 theater.
2) You commute by motorbike. (So what are you doing in the train, then?)
3) You’re a hiker or photographer.
4) You’re a dumb tourist.
Of the above, only (2) and (3) can be readily admitted in semi-polite conversation, and even (2) is suspect.
If you’re a salaryman, get a briefcase already.